The British Gulag in Kenya

In 1895, the Britsh colonial government established the East Africa Protectorate, whose territory comprised most of modern-day Kenya. It was succeeded in 1920, by the establishment of the ‘Colony and Protectorate of Kenya,’ which was ruled by the British until the declaration of Kenyan independence in 1963. Leading up to the end of the 20th… Continue reading The British Gulag in Kenya

The Evolution of Swahili

How did Swahili -- a child of Bantu language origins, some Arabic vocabulary, Portuguese influence, birthed on the coast of East Africa -- become the lingua franca of more than 100 million people in over 8 countries in Africa, including a national language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the DRC? What we now know as… Continue reading The Evolution of Swahili

Fumo Liyongo: Mythical King and Folk Hero of the Swahili Coast

Fumo Liyongo was a historical ruler who lived on the Swahili Coast sometime between the 9th and 16th century. Regardless of the exact time when he lived, Liyongo's  legend continues on to this day through the Swahili epic poem Utenzi wa Liyongo (‘Legend of Liyongo’).   The main conflict of the poem revolves around Liyongo… Continue reading Fumo Liyongo: Mythical King and Folk Hero of the Swahili Coast

Zheng He: Chinese Explorer in East Africa

The world seems to be concerned with China’s new inroads into Africa but it’s history of engagement with the continent goes back 600 years and predates Europe’s by several decades. In Lamu, Kenya DNA testing has revealed the intermixing of African and Chinese communities that date back to the Ming Dynasty. How did the Chinese… Continue reading Zheng He: Chinese Explorer in East Africa