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Kenya portal

The Kenya Portal

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Location of Kenya

The Republic of Kenya, or Jamhuri ya Kenya (Kiswahili) is a country in East Africa. It is divided into 47 Counties, with the most populous county being Nairobi County and the largest (by size) being Turkana County. Lying along the Indian Ocean, at the equator, Kenya is bordered by Ethiopia (north), Somalia (northeast), Tanzania (south), Uganda and Lake Victoria (west), and South Sudan (northwest). The capital city is Nairobi, 2nd largest in Africa (after Cairo). Kenya spans an area about 85% the size of France or Texas. The population has grown rapidly in recent decades to nearly 44 million. Kenya has numerous wildlife reserves, containing thousands of animal species.

The country is named after Mount Kenya, a very significant landmark and the second among the highest mountain peaks of Africa, and both were originally usually pronounced /ˈknjə/ in English although the native pronunciation and the one intended by the original transcription Kenia was [ˈkenia]. During the presidency of Jomo Kenyatta in the 1960s, the current pronunciation /ˈkɛnjə/ became widespread in English because his name was pronounced according to the original native pronunciation. Before 1920, the area now known as Kenya was known as the British East Africa Protectorate and so there was no need to mention mount when referring to the mountain.

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Panorama of Kisumu from Lake Victoria
Credit: Victor Ochieng
Kisumu is the largest city in the Western region of Kenya and the third largest city in the country.

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Swahili (also called Kiswahili) is a Bantu language. It is the most widely spoken language of sub-Saharan Africa. Although only 5-10 million people speak it as their native language, Swahili is somewhat of an East African lingua franca, being spoken by around 80 million speakers and is the second language of Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Swahili is the mother tongue of the Swahili people (or Waswahili) who inhabit several large stretches of the Indian Ocean coastlines from southern Somalia as far south as Mozambique's border region with Tanzania. Swahili has become a lingua franca in much of East Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is now the only African language among the official working languages of the African Union. Swahili is also taught in the major universities in the world, and several international media outlets, such as the BBC, Voice of America and Xinhua have Swahili programs. (Read more...)

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Naftali Temu

Naftali Temu (20 April 1945 – 10 March 2003) was Kenya's first olympic gold medalist. He was an athlete, who won the 10.000 metres at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Born in then Nyamira District now Nyamira County, Naftali Temu started running at the age of 14. After completing schooling, he joined the Kenyan Army.

Temu competed at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, where he finished 49th in marathon

He won 5000 metres silver medal at the inaugural All-Africa Games in 1965, the race was won by Kipchoge Keino. He burst onto the international long distance running scene at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, where he won gold medal and beat the world record holder Ron Clarke in the six miles. Two days later, Temu finished fourth in the three miles.

(Read more...)

Did you know ...

  • ...that as of March 2013, Kenya is officially divided into 47 semi autonomous counties?
  • ...that Kenya has 42 ethnic groups and no single ethnic group in Kenya makes even a quarter of Kenya's total population of 44,354,000 as of 2013?
  • ...that the average Kenyan is Multilingual due to the fact that most Kenyans speak at least three languages, namely Swahili and English which are used as the official languages plus a native Kenyan language often acquired as mother tongue and which differs between the 42 ethnic groups a Kenyan individual has?
  • ...that English is the medium of instruction for schools in Kenya?
  • ...that Kenya's official name in Swahili is Jamhuri ya Kenya?
  • ...that Kenyans drink more chai (Swahili for tea) but not very much coffee even though the country produces a lot of both? And that Kenyans prefer most of their drinks hot?
  • ...that Lake Turkana in Kenya is the largest desert lake in the world?
  • ...that Nairobi, the capital city, is the only city in the world with a major National Park in it? Kenya also has all five of the Big five game i.e. lion, leopard, buffalo, African elephant and rhino.
  • ...that Kenya borders Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, by area? It is the largest tropical lake in the world. It is also the world's 2nd largest freshwater lake at a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi).
  • ...that Mt Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa? It is 5,199 metres (17,057 ft) tall.
  • ...that a third of the flowers in the European Union come from Kenya?
  • ...that telling time in the Swahili language is different from English? For example, when saying 7 am you say Saa Moja which literally means 1 hour due to the fact that in Swahili it was decided to use sunrise as a guide to tell time.
  • ...that Jason Dunford, an All-Africa Games gold medalist and runner-up for the 2006 Kenyan Sportsman of the Year award, has a younger brother who was selected "most promising sportsman" at the same awards?

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Dedan Kimathi

Dedan Kimathi Waciuri (31 October 1920 – 18 February 1957) born Kimathi wa Waciuri, was a leader of the Mau Mau which led an armed military struggle known as the Mau Mau uprising against the British colonial government in Kenya in the 1950s.

A highly controversial character, Kimathi's life has been subject to intense propaganda by both the British government who saw him as a terrorist, and Kenyan nationalists who view him as the heroic figurehead of the Mau Mau rebellion. Despite being viewed with disdain by the Jomo Kenyatta regime and subsequent governments, Kimathi and his fellow Mau Mau rebels are now officially recognised as heroes in the struggle for Kenyan independence by the incumbent government. His capture and execution in 1957 led to the eventual defeat of the uprising by the Kenyan government.

(Read more...)

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The Great Rift Valley

Uasin Gishu County is one of the 47 counties of Kenya. The city of Eldoret (capital and largest town in the county) is the county's administrative and commercial centre. Eldoret is the second largest urban centre in midwestern Kenya and the 5th largest urban centre in Kenya.

Uasin Gishu is located on a plateau and has a cool and temperate climate. It borders Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya. (Read more...)

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