In Summary

  • The park has a perimeter hedge around it and is manned by security guards around the clock. Here, your mind somehow tunes away from the noise in the busy streets outside.
  • Our guide, and the park’s general manager, Ms Natasha Mbugguss, tells us that all the plants in the park are indigenous and come from different parts of the country.
  • The rocks lining the brick-paths were collected from different river beds in the country. At the centre of the park is the memorial wall where names of those who perished are engraved.
  • In front of it is a fountain designed in Chinese Yin Yang sign, the symbol of life.

On August 7, 1998, terrorists struck Nairobi. 205 Kenyans and 12 Americans were killed when Al-Qaeda terrorists hit the US embassy in the city. An estimated 4,000 were wounded. Ufundi House, next to the US embassy, was reduced to rubble.

Fast forward to 2017 and the 1998 bomb blast site is no longer the gloomy place it once was. The grounds, now referred to as August 7th Memorial Park, opened in 2001. Individuals, corporates, the US embassy, and President Daniel arap Moi funded the transformation of the blast site into a park.

It is now a peaceful spot in the busy capital. Here you will find small groups of people holding meetings in tents. There is even a class going on in one of the tents. 

“When you compare a classroom environment and this, the open environment helps students to express themselves freely,” said Mr Dan Onyango, a lecturer holding his class here.

He cited orderliness and peace and quiet within the park. “We like it in the morning when nature is fresh,” he said.

This system of teaching, Mr Onyango said, has become popular in western countries such as Italy, “where professors fancy teaching in open air.”

Holding classes under the green tents to ‘chama’ meetings, not to mention the lively conversations on the benches and scores asleep on the contoured grassy landscape is testimony to the peace and tranquillity here.

The park has a perimeter hedge around it and is manned by security guards around the clock. Here, your mind somehow tunes away from the noise in the busy streets outside.

Our guide, and the park’s general manager, Ms Natasha Mbugguss, tells us that all the plants in the park are indigenous and come from different parts of the country. The rocks lining the brick-paths were collected from different river beds in the country. At the centre of the park is the memorial wall where names of those who perished are engraved. In front of it is a fountain designed in Chinese Yin Yang sign, the symbol of life.

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