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torstai 14. huhtikuuta 2016

Kenya, Cool Facts #109

<= 108. Ghana                                                                                                               110. Lesotho =>



1. Tippu Tip Slave Trade on Swahili Coast 

Between the Portuguese and British rule in present-day Kenya's areas the Omani Arabs ruled the coastal areas known as the Swahili coast from the late 1600s until the late 1800s. Slave trade was flourishing at the area as the traders from Oman and Zanzibar traded slaves to meet the demands of plantations in Oman and Zanzibar which needed more workforce.

One of the most notorious slave trader was Tippu Tip from Zanzibar. Tippu Tip had mixed origins having roots in respected Omani families and he also had Bantu and coastal Swahili blood. He traded slaves, ivory and led expeditions into Central Africa. He was known as Tippu Tip by the people of the Great African lakes after the sounds that his guns made.

As a result of centuries of trade of slaves and other resources since the 900s the coastal areas of that part of Africa started speaking Swahili, which became the lingua franca. That's why Swahili got many Arabic, Persian and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loandwords. Recently even English loanword.

Tippu Tip 1837-1905

Swahili Coast history

2. Tsavo man-eaters

The German's had established a protectorate in Kenya in 1885 but it was acquired by the British in 1890 who had established the Imperial British East Africa Company in Kenya. The Arab rule was finally over in 1895 as present-day Kenya became part of the East Africa Protectorate.

Soon the British started the constructions of the Uganda railway in 1896. The constructions started from Mombasa and ended in 1901 in Kisumu, on the shore of Lake Victoria. The railway was called Uganda Railway even though the original railway was entirely in the present-day Kenya.

One of the most notorious events during the constructions occurred in 1898 where the railway constructions were in progress over the Tsavo River. The leader of the project there was Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, who reported that during nine months two maneless male lions had killed an estimated 135 people.

Patterson finally managed to shoot the both lions, who tried to sneak into the camp and kill the workers. After the events the lions got the nickname Tsavo Man-Eaters.

Uganda Railway poster
One of the Tsavo Man Eater lions

3. 1952 Elizabeth visit 

The current Queen of Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth visited Kenya in 1952. Princess Elizabeth was staying at the Treetops Hotel when his dad King George VI died in his sleep. Princess Elizabeth returned home immediately to attend the funeral of her father and to get his throne.

She had became the Queen of the UK and the British Commonwealth. She was then crowned as Queen at Westminster Abbey in 1953. So you could say that Queen Elizabeth went to Kenya as a princess and arrived back as a queen.

Queen Elizabeth

4. Mau Mau Uprising: Weep Not, Child 

"Weep Not, Child" was the first English novel published by an East African. It was written by James Ngugi in 1964 about the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya. The uprising was a military conflict in British Kenya between 1952-1960 between the Kikuyu dominated troops and the British army. 

The Mau Mau failed to get widespread public support because of the British divide and rule policy, which caused internal division in tribes and between the different tribes. 

By the end of 1956 the Mau Mau was crushed. In 1960 the period of colonial transition started leading to the independence in 1963. 
James Ngugi author of "Weep Not, Child"
Photo during the Mau Mau Uprising

5. Somali conflicts in Kenya  

Shifta War 1963-1967

Ethnic Somali rebels tried to annex the Northern Frontier District of Kenya into the Somali Republic. The area has been historically been inhabited almost exclusively by ethnic Somalis.

Garissa massacre 1980 

Kenyan government forces internet people at Garissa Primary School football pitch for three days without food and water. Non-Somali people were allowed to leave because the forces attempted to find a local Somali gangster called Abdi Madobe who had set fire to Bulla Kartasi village and killed and raped women.

About 3000 died and the Somali government threatened to overthrown the Nairobi regime and occupy Kenya if they didn't release the rest of the detained people, which the Kenyan government then did.

Wagalla massacre 1984 

Kenyan security forces massacred ethnic Somalis in Wajir County. An estimated 5000 Somali men were taken to an airstrip and were prevented from food and water for five days before they were executed by Kenyan soldiers. Originally the Kenyan soldiers had arrived to the area with the reported goal of helping to diffuse clan-related conflicts.

Demographics map of Kenya
Timeline

Around 500 BC Nilotic people from present-day South Sudan started migrating to Kenya and later during the first millennium AD Bantu-speaking people arrived at the area
900s Permanent Arab settlements and flourishing cities are born since this century on coast like Malindi and Mombasa
1414 Zheng He the Chinese trader and explorer visited the coast representing the Ming Dynasty
1498 Portuguese Vasco da Gama arrived at the Kenyan coast
1500s The Portuguese conquered the harbor cities of the coast and ruled them until the late 1600s
1600s The Swahili coast came under direct rule of Omani Arabs in the end of the century
1885 Germany established a protectorate in the coast
1888 The Imperial British East Africa Company arrived and in 1890 acquired Germany's coastal holdings
1895 Arab rule is finally ended after the establishment of the East Africa Protectorate in Kenya
1896 The Kenya-Uganda railway constructions started
1920 The East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony called Kenya according to its highest mountain
1940s White settlers established coffee and tea plantations in the land taken from the Africans and the local people were transferred to cramped reserves
1944 KANU aka the Kenyan African National Union was established and it was led by Jomo Kenyatta
1952 Princess Elizabeth was visiting Kenya when his father died, Elizabeth cut short her trip and returned home where she was crowned as Queen in 1953 at Westminster Abbey
1952 Mau Mau Uprising against the British started lasting until 1960
1953 Kenyatta was prisoned 
1961 Kenyatta was released 
1963 Kenya became independent and Kenyatta became the first leader of the country
1963-1967 Shifta War in the north where ethnic Somali rebels demanded the area to be annexed to the Somali Republic
1964 Kenya became a republic and thus Kenyatta became the first president of Kenya
1978 Daniel arap Moi became the president after Kenyatta's death and under his rule the government transformed into more corrupt and authoritarian worsening the social conditions in the country also
1980 Garissa massacre, Kenyan government killed ethnic Somalis in the North Eastern Province
1984 Wagalla massacre of ethnic Somalis by Kenyan security forces in Wajir County
1991 Opposition was allowed again
1992 and 1997 Daniel arap Moi re-elected in democratic multiparty elections
2003 Mwai Kibaki became the president
2007 Violent unrests after elections which were accused as false, about 1500 people died and a half a million fled their home areas. The crisis was resolved by allowing Kibaki to continue as the president and making Odinga the prime minister
2011 Worst drought in East Africa in 60 years after two missed rainy seasons 
2013 Jomo Kenyatta's son Uhuru Kenyatta became the president

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