Hilarioua how kenyan towns were named

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caitlin

Senior Villager
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Dagoretti Corner:
The place was originally known as
“The Great Corner” and the
Africans could not pronounce it
correctly and the corrupted version
became Dagoretti Corner which was
directly from The Great Corner
which has stuck to this day. The
Great Corner was the site of the
first airfield in Kenya; a patchy
grass runway around the present
Meteorological Department.
Rumuruti:
Rumuruti is a town in Laikipia
County about 40km north of
Nyahururu. How did it get its’
name? The town was on the route
from Nyahururu to Mararal which
was commonly used by white
settlers. They referred to the trail
between the two settlements as a
“Remote route”. The corrupted
version of this then became
Rumuruti, the town name as we
know it today. Rumuruti was the
site of a huge meteor shower in
1934 and some of them are on sale
on e-bay.
Thogoto:
The Church of Scotland Mission
was the first mission to settle in
the now little town near Kikuyu in
Kiambu County. The local Kikuyu
Community could not pronounce
the name Scotland easily and they
would pronounce it as “Thigoto”
and thus the name Thogoto was
born. Today the town has
maintained the name Thogoto and
that PCEA Church of the Torch one
of the oldest mission churches still
stands.
Kapropita:
This is a town in the former Rift
Valley in Baringo County. A settler
known as Corporal Peter lived in
the area during the pre-
independence period. His name
was a tough one for the locals to
pronounce and the area soon was
referred as Kapropita which is a
corrupted version of Corporal
Peter.
Kabarnet:
It’s believed that the town is
named after a French man known
as Barnet who settled in the area
and made it his home. The local
Tugen people then started to refer
to the place as Ka- Barnet. The
word “Ka” means “the homestead
of” and therefore the name Ka-
Barnet means the place/home of
Barnet.
Rod-Kopany: Is a busy town in
Homa-Bay County. During the
construction of a road in the area
the Mehta Singh Road Company
the residents would refer to it as
Rodi Kopany. This name quickly
stuck and the town was known as
Rod-Kopany which is a corruption
of the name Road Company.
Kirigiti:
There was a popular cricket field in
Kiambu and it was popular with
settlers who would frequent the
place from surrounding farms. The
local Kikuyu community could not
pronounce the name Cricket and
they pronounced it as Kirigiti.
Today the stadium is referred to as
Kirigiti which is just a version of
Cricket but with a Kikuyu
corruption to it. Mzee Jomo
Kenyatta held his last rally at
Kirigiti stadium before the
declaration of emergency in 1952.
Roysambu:
Roysambu is a suburb along the
Thika superhighway in Nairobi City
County. The place was known as
“Royal Suburbs” during the
colonial times. However the
Africans in Nairobi pronounced it
as Roy-Sabu and thus it got the
name “Roysambu”.
Kariakor: During the First World
War a contingent of Africans were
in the British army as carrying
luggage. The Carrier Corps, as they
were known, carried everything the
soldiers needed to survive during
the East African Campaign of the
First World War. Their base in
Nairobi was around the present
day Kariakor area. The locals simply
called the place Carrier corps
which with a local dialect influence
sounded like “Kariako” and it’s
today still called by that name.
Tenwek:
Is a shopping centre located in
Bomet County and location of one
of the oldest hospitals in the
region which was built in 1936. The
name Tenwek is believed to have
come about because it took ten
weeks to travel from the Mombasa
to the area by foot.
Matayos:
In the county of Busia there is a
trading called Matayos. According
to the residents of Busia a
European by the name Mathew
moved to the area during the
colonial times. The residents
referred to him as “Mathayo” which
is the Kiswahili version of Mathew.
However, in Luhya dialect the name
was pronounced as “Matayo”.
Today Matayos is one of the new
constituencies in Busia.
Mombasa
was first called Kongowea. There
came a time that many wars were
fought that is why Kongowea was
later to be known as Kisiwa Cha
Mvita (or Mvita for short), which
means ‘Island of War’, due to the
many changes in its ownership.
The town is also the headquarters
of Mombasa District which, like
most other districts in Kenya, is
named after its chief town. Several
changes came about and Mvita
came to be a place as “mambo ni
sasa”, to literally mean (things are
now). The name Mambasa was
concocted from the 1st four letters
of MAMBO and the last 3 letters of
SASA where we get MAMBASA. This
was later to be changed to
Mombasa for easier pronunciation.
Kisumu
When the Europeans first settled
in the area in the late 19th
century, Kisumu became a trading
post – attracting the Luo people
from as far as Migori and Siaya
County. The Kisumu region was
then occupied by the Luo
community. A person going to
Kisumu at that time would say,
‘Adhi Kisuma’ to mean I’m going to
trade. Derived from the word
‘Kisuma’, the word for a trading
post in Luo is ‘Kisumo’. The current
name Kisumu is an English
corruption of the word ‘Kisumo’.
An opposing theory states that
Kisumu acquired it’s name from
‘Kusuma.’ The Maragoli word for
‘trading.’ Because, before the Luo
arrived in the area, the Maragoli
were already trading with other
people in the area like the Nandi
and Maasai. It should be noted
that some Luo words were acquired
from the Maragoli.
Nakuru
The name derives from a Masai
word meaning ‘place of dust’.
Although its history can be dated
back to the prehistoric period
thanks to archaeological findings at
Hyrax Hill, modern Nakuru came
into existence in 1900 when the
building of the railway opened up
access to the surrounding lush
countryside attracting hundreds of
white settlers to the area.
Marsabit
The county is said to have been
named after a Burji farmer called
Marsa who was brought to Marsabit
(from Ethiopia) by colonialists to
teach the locals how to grow crops.
When his name was called out by
his masters, Marsa used to answer
‘Abet’ (Yes in Amharic) and this led
to the creation of the name Marsa-
Abeit – which later became
Marsabit.
Voi
According to local history the name
of town comes from a slave trader
called Chief Kivoi who settled near
the Voi River about 400 years ago.
There after the village grew as a
trading centre for the local Taita
people with other Kenyan tribes
and Arabs.
Eldoret
The name Eldoret is derived from
the Maasai word ‘eldore’, which
literally means stony river. The
river bed of the Sosiani River is
very stony, whence the town
derives its name. The town came
into being in the year 1910 with
the construction of a post office on
a site, which was known to the
white settlers as Farm 64, 64 or
Sisibo.
The locals at that time referred to
the town as Farm 64, 64 or Sisibo
because, the town of Eldoret was
64 miles away from the newly
established Uganda Railway
railhead, located at Kibigori.
The farm was owned by Willy van
Aardt. The Central Lounge in
Eldoret is all that survives of
Willy’s farm. When the governor
planned to build an administrative
center, the Post Office was
renamed from 64 to Eldoret, now
the official name of the town in
the year 1912.
Kakamega
Kakamega was so named because
the word ‘kakamega’ translates
roughly to ‘pinch’ in Kiluhyah,
which was used to describe how
European colonists would eat the
staple food, ugali.
Nyeri
The name Nyeri is derived from the
Maasai word nyiro, meaning
red.The Maasai people, who once
lived in the county, called the area
nyiro – after it’s red volcanic
soil.The named was later changed
to Nyeri by white settler farmers.
Karatina
The name Karatina is a diminutive
term for ‘Muratina’ – the name of a
squash/courgette tree. The town
was founded before the British
Colonization of Kenya by Gikuyu
women who used to trade their
crafts and food under a courgette
(muratina) tree. Women would
direct each other on where to sell
or buy merchandise under the
Karatina.
 
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