News / Africa

Reflecting on 50 Years of Kenyan Independence

Reflecting on 50 Years of Kenyan Independencei
X
December 11, 2013 5:23 AM
Thursday will mark 50 years since Kenya gained independence from Britain. A Kenyan man born in 1963, the year his country emerged from decades of colonial rule, reflects on how Kenya has changed. VOA's Mike Richman reports.

Reflecting on 50 Years of Kenyan Independence

Mike Richman
— Thursday will mark 50 years since Kenya gained independence from Britain. As the nation celebrates half a century of self-rule, Kenyans are reflecting on how their country has changed.
 
Frederic Njenga was born in 1963, the year his country emerged from decades of colonial rule. He is an entrepreneur and runs a butcher's shop on the outskirts of Nairobi.
 
His parents, like many Kenyans with high hopes for a country that won hard-fought independence, wanted their son to get a good education. However, they could not afford to pay school fees.
 
"I completed primary school in 1980, then I went to high school. I studied for the first two terms, but then we couldn't afford the fees so I was forced to quit. Living in the village, in a rural area, you have to think about what else you will do. So I decided to start a business with money I had saved working in people's farms, and that's how I started,” recalled Njenga.
 
Like many people in rural communities, Njenga shares a home with his extended family. He lives with his parents and four children.
              
As the owner of a butcher shop, he often travels to the local livestock market to buy supplies. He does not own a car, so he uses a public transport minibus known as a "matatu."
 
Life can be hard and money is sometimes tight, but Njenga believes Kenya has made major progress over the years.
 
"If you think back to the early 1970s, there were no paved roads or tapped water.  Electricity wasn't accessible to all people, and today most people have electricity in their homes. Many of the main roads are tarmac (paved) so the government has tried,” said Njenga.
 
There are large suppliers of meat in Kenya, but many people still rely on small-scale traders like Njenga who sell meat at a relatively lower cost.
 
When asked what he hopes the future holds for himself and Kenya, Njenga is non-committal.
 
"I can't tell you what the future of the country will be, but ask me about business.  All we want is for us to be able to make a living,” he said.
 
Njenga hopes that as Kenya marks 50 years of independence from colonial rule, his country will continue to grow and develop -- and give his children and grandchildren a better chance for a comfortable life.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid