Fun facts about five most popular Nairobi statues and monuments
Almost every street in Nairobi boosts of having a protected monument or a Statue.
Nairobi city currently has a total of 47 gazzetted sites and monuments, all which are supposed to be protected by law to be specific the Antiquities and monuments Act Cap 215.
Statues and monuments represent social, economic and political lifestyle of a people.
Almost every street in Nairobi boosts of having a protected monument or a Statue and some act as landmarks ensuring you never get lost in the city.
Here are five most popular statues and monuments found in Nairobi City.
This is perhaps one of the most popular statues in Nairobi.
It was erected in 2011 in honour of Kenya’s cabinet minister, Tom Mboya who was assassinated on 5 July 1969.
The bronze statue is carved image of Mboya, wearing flowing West African attire, and Mboya’s trademark cap.
The concept of the stature is simple; Mr. Mboya is immortalized standing on a giant rock made of fibre-casted rock to resemble the rocks found in Mbita (Mboya’s original home).
Below his feet are flamingo birds which symbolises the 1960s students’ airlifts project that Mboya initiated.
It is located along Moi Avenue next to Kenya Archieves building, about twenty meters from where Mboya was murdered.
The monument cost the Government Sh15 million ($150, 000) while the whole project took about Sh20 million ($200,000).
Gormahia football fans usually visit this statue before and after their football matches believing it will shower them with good luck to win matches.
Jomo Kenyatta Statue
The cast bronze statue was entirely made in England with every detail intact and was then shipped from England by container to Mombasa and was then driven by truck to Nairobi and installed in its current location.
It was sculptured by British sculpture, James Butler.
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta is immortalized sitting on a podium of reinforced concrete, bush hammered and detailed with the sculptor’s own signature and year of installation, in fine four buttoned suit and traditional African gear covering the suit and head.
His hands rest on his ‘fimbo’ (Walking stick) a common denominator with him (Jomo Kenyatta) in his rule when he always had a defining item at hand. And he is looking beyond
This bronze statue of Dedan Kimathi located along Kimathi Street, opposite the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi was built in memory of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi.
Dedan Kimathi (Oct 31, 1920 – Feb 18, 1957) was a freedom fighter that fought against British colonial rule in Kenya in the 1950s.
It was unveiled on August 2007 by President Mwai Kibaki to mark fifty years since freedom fighter Denald Kimathi was captured, hanged and buried at an anonymous grave inside Kamiti Maximum Prison by the British colonial government.
To immortalized his life as a freedom fighter, Denald is clad in a military regalia, holding a riffle on his right hand and a dagger on the other, representing the last weaponry he held in his struggles before he was brought down.
It coasted 4.5 million ($45,000)and was designed and sculptured by Kuona Trust based artist Kevin Odour in association with Kenyatta University School of fine arts.
The Italian marbled monument was erected to mark the 10th anniversary of the Nyaro era and 25 years of independence in a Sh318 million ($3,180,000) ceremony graced by ten presidents.
And as a result, the monument designs are all Kenya
The four-sided monument was erected in 1988 by the Kanu regime to honour Kenya’s second president Daniel arap Moi and Sh18 million ($180,000) was spent on it.
The monument was even once featured on the Sh100 ($1) note.
It is located at Nairobi’s Central Park and was once a favourite spot for many visitors wishing to take their photos of the city.
However due to neglect the monument is in a sorry state and the water that gushed all around (as visitors took photos) is no more, the marbles are falling off and plants have sprouted on the edges of the tumbled sections.
This is perhaps the cleanest and most symbolic statues found in Kenya.
Hamilton Fountain is a bronze statue with a concrete base outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi, depicting a blind,naked boy donning a wig while clutching a fish and peeing into a fountain, whose water continuously sprays the boy from four turtles.
The statue is propped up in the traditional display formats of statues and bears a podium finish of ornate malleable form and culminates into a water feature that bears four turtles spewing water back into the main podium.
It was erected in honour of lawyer Alexander George Hamilton who died in 1937, when Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was the colonial governor of Kenya.
The statue, nicknamed ‘Onyango’ by some Judiciary officers, is meant to portray justice as ‘naked, blind and slippery like a fish.’ Justice is also fearless as a child.
It was commissioned by Gertrude Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton who stood for justice.
But did you know that the ‘Onyango’ we have today is only a replica of the original which was lost at sea when the ship ferrying it from England sank in the Indian Ocean?
The replica was again stolen, forcing City Hall, which takes care of monuments under its jurisdiction to commissioned a third statue, this time from sculpture Robert Glenn.
More than eighty years since it was erected it stills ‘wet’ and is slippery like a fish like its original at the bottom of the Ocean.
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