NAIROBI CITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA
Nairobi city as it was named from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nyrobi” (also meant to “cool water”) is the main capital city of the Republic of Kenya, it is also the largest city of Kenya.The city and its surrounding area also form the Nairobi County. The population census of 2019 produced a population of 4,397,073 while in the metropolitan area, the population was 9,354,580. Nairobi city is populary also nicknamed the “Green city”. The common language spoken is ‘Swahili”, which is also studied in schools. Nairobi city is a home to very many businesses and over 100 major international companies plus organizations both government and non-government. The city is blessed with two main airports, a standard gauge Railway line which connects Nairobi to Mombasa within a short time, and the sky scrapers are just enough, the super highways are well made, also blessed with a National park in the city. That has made Nairobi city become one of the most sought about by visitors around the globe. Nairobi city’s Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa and the second-oldest exchange on the continent. It is Africa’s fourth-largest exchange in terms of trading volume, capable of making 10 million trades a day. Therefore, Nairobi city is one of the biggest cities talked about in East Africa and Africa continent.
The transition of Nairobi city from a Township to becoming a City
Nairobi before was a swampy area with no hope of being flooded with building like it is today. The coming of the railway plans to connect Uganda, Nairobi and Mombasa saw Nairobi become a central position between Kampala and Mombasa to set up a camp. The British in charge in the year 1899 saw this as a great opportunity after finding out the good network of rivers which would supply their camp with water, they also saw it as a could site for residential for the Indian laborers and the British.
Nairobi first grew into a township (Township of Nairobi) in the year 1900 under announced guidelines on the 16th April,1900. Sir Harding Arthur was the master minder. The city was first incorporated in 1900 as the Township of Nairobi. The regulations governing it were published on the 16th April, 1900 under the powers vested in Sir Arthur Hardinge, the guidelines defined the township of Nairobi as “the area comprised within a radius of one-mile-and-a-half from the present office of H.M. Sub-Commissioner in Ukamba” and authorized the Sub-Commissioner to nominate every year a number of the leading residents or merchants to act with him as a Committee.
In 1901, Nairobi club was formed,the Roman Catholics started building churches and schools besides the railway, this was assured growth of Nairobi. New by laws were passed in December 1901 by the governing committee. The new laws to be passed were about Preservation of public health and good order within the Township plus establishing sanctions for breach of their awareness.
By the year 1903, the idea of railway transport to export and import produce and equipment became known, the British planned of finding a permanent markets in the South Africa. As Nairobi developed slowly, various people were docking in at Mombasa and moving to Nairobi, there was a Town hall which had been built the previous year by the British.
In 1905, Nairobi replaced Mombasa as capital of the British protectorate, and the city grew around administration and tourism, initially in the form of big game hunting. As the British occupiers started to explore the region, they started using Nairobi as their first port of call. They were encouraged to settle in the country, and Nairobi was their natural choice due to its cool climate and fertile soils. British authorities hoped the Settlers would develop a modern economic sector.In 1919, the Nairobi Township community formally became the Nairobi Municipal Council. Its boundary was extended to include surrounding part-urban settlements. The boundary was again extended in 1927 to cover 30 square miles.In July 1920 it was proposed that a more distinctive title be adopted for the chief of the municipality of Nairobi the capital of the protectorate. The title Mayor was suggested. It was not until 1923 that the title was officially applied.
In the year 1907, Nairobi was developed and rallied to replace Mombasa as the capital still under the presence of the British. Kenya was granted Independence in the year 1963, Nairobi was announced as the capital city of the Republic of Kenya but during Kenya’s colonial period, the city became a center for the colony’s coffee, tea and sisal industry. The city lies on the River Athi in the southern part of the country.
Nairobi city is under a full administrative county plan. Nairobi County is more urban compared to other counties in Kenya, there is only one council which is the Nairobi city council which runs all City activities in most of the departments. Nairobi county was divided into districts in 2007 where three districts were formed and in 2010 Nairobi was re-named a county after the amendment of the constitution.
Nairobi county is arranged in constituencies, these constituencies anre very different from division names , for example; Starehe constituency is equivalent to Central division and has a leader of it’s own.
Nairobi is sub-divided into constituencies (17) and wards (85), where 48 are named after residential estates. For example Kibera division which is Africa’s largest slum area includes Kibera as well as the Karen and Lang’ata estates.
