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on 29 November 2012
This book was first published in 1985, has 203 pages, 13 chapters, 36 old B/W photos, 1 large map of East Africa Protectorate 1900(Kenya). The book is dedicated to Jack Block. ERROL TRZEBINSKI was born on 24.6.1936 in Gloucester, England. In 1952,aged 18, she flew to Kenya for a holiday, married and settled in KENYA. Her Polish husband is an architect and they have 3 children. She worked in advertising in NAIROBI and wrote a cookery column in Sunday Nation for many years. She currently lives in MOMBASA.
The book starts with arrival of early white pioneers and followed by Uganda Railways 1896-1901, from Mombasa to KISUMU(Port Florence). Then followed by settlers. The pioneers had to suffer malaria, Sun, wildlife, natives, siafu ants, locusts and rinderpest. In 1896, the first pioneers to BEA(British East Africa) were, Boedekers, Wallaces and McQueens, taking 6 weeks to travel to the interior. They soon picked the 'kitchen swahili'. Pioneer Mary(bibi kiboko), an Irish, did and sold anything and everything. In 1895, Dr Cook brought the first Rickshaws. Lord Delamere and Dr J E Anderson were other pioneers in 1897. Joseph Thomson and James Martin(Antonio Martini) went up to Victoria Nyanza in 1883. In 1889, John Ainsworth was the first Native Commissioner at MACHAKOS. Abraham Block founded the hotel group and in 1927 bought 'The Norfolk'(built in 1904).
In 1897, NYROBE(Engore Nyrobe-Place of cold water)site was ear-marked as railway headquarters. By 1903, some Indians and Goans had settled in Nairobi and many came in dhows. Europeans wanted best lands, labour and to ban Indians. John Boyes, a Yorkshireman, said to be 'King of the Wakikuyu', supplied the coolies on the Uganda Railways in 1900. Most of the land was not surveyed and settlers were sent onto the blue to choose land. Delays and discomfort on the Uganda Trains was excepted. Shortage of women was acute. Hut tax on Africans was eventually changed to poll tax. Lord Delamere spoke on behalf of white settlers and was anti-Indian. These few whites wanted all the best lands and rights for themselves. As long as no native lived on the land, it was taken or bought. Later many natives and Maasai were just moved on.
In 1904, Ringer and Winearls built 24 bed NORFOLK HOTEL, on Station Road(it was sold by Jack Block in 1927 for £500). In 1913, the settlers Muthiaga Club was founded. No coloured people were allowed into Stanley Hotel. AFRICA ATTRACTED A LOTS OF SCOTSMEN. In 1908, electricity came to Nairobi. Africans didnot farm maize until 1913. Flogging of natives by whites was excepted, even by Ewart Grogan. The British Government was against 'forced African labour'. More Boer families came to BEA from South Africa. Big Game Hunting safaris brought in more money. Bt 1909, Kenya coffee was making a name. In 1910, Railway arrived at NANYUKI. And in 1910, Lord Delamere and his wife went to live on their SOYSAMBU FARM(rock formation). By 1912, the Maasai were moved from LAIKIPIA to Southern Reserve, to make room for whites. And by 1912, cars were in Nairobi, like Model T Ford. On 4.8.1914, World War I was declared in Europe. BEA was not prepared. GEA(German East Africa) became British in 1918 and was renamed as TANGANYIKA. The death toll of Africans was high as 50,000! In 1920, the East Africa Protectorate became Kenya Colony.
Trzebinski has done a lot of research and included in this book a lot of material from unpublished sources, narrating the early history and days of BEA(KENYA-Kere Nyaga in Kikuyu means B/W male ostrich), from 1840 to 1920.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1) Rise of Our East African Empire, Lord Lugard, 2 Volumes 1893(1968)
(2) East Africa Protectorate, Sir Eliot 1905(1968)
(3) A Colony in the Making, Lord Cranworth 1912
(4) Early Days in East Africa, Sir F Jackson 1930(1969)
(5) White Man's Country, Elizabeth Huxley, 2 Volumes 1933(1980
(6) A Cuckoo in Kenya, Major Robert Foran 1936
(7) The Lunatic Express, Charles Miller 1971
(8) We Came in Dhows, Salvadori, 3 Volumes 1996
(9) History of Muthiaga Country Club, Volume I, Stephen Mills 2006
(10)From OxCart to E-mail, N Breed 2011
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed reading this book.
Read and ENJOY.
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on 16 May 2011
This is an excellent book for anyone who lived in Kenya as I did many years ago, very informative and interesting, full of stories and some intrigue. Anyone wanting to know how tough life was in kenya to start with should read this book.
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on 5 August 2013
This was for a friend whose ancestors were among the first Kenyan pioneers and was really good in covering some aspects that the usual books on early Kenyan colonialism don't cover. the detail and pictures are interesting.
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on 11 May 2015
A good yarn badly printed. The type face is smudgy and hard to read. Sent it back.
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