On a wonderful late summer of 1846, two centuries ago, two men set out to explore the interior of a distant continent. These two men were very much alike in the sense that they were explorers, missionaries and parents. As most missionaries are – these two were intrigued about their journey, to live with new people, assimilate themselves into a new culture and learn a new language.
In one of there very many expeditions, and while travelling with a caravan led by a prominent long distant trader of that land. One of the two men spotted patterns of black rock and snow – drawn into the fascination of his own discovery – went on to inquire from the long distant trader what its name was.
But the trader was rather aroused by the question. He was confused why the black patterned rocks and white snow cap were becoming a hallmark of intrigue.
And because they reminded him and the caravan he led of cock ostrich feathers; the distant trader quickly shouted Kĩĩnyaa. The man would later record a more African notation of the pronunciation and then send the report to his people.
And just like that the White man thought he had discovered Mount Kenia. Quite sad, the reports were ridiculed by his seniors who thought the idea of snow peaked mountains in a tropical land was nonsensical.
To cut a very long story short, a journey from the green indiginance of African tribes, to an East African Protectorate that would be renamed later on. The birth of Kenia began on the foothills of Mount Kenya.
The two men were Ludwing Krapf and Johan Rebman, the long distant trader was the legendary Chief Kivoi.
And as you can see, the news of a snow peaked mountain in East Africa was highly ridiculed. Which brings me to my point – as Kenyan I can only tell my story, the story of Kenya – without stereotyping or in fear of the dangers of a single story.
The difference between me and you lies in the expectations. I am expecting a reader who will not prejudge and who will not come with an expectation of what they want to hear.
I want to tell our Kenyan Story the way it should be told.
No deserts, no pirates, no terrorists, no poverty – just the good things that make Kenya – to be Kenya.
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