Nairobi, Kenya is one of East Africa’s largest and most important cities.
It’s where we are for the next week or so.
I’m a village person.
My village is Dry Creek, Louisiana.
I’m not crazy about Nairobi. It didn’t get its nickname, “Nairobbery” by accident.
Africans have a hard time believing there are villages in America. They’ve watched too much TV and American music videos to believe otherwise.
Until the late nineteenth century, Nairobi was a small outpost located in the Kenyan foothills east of the Great Rift Valley.
Two things caused its growth.
The Ugandan Railroad.
And Nairobi’s elevation.
The British built the Uganda Railway from Mombasa on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast to Kampala, Uganda.
This huge project presented many difficulties.
Even man-eating lions. (Have you seen the movie “Ghosts in the Darkness”)?
The railroad was built on the back of thousands of Indian immigrants who came to the continent, stayed, and now form an important segment of east African commerce and culture.
Nairobi was a small whistlestop between the sea and Uganda.
It’s location and elevation played an integral part in the British making Nairobi its governmental and business capital.
It was on the equator but above the malaria line.
It’s 5500 foot elevation is higher than the American “Mile High City” of Denver.
The malaria-causing Anopheles mosquito cannot live and breed at this elevation.
Europeans could live and work in Nairobi without fear of malaria.
And that’s how Nairobi, Kenya became the key crossroads of this side of the continent.