The Kenya Portal
Kenya (), officially the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Kenya), is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 47.6 million people, Kenya is the 29th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.
Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the North West, Ethiopia to the North, Somalia to the East, Uganda to the West, Tanzania to the South and the Indian Ocean to the South-East.
According to archaeological dating of associated artifacts and skeletal material, the Cushites first settled in the lowlands of Kenya between 5,200 and 3,300 ybp, a phase referred to as the Lowland Savanna Pastoral Neolithic.
Nilotic-speaking pastoralists (ancestral to Kenya's Nilotic speakers) started migrating from present-day Southern Sudan into Kenya around 500 BC. European colonisation of Kenya began in the 19th century during the European exploration of the interior. The modern-day Kenya emerged from a protectorate established by the British Empire in 1895 and the subsequent Kenya Colony, which began in 1920. Numerous disputes between the UK and the colony led to the Mau Mau revolution, which began in 1952, and the subsequent declaration of independence in 1963. After independence, Kenya remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The current constitution was adopted in 2010 to replace the 1963 independence constitution. Read more...
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.
Selected culture biography
E-Sir was born as Issah Mmari, on May 20, 1981 in California Estate, and raised in South c estate Nairobi, Kenya. He was a Kenyan hip hop artist signed to the Ogopa DJs label who was famous for his deft lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language. He is still widely regarded as one of the best rappers to emerge on the Kenyan hip hop scene. He first came to be known in 2001 by his song "Jo", a song done in the same style as Black Rob's "Whoa." The song proudly declared E-Sir's arrival on the Kenyan music scene and was featured on the Ogopa DJs debut album . He went on to release his debut album "Nimefika" in 2003 which was a big hit with virtually all the songs on the album becoming radio singles. He won 4 categories in the 2003 Kisima Music Awards.
E-Sir died in a road accident on March 16, 2003, while in the company of fellow label mate Nameless..
Did you know ...
- ...that in March 2013, Kenya was officially administratively 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 Kenya's national language is Swahili?
- ...that Kenya's official name in Swahili is Jamhuri ya Kenya?
- ...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 by area, Lake Victoria? It is the largest tropical lake in the world. It is also the world's second-largest freshwater lake with 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 one says Saa Moja which literally means 1 hour because in Swahili it was decided to use sunrise as a guide to tell time.
Selected societal biography
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.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in Kenya, outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County, which lies north west of Nairobi. It is part of the Great Rift Valley. The name derives from the local Maasai name Nai'posha, meaning "rough water" because of the sudden storms which can arise.
Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 1,890 metres (6,200 ft) in a complex geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits from a larger Pleistocene era lake.
Apart from transient streams, the lake is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers. There is no visible outlet, but since the lake water is relatively fresh it is assumed to have an underground outflow.
The lake has a surface area of 139 km²
In the news
Wikinews Kenya portal
- 7 January 2020 – Terrorism in Kenya
- Four children are killed in an Al-Shabaab attack at a primary school in Garissa County, Kenya. (Al Jazeera)
- 5 January 2020 – Camp Simba attack
- An attack by Al-Shabaab militants on an airfield used by Kenyan and U.S. troops in Lamu County, Kenya, is repelled, leaving four militants dead and five arrested. (AP via Fox News)
- 6 December 2019 – 2019 Kenya bus shooting
- At least ten people – including seven police officers – are killed when gunmen ambush a bus in Kotulo, Kenya. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. (Reuters) (Al Jazeera)
- 12 October 2019 – Terrorism in Kenya
- A homemade bomb strikes a Kenyan military vehicle, killing 10. (Reuters)
- 22 September 2019 –
- A classroom collapses in Dagoretti, Kenya, killing at least seven children. (The Standard)
- 15 June 2019 –
- 12 Kenyan police officers are killed when their vehicle hits a roadside bomb in east Wajir County, near the Somali border. No one has claimed responsibility, though the police had been pursuing suspected al-Shabab militants fighting Somalia's government and its backers. (BBC) (Region week)
Topics in Kenya
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