The Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.
The dynamic metropolis reflects the growth and progress taking place across much of the continent. But though it’s a city looking to the future, it is also one mindful of the past and the man who helped shaping Kenya into what it is today.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, said, “It only remains for me to present to you, Mr Prime Minister, these constitutional instruments which establish Kenya’s independence.”
December the 12th 1963 and Jomo Kenyatta, then in his early 70s, becomes the founding father of the Kenyan nation. He is down in history as the man who won independence for his country. But to millions of Kenyans, then and now, he is simply called Mzee.
Dr Njoroge Mungai, Minister in Kenyatta’s Government, said, “When a man becomes older and older, particularly a wise man or a leader, he’s a Mzee, in fact they sometimes used to call him Old Man. To Europeans it may sound very bad when someone calls you Old Man, but not to Africans. It’s a term of respect.”
In a presidency spanning 14 years, Kenyatta was an icon to his people, well known for his distinctive personal style.
Charles Rubia, Former Nairobi Mayor, said, “The leather jacket, I would say it was his political trademark. Everytime there was a national political celebration; he would come in that leather jacket. That was his symbol. And a very big ring and a very nice carved walking stick. And a fly whisk of course.”
“His flywhisk, for example, was a gift from Ethiopia, from Haille Sellassie, the emperor. It’s a sign of authority; it’s a sign of peace. When you do that, you’re telling people peace.”