Here are some examples of Constituesncies ; Kasarani, Langata, Kibra, Dagoretti south and Noth and many more.
Nairobi is highly recognized in the Exchange market because of its Nairobi securities Exchange (NSE),, it is recognized as one of Africa’s largest stock exchanges. In the year 1953, the Nairobi Securities Exchange was highly recognized as an overseas stock exchange by the London stock Exchange. In Africa, is ranks 4th largest in trading volumes and the 5th largest market in terms of Market Capitalization as a scale of GDP.
Nairobi is also recognized as the regional headquarters of several international companies and organizations because of its title. Nairobi city started gaining international recognition through the coming of organizations and companies like, General Electric, Google, IBM Services, Coca-Cola and Young & Rubicam, all these came in place in 2007.
The United Nations offices in Nairobi City anchor the UN Environment and UN-Habitat headquarters. Safaricom is the largest company in Kenya by assests and it’s profitability is headquartered in Nairobi city, KenGen, the largest African stock outside South Africa, is based in the city, the Kenyan airways which is the 4th largest airline in Africa uses the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as it’s main centre of operations.
Nairobi city is also blessed with FinTech events that have taken over internationally. Mnay firm enterprises have come up, for example craft Silicon, Kangai technologies plus Jambo pay have led the technology ion the city.Ther came up alot of innovations and computing services where their products have become usable all over the considerable market share present in Kenya and in dispora.
There are several good manufactured from within Nairobi, they include; Textiles, building materials, processed foods, cigarettes, and beverages. There are also a number of foreign companies that have set their bases in Nairobi, they include; Toyota motors,Goodyear, General motors and Coca-Cola.
Nairobi is a city that is blessed with tourism with in the city, for example; The Nairobi National Park, which is under the Kenya wildlife Authority, that has made it a tourist destination and a transport hub.There is also a manmade park within the city Centre in Uhuru park, has a man-made lake and a relaxing point for nationals.
There are also business centers outside Nairobi City Centre that are concentrated with businesses that have contributed to the development of the city of Nairobi. For example, Upper Hill located 4kms from the central Business centre, it has seen the growth of companies like; Citibank in 2007, Coca-Cola also have their headquarters of East and Central at Upper Hill. Upper Hill is considered to be the best location for office space in Nairobi. At Upper Hill is UAP Tower which was put up in 2015 and opened up officially on the 4th July,2016. The towers stand up tall with 33 storeys reaching a height of 163mtrs, there is the World Bank and International Finance Cooperation which is part of the World Bank Group. There are also new business parks built in the city Centre including the flagship Nairobi Business Park.
There are several constructions and real estate development projects taking shape in Nairobi currently. The capital city of the republic of Kenya is taking shape with a high level of construction that has boomed recently in real estate’s projects and skyscrapers have come up. They include; The Pinnacle twin Towers which stands tall at a height of 314m, The Britam Tower standing at 200m, Avic International Africa headquarters, Prism towers standing at 140m tall, Pan Africa Insurance Tower, Pallazzo offices, and many other projects.
There severa shopping centers in Nairobi with many new still being put up, they include;Garden city Mall, Centum’s Two rivers Mall, The Hub in Karen, Karen waterfront, Thika Greens, and the recently reconstructed Westgate Mall.
There have been classy residential apartments have come up and still constructing more, for example, the Le Mac Tower, a residential tower in the westlands with 23 floors.Avic International is also putting up a total of four residential apartments on Waiyaki way: a 28-level tower, two 24-level towers, and a 25-level tower. Hotel towers are also being erected in the city. Avic International is putting up a 30-level hotel tower of 141 m in the Westlands.
CULTURE IN NAIROBI
Nairobi by the 20th century had very many foreigners who settled their permanently from various parts of the world, some where workers who came to construct the Kampala-Mombasa railway, merchants from Gujarat, communities from the south Sudan and even their neighbors Somalia. Nairobi is the center of Kenya National Theatre and the Kenya National Archives found at the heart of th city. There several art galleries in Nairobi city which include; the Mizizi Arts Center ,the Nairobi National Museum and Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (Ramoma) plus the Kuona Art Centre For Visual artists in Nairobi.The capital city was nicknamed “The Green City in the Sun”, which is derived from the city’s foliage and warm climate and also “Safari Capital of the World”, which is used due to Nairobi’s prominence as a hub for safari tourism.
