In Summary
  • In 1963,when Kenya attained independence, the white settlers left the country leaving behind their farms and iconic buildings behind.
  • Kenyans moved to occupy the lands and houses that were previously a show of white's rule and wealth.
  • In Muhoroni, Kisumu county lies three such houses that hosted the settlers and have since been occupied by Africans after they bought them.

Before Kenya gained independence, this territory was known as East Africa Protectorate under the British Colony.

The highlands were reserved for the white settlers, something that didn’t augur well with the Indians. The highlands were considered rich and fertile .

The preserve for whites in the country were Rift valley and areas bordering the high lands. One such place was Muhoroni, the heart of Kisumu county.

It borders Kericho and Nandi counties, areas considered to be fertile hence conducive for farming.

In Muhoroni, the white settlers built houses, with some still standing to date.

The buildings were built with the colonial fare and epitomized the grandiosity and influence of the whites living in the country at the time. They grew crops and kept animals.

The house owned by the family of Peter Odoyo. It was originally owned by Lord Kitchener. PHOTO| BENJAMIN OPIYO

In 1963,when Kenya attained independence, the white settlers left the country leaving behind their farms and iconic buildings behind.

Kenyans moved to occupy the lands and houses that were previously a show of white's rule and wealth.

In Muhoroni, Kisumu county lies three such houses that hosted the settlers and have since been occupied by Africans after they bought them.

In a small centre in Tamu, a two-hours drive from Kisumu International Airport, a partly stone walled building has stood the test of time.

It used to be a home to one of the white settlers but the government later took possession and turned it to a local health centre.

To qualify the standards of a hospital, the government renovated it. But a look at it still gives the impression of a century old building built with stones.

To understand the history behind these settlements, I visited 94 year old Habil Obiero who lives two kilometres from the hospital.

The old man says he moved to the settlement scheme in 1962. “I have spent a huge chunk of my life here. I schooled and settled here,” he says.

It has been 55 years. Habil tells me that the structure was owned by a white man but after he left, a man named Benjamin Okang' acquired the property.

TRIES TO REMEMBER THE EVENTS

“Okang’ bought the property but the government took possession of the building and turned into a health centre, that’s what stands their today,” he says, trying with much difficulty to remember the events.

The structure resembles a mansionette further telling that it was a home to one of the white men that Habil couldn’t remember his name due to old age.

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