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Monday, November 7, 2016

How Did the African Country of Kenya Get Its Name?

Where did Kenya's name come from? 


 Who named the African country of Kenya? Below are five interesting facts on how the world’s 31st most populated county, Kenya, received her name.


Kenya name facts:

Grandmother and granddaughter of the Maasai east Africa Kenya tribe.
Grandmother and granddaughter of the
Maasai east Africa Kenya tribe.
1.   What is now Kenya, in 1888, the Imperial British East Africa Company established claims to territory and in 1895, and the company’s territory in Kenya was transferred to the crown as the East Africa Protectorate.

2.   Currently as a presidential republic, in 1920, the British East Africa Protectorate or British East Africa was renamed Kenya.

3.   The official theory of Kenya’s name according to the Kenyan government's website is as follows; the name Kenya came from Kirinyaga that means a place with white spots. Kenya is named after Mount Kenya- the second tallest Mountain in Africa. 

Maasai East Africa Kenya tribes man.
Maasai East Africa
Kenya tribes man.
    The Kikuyu people who lived around present day Mt Kenya referred to it as Kirinyaga or Kerenyaga, meaning mountain of whiteness because of its snowcapped peak. 

    Mt Kirinyaga, which was the main landmark, became synonymous with the territory the British later claimed as their colony. The name Kenya arose out of the inability of the British to pronounce Kirinyaga correctly.

4.   Kiswahili and English are Kenya's official languages, the local long form name for Kenya is the Republic of Kenya in English and Jamhuri ya Kenya in Kiswahili.


5.   The unofficial theory on how Kenya got its name; Kenya named for Mount Kenya may derive from the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words "kirinyaga," "kirenyaa," and "kiinyaa" - all of which mean "God's resting place".

A large herd of elephants makes its way across Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya. Amboseli is generally recognized as the best place in Africa to get close to elephants in their natural surroundings.
A large herd of elephants makes its way
 across Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya

Did you know?

Kenya is divided horizontally by the Equator. Kenya is bordered to the north by South Sudan and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, to the south by Tanzania, and to the west by Lake Victoria and Uganda.

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