LITERATURE AND FILM SECTOR
Nairobi is blessed as one of African’s talented nation in terms of acting, it ha produced a number of artists on international levels. Many book writers have also emerged from the swahili speaking capital.
The Nairobi Film
During the post-colonial time, Kenya produced outsatnding authors in Ngugi wa Thiongo and Meja Mwangi. They both lived in Nairobi, these wre also produced by Kenyan publishing houses. There several Kenyan artists who practice from outsie the Nation of Kenya.
Kenya’s film industry is still growing but at a slow pace, though there people like Producer Njeri Karago and Director Judy Kibinge are paving the way for others, the most famous book written by Karen Blixen who had a false name in Isak Dinesen which was her account of living in Kenya. Where sh lived is the present day Karen, it was named after her. In the 1985,Out of Africa was made into a film which was directed by Sydney Pollack and won over 28 awards including the Seven Academy Awards. The popularity of the film caused the opening up of the Karen Blixen museum in Nairobi.
Nairobi is also the setting of the novels of the greatest author in Kenya, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and also Nairobi has been a setting of other various American and British Movies like the Constant Gardener in 2005, the biggest section was filmed in the city. There current Kenyan actors who have broken into the Hollywood fame, like Lupita Nyong’o. who recieved an Oscar award for best performing actress in her role in the patsy in film 12 years a slave during the 86th Academy Awards at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Kenyan Politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o. This has increased the growth of cinemas in Nairobi city Centre. In the year 2017, the name “Nairobi” was taken up as a code-name bya female main character in the famous Spanish Tv series Money Heist.
TRANSPORT SECTOR IN NAIROBI CITY.
Kenya is organized as far as transport is concerned, they have made all possibilities to decongest the city Centre by putting up a number of outlets from the city center connecting various constituencies. There have been super highways that have been put up to curb traffic jam in the city center,forexample, the latest high way is the Thika road highway, there is also Mombasa highway, there is also the completed projects of byapasses in Northern and Eastern. These have eased transport from n to the city center. The recent Syokimau rail station has been completed to and has eased transport in the city centre. The country’s head of state announced (when syokimau was opened rail service) that Kenya was to collaborate with other countries in the region to develop railway infrastructure to improve regional connectivity under ambitious LAPPSET project which is the single largest and most expensive in the continet. Kenya also made an agreement with Uganda to facilitate joint development of the Mombasa-Malaba-Kampala standard gauge railway which will be extended to kisuymu as a branch. Further more the Kenyan government agreed with the Government of Ethiopia with a memorandum of understanding signed for the development of Lamu-Addis Ababa standard gauge railway. The development of these critical transport facilities will, besides reducing transport costs due to faster movement of goods and people within the region, also increase trade, improve the socio-economic welfare of Northern Kenya and boost the country’s potential in attracting investments from all over the world.
Airports in Nairobi
Nairobi has two major international Airports that link Kenya to the outside world. There is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport.
The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the largest and most busy airport in Kenya in all the airports. It is where domestic travelers make upto 40% of overall passengers by 2016. It increased to 32% in the space of 5 years since 2012. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by 2016 had over 7 million passengers crossing going through it. In the year 2017 , JKIA gained the the category one status from the FAA boosting the airports status as a regional aviation Centre. The JKIA is also easily accessed from the town center because of the Mombasa super highway.
