Kenya: Identity of a Nation

Front Cover
New Africa Press, 2007 - History - 236 pages
This book is about Kenya as a country and as a nation. It is also a work of comparative analysis in the African context. It also focuses on the nation as an entity with its own personality and national character. Kenya is one of the most well-known countries in Africa for several reasons. It is one of the major tourist destinations in the world. It is, by African standards, one of the most developed countries on the continent. It also occupies a special place in the history of Africa because of the role it played in the struggle for independence. It was in Kenya where Mau Mau, an uprising against colonial injustices, was fought. Mau Mau was one of the bloodiest and most successful wars in colonial history, and it thrust Kenya into the international spotlight. It also earned the Mau Mau freedom fighters distinction as some of the most outstanding champions of freedom for Africans and as some of the most revered fighters in the struggle for African liberation from imperial rule. They are still remembered today not only as gallant fighters but as some of the pioneers of the African independence movement. Jomo Kenyatta himself, who was accused of leading Mau Mau and who later became the first president of Kenya, was one of the most respected African leaders and was revered as the Grand Old Man of the African independence movement. He cast a long shadow over Kenya and the rest of the continent and his formidable personality and legendary role as the leader of the independence movement also played a major role in thrusting his country on the international scene. Kenya is also the economic powerhouse of East Africa. It has the most developed and the strongest economy among all the countries which constitute the East African Community (EAC). They are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. It is, in fact, the most developed country in the entire region of Eastern Africa which includes the countries in the Horn of Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. This work is a general introduction to Kenya as a country and as a nation. Subjects covered include a short history of the country, its geography including administrative provinces and various ethnic groups in those provinces; Mau Mau and the struggle for independence; the early years of independence; political developments through the decades; the cultures of different ethnic groups; the country's natural resources and much more. Also addressed in the book is the country's ethnic diversity and the impact it has had on Kenya's stability as a country and as a nation composed of different ethnic and racial groups. The author also looks at Kenya's national character from his background as an East African himself from neighbouring Tanzania in a study of comparative analysis between Kenya and Tanzania as political entities with different national characters to demonstrate that nations do, indeed, have different national characters. This is an excellent introduction for those who want to learn about Kenya for the first time, and even for those who already know about Kenya but want to learn more about the country. Students and tourists alike will find this work to be very useful. And for those going to Kenya or anywhere else in East Africa for the first time as tourists, students, scholars or simply as travellers, the book will serve as an excellent source of information about life and different cultures and even about politics in contemporary times in one of the most dynamic countries on the African continent and which casts a shadow over the entire East African region; although the rest of the countries in the region have not been entirely eclipsed by their powerful neighbour.

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Nice introduction to Kenya, its history, its geography, its people. Only a pity there are so many spelling errors in it. Written in a very casual style. And the author tends to repeat himself regularly, often on the same page. Read full review



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