Kenya has a rich cultural, social, and economic history. Over the years, the government and various organisations have tried to immortalise this history. One of the most common paths they took was erecting monuments.
Historical monuments in Kenya serve as a way to remember and appreciate past events and great individuals. Each monument has a story behind it and will take you back into the past.
If you are eager to know and visit the monuments in Kenya, this blog is for you. We’ll look at the Top 7 famous monuments in Nairobi, detailing where they are found and what they mean.
Let’s get started!
Naked Boy of Justice
Naked Boy of Justice goes by various names and has a fascinating history. It was created in honour of a colonial-era lawyer, Alexander George Hamilton, who died in 1937. It was commissioned by the wife, and it stands outside the Kenya Supreme Court, portraying the naked, slipper, and fearless nature of justice.
The monument in Nairobi was initially called the Hamilton Fountain and is also called Otieno, a male name from the Fishing community of Luos. The first monument got lost at sea, and another was stolen.
Zero to very few Nairobians can claim not to know the Tom Mboya statue along Moi Avenue. It is one of the most known landmarks in the city, with many people using it as a point of meeting or reference.
The monument, unveiled in 2011, is the statue of former Kenyan Minister Tom Mboya. He was murdered under unclear circumstances in 1969, and the statue stands around 20 metres from where he was shot.
Mau Mau Monument
The fight for independence from the British colonisers is central to Kenya’s history. This was a time of turmoil where the indigenous Kenyans faced a lot of atrocities. As such, the locals fought back, and world-famous Mau Mau fighters were born.
The Mau Mau monument seeks to conserve the memory of the victims of torture and ill-treatment during the 1952 to 1960 State of Emergency. The memorial stands at Freedom Corner in Nairobi.
Jomo Kenyatta Monument
If you have been to Kenya, you must have seen the Jomo Kenyatta Monument in one way or another. If it is not physical, you may have seen it on many of Kenya’s old and new currency notes. As such, it is arguably one of the most famous Kenyan monuments.
The monument on the Kenya International Conference Center grounds is a sculpture of Kenya’s first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. It was unveiled in 1973 and has stood in its place ever since.
War Memorial Monument
The first world way, or the great war as it was known then, was a European conflict; however, many Africans from the then colonies fought on either side of the war. In the case of Kenya, they fought alongside the English.
The War Memorial Monument by British sculptor James Stevenson along Kenyatta Avenue reminds Kenyans of the African soldiers who fought in WWI. It features a porter, an Askari and a gun carrier, among the few posts designated for Africans.
The Dedan Kimathi Statue along Kimathi Street, opposite the former Hilton Hotel, is one of Nairobi’s famous landmarks. It reminds passersby of the great Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, a freedom fighter against British colonial rule. He was captured during the State of Emergency and killed.
The Nyayo Monument is easy to spot if you ever find yourself in Nairobi’s Central Park or used the old 100shilling note. The colossal structure was built in 1988 to commemorate Kenya’s 25 years of independence and ten years of then-president Moi’s rule.
The Nyayo Monument is famous, with many people, including school children visiting it for pictures.
If you want more information about interesting places and things to do in Kenya, please visit our Destinations Kenya blog.