The Wilson Aiport is the general aviation airport that handles smaller aircraft that come and leave Kenya. A mong other aiports in Kenya are; East Leigh Airport, which is a military base airport, it used to be a landing site in thge pre-jet airline era. Mostly it was used by the British passengers plus it was a main route from Southampton to Capetown in the 1930s and 1940s,
The Matatu as a means of transport
The matatus are the major means of public transport in Nairobi, the world matatu meant “three cents”, these are privately owned minibuses that form local transport. Others are registered in SACCOS. The basic seating numbers are 14 to 24 passengers depending on the kind of omni bus. The matatus operate with in Nairobi connecting passengers to different constituencies with in Nairobi. The matatus have specific number , the number shows a specifc stage the matatu will stop. Before the matatus had a yellow stripe on the side of the bus but in 2014, The Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the ban on yellow stripe and allowed matatus to maintain the colorful graphics to allow youths get job opportunities in designing. These matatus are given a very beautiful look by the paintings made outiside and the interior. There various decorations that are desined on them, for example, Football teams, favourite rappers or artists, presidents, animals, actors and even insects. They are known for their poor records that are caused by the over crowding, over speeding, reckless driving. The teams operating the matatus are in uniforms and have ID’s for easy identification. The conductors of the matatus have a policy of collecting fare before or as the journey starts. The mataus have a very high competition and because opf this, they have implemented means which can attract passengers, for example, big screens and huge speakers that can play loud music , others play trailers of movies, even others play soccer match highlights, actually , a passenger can be passed by his stop over point without notice.
The buses as means of transport in Nairobi
Buses have become do common in Nairobi but only identified by their stage points and many have installed wifi points and televisions to attract passengers, they include; Embassava SACCO, Kenya Bus Service(KBS) , The New private operators Citi Hoppa, they are identified with their green uniform, whereas the double M buses are painted purple whereas the KBS buses are painted blue. There are bus companies that hold longer routes like to Uganda, Mombasa, Kisumu like the Easy coach, Guardian Angel, Mash Poa, Luxury coaches, Dreamliner, Spanish coaches, Simba coach, Modern coast, they have their boarding office points spread with in the city Centre.
Trains as means of Transport
Nairobi became what it is now because of the railway line that connects Uganda-Kenya-Mombasa, the headquarters upto date arte situated in Nairobi city located near the city center in Nairobi. The railway line crosses through Nairobi as it connects Mombasa – Nairobi and Uganda. It uses freight traffic to connect Nairobi to Mobasa and Kisumu. There are a number of morning and evening commuter trains connecting the centre with surbabs though the Centre has no proper light rail, tramway or rapid transit lines. The new station has a train that transpots passengers from the main stage at syokimau to the city center, this has helped to cut the travel time by half the normal time. There are other railway stations with in Nairobi, they include Imara Daima Railway station and Makadara whereas the new Mombasa-Nairobi railway connects the port city of Mobasa and Nairobi.
The Road transport in Nairobi
The road transport in Kenya is well organized and well planned. There are a number of highways that leave the city Centre and connect various constituencies and Counties. They include; The Uhuru highway links forest road which was an extension plan to the Thika superhighway. The mombasa highway which links Nairobi to Mombasa, others link Nairobi to Uganda, Nairobi To Arusha in Tanzania, along the highways, theu are marked to ease tranpoters or motorists drive with ease. But driving in Nairobi is so chaotic and this means one driving should also be very carefull and fast in decissions while on the highways. The roads are marked to show different routes.
The city is connected by the Mombasa super highway that connects to the JKIA, it passes through south B, Embakasi and Industrial area. The city center connects Ongata, Rongai and Karen and runs through the south, the Waiyaki highway connects Westlands, Riverside, and Lovington and the Thika highway connects Kasarani,Eastlands,jogoo road ,outer ring road and Embakasi. However there are flyovers,bridges that are being put up to help in stopping jam with in the city centre.
ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR IN NAIROBI
Kenya is blessed with talent that has been extened to the outside world, in sports, music and acting.
Today in sports , Kenya is exporting alot of talent to the outside worls, their music is also trending over-seas.
