Nairobi, which is a Maasai word for “place of cool waters” is an amazing place to be. Not just because of the rich mix of cultures from around the nation of Kenya, but the geographical treasures you find in the city as well.
One sunny morning, my good friend Esther said that we should kill boredom by taking a nice walk within the Nairobi city centre. As usual, I doubted the crazy ideas that could have started brooding inside Esther’s mind. But then again, I was proved wrong. What we thought could have been a random walk in the city ended up being an amazing experience that took us back to our happy childhood days.
The most amazing thing is how cheap and available such a lovely experience is, yet many locals never dare to experience it. We alighted at the GPO bus stop and we headed for the Alliance Francaise which is a French cultural centre in Nairobi. Our passion for the arts made us go there as the centre always has amazing events for those who have a rich appetite and appreciation for music, language and various forms of art.
Later on, we headed for another random errand. But first, Esther said she had to take some photos at Uhuru Park which lies right at the centre of the city as if to provoke our pride in our natural treasures during our busy days. I really did not know what Esther expected to see. It had been long since I last visited the park many years ago as a child and the place wasn’t so popular to the average young Kenyan. This is because there wasn’t much to see or enjoy. I remember seeing only green grass, very few trees, interesting looking Kenyan monuments and the typical spread of people sleeping all over the grass. I personally did not like the way many people just sat around on the grass doing nothing. To avoid joining the crowd, I simply used to avoid going to the park.
I tried beating all the hesitation in me just to let Esther have fun as she polishes her photography skills at Uhuru Park. Luckily, I never got the chance to regret it. The place had changed so much and I loved it. It literally looks like an Oasis in the middle of the busy sunny city.
There was a lovely cool breeze that helped us better enjoy the lovely sunshine. It comes out as a striking location for a perfect picnic with friends or family. There is a man-made lake with lovely ripples and bunches of palm trees surrounding it. An interesting development of boat-riding is available for water lovers and you can even spot some lovely orange fish swimming in the water. There are ponds with frogs, wide water lilies and some space to sit and just enjoy the view.
For the kids, there is more than enough theme-park fun activities available merry-go-rounds, banana rides and sand box facilities for toddlers. The park is now a popular scene for skateboarding within the city. You can even cycle around the park, do some jogging if you desire, enjoy a nature walk with your dog, take advantage of the wind by flying your kite, do a painting project of your own or just read your favourite book.
After inhaling the WOW factor of the Uhuru park renovations we jumped right into taking photos of ourselves at the park. I am happy that though there were not as many people sitting on the grass as I can remember (which I hope is the sign of an improved working nation), I loved the fact that there is so much more to enjoy at the park than the unfortunate case in my childhood.
So if you’ve got some free time in your hands, perhaps during your lunch break from the busy office, please do make a point of going to Uhuru park to relax and unwind.
If you are a Kenyan 80’s kid, don’t miss this chance to visit this amazing place to relive old memories. If you’ve got kids, why not let them enjoy the park at its present and revamped state?
As we count down to the National Elections in Kenya on March 4th 2013, let us remember to be peaceful and accept the outcome of the results so that we can be able to comfortably enjoy the beauty that’s within our country such as Uhuru Park.
History About Uhuru Park:
Uhuru is a Kiswahili word for freedom. So added to the city’s Maasai name Nairobi, it’s poetic: Freedom at the heart of the place with cool waters. There’s so much beauty and rest within our nation Kenya. Uhuru park is a 12.9 hectare recreational park at the centre of the Nairobi Business Centre. Kenya’s first president, the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta officially opened the park to the public on May 23rd 1969. The park is famous as a peaceful protest zone. During the Moi regime in 1989, there was a significant protest against illegal land grabbing led by Kenya’s Nobel Laureate, the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai. Also, there was a significant burning of a heap of condoms by representatives of Kenya’s religious bodies in 1996.
Nobody knows how many more significant events are yet to happen at the park that celebrates freedom of the Kenyan people. But as we wait for more greatness to unveil, simply enjoy this beautiful resource and all that it brings.
So next time you’re in town, swing by Uhuru park!
For more photos on our Uhuru Park visit and other escapades visit Esther’s photography Facebook page: Belle Photography