100 years….

Upon arrival in Nairobi this morning, I took some time off to enjoy the hectic chaos downtown and just walk around without any proper destination.
Just these precious moments when you don’t have to work and actually have the time to open your eyes and see a bit of this Nairobi world which constantly hides between modern buildings and still shows the very beginnings of this not-so-old City in the Sun.

What I especially like are these old builindgs – some of them dating back to 1920 – that still exist within the old parts of this city and give it the extra charm.

Nairobi, I think, wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for these old structures that really “add value” – not only from a touristic perspective.

So I came across Jeevanjee Gardens…

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The last time I’ve been to Jeevanjee Gardens in downtown Nairobi was……1996?

I remembered this place being a dusty, dirty and very dry hide-out for glue-sniffing street children. A forgotten place which had been ignored by most Nairobians just like many other city parks.

And today?

Green grass after the rains, beautiful trees, a cleanded up and apparently maintained environment and – best of all – lots of Nairobians relaxing on the grass.

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….”donated in 1906 to the Residents of Nairobi”.

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And upon seeing this statue in honour of Queen Victoria, I suddenly realized that this place has been a public park since 100 years now. 100 YEARS!

Thank you, Bwana Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee!

AOB:

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Ok, this is for Acolyte and my jamaas from home – “Topaz” (behind the park). We used to get our oily chips from here when all other shops were already closed and something like “Steers” & Co. didn’t exist.

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Na Steve…I needed to pop in(to) pop-in on Moi Avenue again and enjoy this vintage arrangement of old computer games. You know how many collectors there would be on Ebay who’d bid for any of these old video game machines?
Pop-In always is a journey back into childhood.

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Look! Another “iMatatu“, but this time a SONY MP4 player. Rocks just as well.

The Matatu driver smiled all over his face and praised the little player for its size and convenience. Is this the future of mobile entertainment in Kenya?
(the switch mutes the output signal of the player)

9 comments » Write a comment

  1. Wow. nice memories. Topaz, the oily fries ummm chips and the oilier kebabs and chicken and how good it tasted at 5 am. Totally homesick.

    Had to notice how clean Nairobi is. Can’t get over that.

  2. Thank you! Thank you! – Great memories! I am glad I will be home soon!

  3. yo jke. youre right its crazy to think how far it goes back. the old english influence still seen everywhere. i get that here in melbourne too. old victorian or even edwardian architecture hidden but still very influencial on the whole city scenery… and yeah man crazy to think that those parks are actually really used by people to hang out on the grass. thats great. wasnt always like that.

  4. True, Jevanjee is beautiful, peaceful and green. Ask the Lunchtime preachers who frequent the place all weekdays and spoil all the peace!

    Popin still exists! Damn…

  5. Wonderful pics! I do remember when Jeevanjee was over run with preachers and parking boys, it was a sad state of affairs I tell you! The NCC seem to be doing something right or is it another organisation that is responsible for that?
    As for Topaz, many a somersaulting chicken and chips were consumed there after a night out, 1/4 chicken and chips for only $3! It doesn’t get any better than that!
    As for those games, I do believe a fortune can be made from them!
    One also has to give full marks to our matatu drivers for innovation.
    Great post!

  6. Jevanjee Gardens was going to be grabbed but for a spirited fight by Alibhai Jeevanjee’s granddaughter, Zarina Patel, who is to the JG what Wangari Mathaai is to Uhuru Park.

    Also JG is maintained by the foundation with help from the City Council though it is the foundation that took the first step!

    I hope this example serves to highlight why we can’t have idiots building on such land… We need some green… Landgrabbers are tragetting Lenana School & Nairobi National Park…

    Lenana School Old Boys have put up a fight… the same needs to happen with NNP.