The magnificent Uhuru Gardens National Monument and Museum in Nairobi, which is one of the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, is expected to attract over two (2) million visitors per year after completion of 33 galleries that will be put in place.
The massive project designed by Kenyans in a span of 22 months, has seen 16 galleries already completed while the remaining 17 galleries are expected to be completed by the year 2025.
The completed museum galleries include the people of Kenya, military heritage, birth of Kenya, the Moi exhibition, the Kibaki exhibition, tunnel of martyrs, hall of witness, independence gallery, rope gallery, struggle for independence, Turi station, tomb of the unknown warrior, water feature, JKPL, identity gallery and the plaza of the people gallery.
President Uhuru Kenyatta who hosted senior military officers and media executives at Uhuru Gardens facility, yesterday, said the facility that will be opened to the public in September this year, is vital as it will enlighten Kenyans on the history of their culture, to celebrate the good and bad, as part of history, as well as provide leisure and recreational for enjoyment.
“The facility as custodian of historical artifacts, will provide various audios, videos, photographs and stories of how Kenya was birthed and shaped. It will be the face of what we are,” said President Uhuru.
He said the forefathers had decided that Uhuru Gardens be the country’s independent site in remembrance and as a place where thousands of Kenyans were incarcerated and died while fighting for freedom and independence.
The Head of State said the Museum will help the media to validate their stories, verify history, to report factually in order to back their facts, thereby enriching their profession instead of writing on hearsay.
President Uhuru at the same time noted that the facility that is expected to host thousands of people when it commences operation, will also help the country to identify its capacity, celebrate and understand cultures besides hosting national celebrations.
“This facility will be opened to the public after all the necessary artifacts have been put in place, as this institution has to be run professionally. We do not want to rush, everything has to be done right,” he said.
The President added, “We want to ensure that every indigenous culture is captured and reflected. We have the Makonde tribe, and those from Rwanda and Zimbabwe, the Omani’s, Pakistani’s and India, who came into the country in the 60’s, who have been part of the wonderful story in Kenya”.
He at the same time called on the media to write positive and inspirational stories about the country that give hope, encouragement, build and can make people great by bringing out and telling the truth, as it is for future generation.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi said plans are underway to ratify some of the Kenyan artifacts that are in the United Kingdom so that they can be repatriated back to the country for display at the museum.
“We have collected artifacts from all the 47 counties. We are undertaking to bring focus groups among them engineers, architects, people living with disabilities, elders from communities, to give their contribution on what has been left out and the areas to modify,” he stated.
He at the same time added that the Museum will also have a tombstone of those departed of the unknown warriors, who paid a heavy price in the struggle for independence.
General Kibochi said the facility will be run by a multi-agency team, including the Kenya Defense Forces, National Police Service and the National Museums of Kenya.
Uhuru Gardens National Monument and Museum, located in Langata, Nairobi that sits on 68 acres of government land will be an arena where the past, present and future will converge to remember former freedom fighters and a place to celebrate national days.
By Bernadette Khaduli