History of Kenya

History of Kenya

History of Kenya Over the many years, Kenya has developed and evolved through various historical changes that had led to current status of the country. The country has evolved and developed into various aspects, resulting in the modern nation. Many sectors in Kenya have gone through a lot of changes and transformations before their current existences. Country’s aspects such as geography, demographic, largest towns and cities,

ethnic groups, languages, governance, administrative divisions, foreign relations and military, law enforcement, human rights, mining, transportation sector, health, education,  sports, poetry, cuisine, communication, women, culture,  and media and entertainments. Kenya has had various historical development starting from the migration of the people from their place of origin to settle in the current places they live in the country.

Kenya Flag
Kenya Flag

The migration shows various communities migrate into the country and settled in different parts of the nation. After the migration and settlement of the communities in Kenya, they established and positioned themselves well where they formed their own government. Later there was arrival of the Europeans who came as explorers, missionaries among other roles and later started to settle in the country, displacing the people from the lands. The displacements, settlements and Europeans regime were met with a lot of resistance from the local communities during the colonial period. However,

there are some of the individuals who led their communities in collaborating with the Europeans so that they can benefit from the regime. Nonetheless the struggle for the independence continued and eventually the country was granted its independent in 1963. Since then the country has had several head of states who includes, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki and the current President Uhuru Kenyatta. The mentioned aspects in Kenya have gone through a lot of changes and transformation before their current existence and practice. Objectively, the article majors on the historical developments of these aspects before they appear or become what they are currently.


Etymology is the study of the origin of the name and the development of the name throughout history. The name of the country has evolved and developed through some historical perspectives. Initially, the country was known as British East Africa Protectorate before its official change to Kenya in 1921. According to historical parts of the country, the name Kenya was extracted from the Kamba language pronunciation of MT Kenya’s traditional name, kirinyaga, and kinyaa. The community referred to the mountain as kinyaa due to it’s perennially capped with snow despite the tropical Kenyan climate. The continuous use of the name led to the renaming of the country based on the mountain, which is the country’s largest highland point.


Kenya has a diverse geography that varies across the different parts of the country. The geography of the country comprises of coastline on the Indian Ocean which contains swamps of the East African mangroves. The inland consists of the broad plains and vast hills that are distributed in various parts of the country. The highest point in the country is mt. Kenya has an altitude of 5199 meters. The country covers an area of 582,640km2, a population of around 42 million people.Besides, the country has a huge depression known as the rift valley marked by a succession of cliffs. The capital city of the country is Nairobi, which houses many international and government offices. The country is border Sudan and Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Tanzania to the south, and Uganda to the west.

Demographics History of Kenya

Kenya demography is comprised of multi-ethnic groups that live in different parts of the country. Primarily, the country is comprised of Nilotic, Bantus, Cushitic speakers who form the largest part of the demography in addition to the people from foreign nations. In the 2009 census, the country reported a population of 38.6 million people as compared to 1999 28.7 million, 1989 21.4, and 1979 15.3 million people.

Largest cities or towns in Kenya

There are different large cities and town in the country which includes Nairobi, which serves as the capital city. As the capital city, government offices and headquarters are located in the Nairobi capital. Also, international organizations and bodies have most of their official headquarters housed in Nairobi. Additionally, Nairobi serves as diplomatic headquarters with high commission and embassies offices. Other major cities in the country include Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Kisumu that have grown and developed due to various factors such as agricultural, industries, tourists, among others.

Ethnic Groups History of Kenya

Kenya is a diverse country with various ethnic populations. The major ethnic groups in the country are comprised of Nilotic and Bantu speakers, which constitutes more than 90% of the country’s population. The other community includes the Cushites, Asians, and European heritage that lives in the country. Some of the tribes living in the state include Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, Luo, Somali, Meru, Turkana, Asians, European, Kenyan Arabs, and Luhya, among others.

Languages History of Kenya

In Kenya, there are different ethnic languages where each ethnic group speaker their mother tongue. However, there are two official languages in the country, which includes English and Kiswahili. In an official communication, these are the only two languages acceptable in the country. The two languages are used as the unifying factors to unite different racial groups together.


There are different religions practiced by the country. The most common religions in Kenya are Christianity, Islamic, Hinduism, and traditionalist. Christianity is the largest religion in the country, which accounts for more than 80% of the whole population.


History of Kenya The country is governed by the President, who is assisted by the deputy president in ruing the country. The president is the head of the government, which is comprised of the cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries who help the president in serving the country under various ministries. There is also a national assembly which is comprised of elected members of parliament who help in the legislative process. As such, the national assembly help in the passing of laws in the country.

Administrative Divisions

For easier administration of the country and service delivery to the people, the country is divided into various units, which help in easy service delivery to the people. As per the new constitution, the country adopted majimbo forms of government in which the country has been divided into 47 counties. The counties are headed by the governors and senators who help in the oversight processes. The governors are responsible for governing the country where each county is managed independently.

The counties have their ministers who help in the service delivery to the local people. Besides, the counties are subdivided into wards, which are headed by the members of the county History of Kenya assembly who carry out their functions at the ward level. Other than the counties, the county is also divided into constituencies which are headed by the members of the parliament who carry out functions at the constituency level. Lastly, for easier administration, the country is divided into locations and sub-locations, which are headed by chiefs and sub-chiefs, respectively. The chiefs and sub-chiefs represent the president in locations and sub-locations, respectively.

