The Maasai community is very unique in that their history has a close linkage to the dazzling city on the Equator. The plain nilotes have a legendary belief that they are divinely predestined to be pastoralists. The legendary further states that they descended from the heavens with their colossal herds of cattle and landed on abundant green pastures. Livestock constitutes their cultural treasure, heritage and livelihood.
The British while constructing the Kenya-Uganda railway, had to pass through the scorching Nyika plateau inhabited with man-eating lions. In the course, they struck (it) lucky and settled in a place with a temperate climate relatively similar tot hat of Britain. This area was the Maasai grazing “Steppe”. The nilotic word for this rich pasture is “Mairobi” literally meaning “the place of cold waters”. The British chose this place as the residence of the governor and the headquarters of the government. They corrupted the name “Mairobi”, the accent on the first syllable “Ma” is changed to “NA” and the word “Mairobi” is substituted with Nairobi. Today, Nairobi is the largest city, North, South, East and West of Africa.
Nairobi is the city with an atmosphere of a cool breeze that matches well with the breeze of “cold waters”. The sober breeze has the advantage of soothing man’s aesthetic mind to realize that “Beauty is in the beholder.” The citizen and the outsider need the telescopic eyes of an eagle to admire the landmarks in the city.
The snow-capped Mount Kenya with its three peaks, Batian, Nelion and Lenana towers heavenly high above the city. In one of the peaks stands the national flag. On the slopes of the mountain are celestial towering architectural monuments that grace the city under the sun.
Two monuments parade the crowning glory of the city centre. Kenyatta international conference centre is a post-independent monument of pride. The conference centre keeps the city in the global limelight. Next to is the Hilton Hotel that accords hospitality to our visitors and tourists from far and beyond our borders.
Jomo Kenyatta International Air-port is the country’s exit and entry. The air-port ushers more than one million tourists in a year. The airport and the Kenya Airways constitute the pride of Africa.
In the precincts of parliament is the mausoleum of the late president and the founding father of the nation popularly known as “Mzee” Jomo Kenyatta. The mausoleum is guarded twenty four hours by armed military officers.
Dendan Kimathi is a great hero who waged guerilla war for liberation, freedom and independence of the country. He was captured by the colonial government and hanged to death. He was buried in unknown place that makes it difficult to retrieve his remains for state funeral of a hero. When Nelson Mandela visited the city, he paid a courtesy visit to the family Dendan Kimathi. A Street in the city is named in his honor. A bronze statue of the armed young soldier glitters on the busy street.
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The city built on “cold waters” has always been known to be an “island of peace.” A marble monument at Jamhuri park is ever inviting viewers from all walks of life. The monument has a triangular shape at the base, then towering as a slender-stalk of a flower. Inside the triangle is a white dove with an olive branch in its beaks. The dove has historically and divinely symbolized peace.
The current landmark is the modernization of the infrastructure. The phenomenon consists of fly-overs and ground- tunnels. The purpose of the construction is to ease traffic congestion in and out of the city. The dilapidated roads have been nauseating but now drivers can breathe a sigh of relief.
One needs a heart and attitude to either condemn or appreciate the events that have taken or are still taking place. The city built on peaceful “cold waters” becomes drowned in troubled waters of post-election violence of 2007 -2008. The violence exists as a result of two politically tribal and rival elephants claiming to have won the presidency. When two elephants fight the grass suffers.
The rivalry of the two elephants leaves one thousand citizens dead. Hooliganism prevails and women are ruthlessly raped. Property worthy millions of money is set on flames and reduced to ashes. Thousands of innocent citizens take flight for the safety of their lives. Hostile circumstances force them to live in unsanitary camps,, under torrential rains with no food and shelter.
The Red Cross becomes the savior of the situation as they swing into humane action to provide the miserable lots with tents, food, blankets, medicine and sanitation. To-date, some of the displaced are still living in these abominable and despicable camps.
Kofi Anan, the genius former UN secretary jets into the country and becomes the arbitrator of the warring tribal heads. The appeal is essentially to strike a deal of co-existing in peace and sharing power. A coalition government is formed with the challenge to bring about a new constitution, land, judiciary and police reforms. These four are believed to be the factors that added strength to the tribal rivalry, hatred and violence.
The post- election activities of violence take a new global dimension. Louis Moren Ocampo, the prosecutor of International Criminal Court, rules that serious crimes against humanity have been committed against civilians. He names six alleged instigators who have popularly come to be known as the Ocampo six. The six have a case to answer in the International Criminal Court. For now, the citizens are anxiously waiting for the verdict of the Ocampo six.
The greatest achievements of the coalition government are two, namely: the promulgation of the new constitution and the appointment of persons of integrity to reform the judiciary, the dispenser of justice.
The judiciary has had the history of incredible and obnoxious record of perpetuating injustice, corruption and impunity. The learned personalities endorsed to reform the judiciary are Dr. Mutunga, Ms. Baraza and Dr. Tobiko, as chief justice, deputy chief justice and director of public prosecution respectively.
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The city has dynamism of life and a number of interesting sites worthy visiting and exploring.In the outskirts of the city lies one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Maasai Mara National Park abundant with East Africa flora and fauna. Visitors who come here to be in communion with nature are essentially in communion with the divine realm. Local and foreign tourists throng Maasai Mara in thousands to explore the fauna of the savannah grasslands.
Traditional culture and hospitality are conjoined like Siamese twins and constitute the pride of the people. The Bomas of Kenya, adjacent to Nairobi National Park is a cultural entertainment centre displaying a diversity of forty two cultural rhythms. The Bomas of Kenya offers the opportunity and the possibility of enjoying the diversity of cultures, cherishing hospitality without travelling to all corners of the country.
Mount Kenya Safari Club is an historical and international site of distinction. It is worthy visiting the place for its reminiscence of honor. In 1952, Princes Elizabeth of Great Britain, and Prince Philips, the Duke of Edinburg come on holiday at Mount Kenya Safari Club. In the course of the vacation, King George VI, the father of the princess dies. Princess Elizabeth, the heir to the throne becomes the queen–to- be while holidaying in the outskirts of the glamorous city.
In the footsteps of his grandmother, Prince William and his fiancée Kate came to Mount Kenya safari club for a date and engagement before their wedding on 29th April 2011.The engagement takes place in a traditional hut situated in a lonely place far away from the hotel.
Another place of international distinction is the terrorist bombing site. Osama Bin Laden has been a man of insanity with no natural feelings and love of humanity. While he lived, the notorious terrorist targeted his hatred towards the United States of America. On 7th August 1998, a suicider bomber explodes himself at the American embassy. The explosion damages the embassy and the neighboring buildings.
Hundreds of innocent Kenyans are left dead. Thousands are wounded and maimed. The government has built a monument in honor of the Kenyans and the Americans who died on the site. Osama Bin Laden lies in the grave of the dead. Though justice is accomplished, terrorism continues to pose a great threat to the cities of the whole world.
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