Kenyan women. *Photo from Wikipedia
December 12 is Jamhuri Day, celebrates the independence of Kenya from Britain in 1963.
Throughout the centuries, the Kenyan Coast has played host to many merchants and explorers. In 1414, the Chinese trader and explorer Zheng He (鄭和) representing the Ming Dynasty visited the East African coast. Also Malindi (important Swahili settlement since the 14th century) authorities welcomed the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498.
The colonial history of Kenya dates from the establishment of a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar’s coastal possessions in 1885, followed by the arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888. Incipient imperial rivalry was forestalled when Germany handed its coastal holdings to Britain in 1890. In 1920 the East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony and renamed Kenya, for its highest mountain.
After WWII, from October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the Mau Mau (Kenya Land and Freedom Army, KLFA) rebellion against British rule.
The first direct elections for native Kenyans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Despite British hopes of handing power to “moderate” local rivals, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) that formed a government.
The Colony of Kenya and the Protectorate of Kenya each came to an end on December 12, 1963 with independence being conferred on all of Kenya. The United Kingdom ceded sovereignty over the Colony of Kenya and, under an agreement dated October 8, 1963, the Sultan of Zanzibar agreed that simultaneous with independence for the Colony of Kenya, the Sultan would cease to have sovereignty over the Protectorate of Kenya so that all of Kenya would be one sovereign, independent state.
And exactly 12 months later on December 12, 1964, Kenya became a republic under the name “Republic of Kenya”.
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country which lies on the equator. It is bordered by Tanzania to the south and south-west, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east.