Law Enforcement

In ensuring laws are enforced in the country, there is a various police departments that help in law enforcement in Kenya. The main organizations in Kenya that help in law enforcement include The National Police Service, which is comprised of different police departments that help in enforcing the law in the country.

Human Rights

The country constitution guarantees various human rights that the citizens should enjoy freely without violations. The human rights in the country are established to uphold human dignity and ensure save the existence of the people in the country. Some of the human rights advocated in the country’s constitution include the right to equality, equal justice, non-discrimination, equity, protection of the marginalized group in the country. Acting against human rights in the country result in the violation of the constitution, which is punishable under the country’s set laws.


The main backbone History of Kenya economy is the agricultural sector, where the majority of the people in the country depend on the agricultural sector. The country is known as the leading exporters of agricultural products like tea, coffee, and pyrethrum. Also, other crops such as maize, beans, peas, and other crops are grown on a small scale for domestic consumption where maize is the staple food for the country. The country also engages in other activities that boost the country’s economic growth.

Mining History of Kenya

Kenya is engaged in various mining activities which have helped in the extraction of different minerals that are used in multiple sectors of the economy. Some of the mineral resources mined in Kenya include Soda ash, Fluorspar, limestone, gold, salt, fossil fuels. As per the country’s mining Act, all the un-extractedminerals belong to the government.

Transportation Air Rail Roads

The common mode of transport in the country is by means of roads. There are tarmac, murram, and all-weather roads connecting various parts of the country. Over the years, the country has developed its transport system where modern roads and high way like Thika Super High Way has been developed to connect roads from the major towns to the capital city, Nairobi. Airway transport is also used in ferrying people from the major cities, which has been made easier by the existing airports and airstrips that have been developed in the country to help in the landing of the aircraft from the local and international airports.

The air transport is the most common form of transport used by the people in and outside the country. On the other hand, railway transport continues to develop in the country since its independence, where it has been used in ferrying bulky goods from part of the country to the other. The country has railway lines joining major towns and cities that help in the transportation of raw materials and goods from point to the other. The country has started to embrace modern railway transport, which has led to the development of the State Gauge Railway (SGR), which connects the Mombasa terminal and Nairobi. The modern train is used in the transportation of people and containers from the Mombasa port to Nairobi for easy distribution to other parts of the country.


The health care system in the country is structured into different levels, which are grouped depending on their size and the complexity of the health conditions issues they address. The structuring of the health system is to help in the convenient provision of health care services to the whole population. There are public, private, and mission health care facilities in the country that help in the provision of health care services to the community. Different structures of health care facilities that exist in the state include dispensaries and private clinics, health centers, sub-district hospitals, and nursing homes, district hospitals and private hospitals, provincial and national hospitals, which help in the provision of different health care conditions with various complexities.


The current education system in Kenya is an 8-4-4 system model where the students spend eight years in primary education, four years in secondary education, and four years in the undergraduate curriculum. According to the education system in Kenya, primary education starts at the age of six years. The country has a large number of both the public and private schools that offering education at different levels.

History of Kenya And Culture

As noted, Kenya has diverse ethnic groups whose culture activities and practices are varying. The different cultural practices and activities form the vast Kenyan culture that is embraced by different people, both locally and globally. Some of the cultural activities practiced by different people include bullfighting among the Luhya, boat racing, among other cultural activities practiced by different ethnic groups in the country.


Women’s traits have evolved under various categories, including women among the Swahili culture, women in British Kenya, and Kenyan women in the post-independence. Over the years, women’s roles and traits in the societies have been redefined where women are allowed to take part in various democratic activities like an election in the country. In the country’s new constitution, more leadership positions, referred to as women representatives, have been created to allow more women into leadership positions. Currently, women have equal rights with men in the country, which have helped in bridging the gender gap that has existed in the country.

Media and Entertainment

In Kenya media and entertainment industry have evolved and developed, leading to the establishment of the various entertainment joints like clubs, pubs, and cinema halls, among many others, which help in the provision of various entertainment services in the country. Also, many media stations, including televisions and radios, have emerged, which provide different media content to the people.

Cuisine History of Kenya

Cuisine is the style of cooking food that is characterized by different ingredients, techniques, and dishes. In Kenya, Cuisine is associated with different ethnic groups that practice varying methods of cooking and dieting. The various tribes in Kenya are related to certain types of food that they cook, such as fish among the Luos or chicken among the Luhya communities.Cuisine varies depending on the type of population in the country.


In the development of poetry in Kenya, there is PAL, which is a spiritual platform that allows people to share their poetic thoughts freely at the Kenya cultural center. The poetic activities are organized weekly in the cultural center every Thursday from 1:30 to 3 pm at the KCC  Poetry in Kenya is practiced in various categories to honor the country’s heroes and heroines, among other people, for their immense contribution to the multiple aspects of the country’s development


In Kenya, games have developed, which have seen the country shine in various forms of sports in the global competition. Some of the sports in the country include athletics, which comprise of both track, field, and running events, which is one of the areas that the state does best.  Other games in Kenya include football, rugby, motorsports, field hockey, handball, netball, and boxing, among other sporting activities practiced in the country.

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