African News

On Mount Kenya

27 May 2007 at 20:28 | 1060 views

By Humphrey Muchoki.

Kenya is named after a mountain of the same name( Mount Kenya). The Kikuyu ( the largest tribe in the country) call it Kirinyaya, meaning - mountain of whiteness, because of the snow cap. Due to the inability of the British to pronounce Kirinyaya correctly, it became Kenya.

The first people to settle in Kenya were obviously the indeginous African communities from various parts of the continent. Other visitors included traders, explorers and tourists from other parts of the world such as Portugal, Arabia, India and Greece. They visited mainly the East African coast. Some went back home while others stayed and intermarried with the local communities giving rise to a new culture of Swahili along the coast.

The scramble for colonies in Africa among European nations reached fever pitch in 1884 when the Berlin Conference was convened to partition Africa among themselves. Among the British acquisitions was the land we call KENYA today. Due to the hostility of the locals towards the British, the British declared the country a colony and a protectorate, and posted the first British Governor on July 1st 1895. The new governor , Sir Arthur Hardinge then established an administration.

Seventy years of colonial rule characterised by punitive economic, social and political policies led the the Mau Mau rebellion. This was the first militant movement on the continent aimed at African emancipation from the colonial yoke. The year precisely was 1952. The colonial government was forced to come up with constitutional proposals which led to the first ellection in 1961 , and was won by the Kenyan African National Union party led by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Kenya is bordered on the north by Sudan and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia, to the west by Uganda, to the south by Tanzania, and to the south-east by the Indian ocean. Kenya covers an area of 224,960 sq. miles, and lies astride the equator. The population is estimated at 30 million in 1999.
The tribes include Luyha, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo, Kisii, Kalenjin, Maasai, Samburu, Taita, Somali, Oroma, Rendille, Borana, Mijikenda and Meru among others.

Religions are: ChristianS = 66 percent
Muslims= 7 percent
Indeginou 26 percent
Others= 1 percent

The principal commercial towns are:Nairobi
Mombasa
Nakuru
Kisimu
and Eldoret

Languages spoken are: English, Kiswahiland the different local tribal languages of the people.

The Kenyan flag consists of these colors: Black----for the African people,
White--- for peace., Red—for blood shed for independence, and Green ---for agriculture.

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