Kenya is well known globally for athletics and rugby, the nation has been crowned world champions in rugby and have gathered many gold , silver and bronze medals in athletics in various competitions all over the world.Nairobi is also recorgnised as African Grteat Lakes region’s sporting centre. Nairobi holds the premier sport facility in the Moi International Sports centre in Kasarani. The sports complex was completed in 1987 and also hosted the 1987 All Africa games, the complex is a 60,000 seater stadium, it also has a 2,000 seater aquatics centre making it the secong largest in Africa Great Lakes region after Tanzania’s new National stadium. Nyayo stadium is the second largest in the country located in the city centre at Nyayo. It hosted the global rugby events under the Safaricom sevens, it was accomplised in 1983. It is also mainly used for soccer by the national team and the Kenyan Premier League. Nyayo stadium is a 30,000 seater stadium. Also a main centre for political gatherings
Music in Nairobi city
Nairobi city is the main place for music in Kenya, the commonest genre developed in Nairobi is called ‘Benga”,it is a fusion of Luo and jazz music,Mugithi is another commion genre in kenya,it has it’s origin in the central part of the country. There are very ,many legendary artists in the kenya music industry who have studios in Kenya, most musical big events are help in Nairobi city centre. In the 1970’s, Nairobi was seen as a hub of soukous music, this even made it known around the continent.This genre was originally developed in Kinshasa and Brazzaville, many Congolese artists relocated to Nairobi and Artists such as Orchestra Super Mazembe moved from Congo to Nairobi and found great success.Virgin records became aware of the popularity of the genre and signed recording contracts with several soukous artists. Nairobi has become a gtreat centre of Kenyan Hip-hop like the gIdi gidi maji maji.
The most successfull artists in Nairobi today include; Jua Cali, Redsan, Grandpa records, Ogopa Djs, Nyashinski, Sauti soul, Jaguar and many more. Atually Jaguar today is a reknown politician in Kenya. Therer have been very many artists from over seas who have made very big performances in Kenya. they include; Morgan Heritage, Konshens, Alaine, Jarule, Sean Paul ,Shaggy and many more. This has helped Kenyan music to grow through collaborations.
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN NAIROBI CITY
Nairobi holds the majority of the Universities top headquarters in the country. Majority of schools in Nairobi follow either Kenyan Curriculum or the British Curriculum. There is also the International school of Kenya and Rosslyn that follows the North American Curriculum, Swedish school also located in N’gong, and the Germany school which is located in Gigiri. The most Education in the city centre is High level (University). TRhete are a number of universities in the city centre, they include; University of Nairobi which is the largest and oldest in kenya, Kenyatta University located along Thika road, Strathnore University is a sixth form college offering sciences and arts subjects, it is located along Ole Sangale road, Madaraka estate in Nairobi,The United states University located west side of Roysambu area North-Central of nairobi, Agha Khan University Hospital, Catholic University Of East Africa, KCA University(Kenyan College of Accountancy formmerly) located in Ruaraka. All these Universities have collected students from different spheres of the continent hence making Nairobi a vry popular city.
RESTAURANTS AND ACCOMMODATION ANROUND NAROBI CITY
Nairobi is blessed with very beautiful hotels and restaurants that are located with the city center. They include; Ole Sereni Hotel,Ibis styles Nairobi Westlands,Raddison Blue Hotel Nairobi,Vila Rossa Kempiski,Sankara Nairobi,Hillpark Hotel and many more. There various restaurants and food points in Nairobi cituy centre too, they include; KFC, Javas, Thai Chi restauirant, Talisman Restaurant, Pizza Hut,Subway,Galittos, Nairobi java house and many more,the Kenchic franchise which specialized in old-school chicken and chips meals was also popular, particularly among the lower classes and students, with restaurants all over the city and its suburbs. The Upscale restaurants often specialize in specific cuisines such as Italian, Lebanese, Ethiopian, French, but are more likely to be found in five star hotels and the wealthier suburbs in the West and South of the city.Nairobi has an annual restaurant week (NRW) at the beginning of the year, January–February. Nairobi’s restaurants offer dining packages at reduced prices. NRW is managed by Eatout Kenya which is an online platform that lists and reviews restaurants in Nairobi, and provides a platform for Kenyan foodies to congregate and share.
RELIGION AND WORSHIP
There are several religions and places of worship in Nairobi. The city is occupied with prominent churches and temples for worship. The different religions include; Islam, Catholics, Anglicans. There are several churches that have been put up, they include; Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (Catholic Church), Anglican Church of Kenya (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church of East Africa (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Baptist Convention of Kenya (Baptist World Alliance), Assemblies of God. There are also Muslim mosques including Jamia Mosque.
Nairobi has produced prominent sports men like; Victor Wanyama trading hsi talent in Totenham Hotspurs, David Rudisha , the greatest 800,m race winner of all times, Denis Oliech, Kenyan greatest Striker of all time,Ezekeil akaemboi, greatest steeple chase winner,Shekhar Mehta the greatest kenyan rally driver of all time,Henry Rono who was the world multiple record holder, and many more.