President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday evening referenced his brother’s marriage to confirm the shared history and relations between Kenya and Jamaica.
My brother is married to a Jamaican’s daughter – Uhuru
He made the revelation during a speech in Kingston, Jamaica
Kenyatta spoke during a state visit in Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston which sought to deepen the relations between the two countries.
“I can confirm that Jamaicans are everywhere because the mother to my brother’s wife comes from Jamaica but lived in Kenya all her life,” Kenyatta said.
The President was making reference to Muhoho Kenyatta’s mother in law – Norma Kanja - who was a Jamaican married to a Kenyan businessman, the late Jimmy Kanja.
Norma passed on in 2017 and was survived by two children, Trevor Kanja and Erica Kenyatta who is married to the President’s younger brother, Muhoho.
The Kanjas are the proprietors of the upmarket shopping mall in Karen – Galleria.
Dudley Thompson and Marcus Garvey
During the Jamaican state visit, President Kenyatta also paid tribute to Jamaican pan Africanists such as Marcus Mosiah Garvey and the late Dudley Thompson who was among Jomo Kenyatta’s lawyers during the Kapenguria trials.
The host, Prime Minister Andrew Holness supported President Kenyatta’s call for increased bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Jamaica, Kenya relations are deeply rooted. It is well documented that our first national hero The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey had significant influence on Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister of Kenya and later its first President”.
“In that context we also recall the late Dudley Thompson as a Jamaican lawyer and Pan Africanist in East Africa. He was resolute in his staunch defense of Jomo Kenyatta when he was charged with treason by the British colonialist government of the day,” Holness stated.
Jamaica Kenya bilateral agreements
The two leaders signed several bilateral agreements in areas of trade, sports, tourism, and cultural heritage.
As part of the deals that were signed between Kenya and Jamaica, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center which is based at the University of West Indies will open its first satellite centre in Nairobi and will be based at the University of Nairobi.
In the area of sports, the two leaders said Kenya and Jamaica will cooperate in sports development especially in athletics, a sport in which the two counties are global icons with Kenya leading in medium and long distances while Jamaica being a perennial global record setter in short distance running.
They also initiated talks meant to facilitate direct flights from Nairobi to Jamaica and the entire Caribbean.
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