Uhuru ParkUhuru Park
Uhuru Park is serene recreational spot overlooking the skyscrapers of Nairobi city.
Uhuru Park is almost as old as independent Kenya. The first president, Jomo Kenyatta, opened it to citizens in 1969 and since then, it has hosted millions of local and international leisure seekers, religious leaders, political leaders and their followers. Uhuru is a Swahili word. It means freedom.
This recreational ground adds greenery and life to the city. Its beauty and serenity contrasts the skyscrapers and the gas emitting vehicular traffic that is the usual madness of an urban setting. Situated a dash away from the city centre, facing Nyayo House, View Park Towers and other buildings, it is a popular relaxation zone for the city’s residents.
This recreational centre is breathtaking. A row of trees and a bougainvillea fence forms a perimeter on the four sides of this park. Inside, lawns, concrete pavements and trees offer an excellent environment. There is an artificial lake with footbridges over it to other sections of the park. You can ride a boat with the tall buildings of the city giving you a magical background in sharp contrast to the greenery in the park. There are several concrete park benches planted in this public garden.
When national functions take place there, the place comes alive with hordes of people, the police and convoys. Skateboarders meet in this park every week. This, added to the usual crowd looking for a free but comfortable place, means there is always activity within the park.
A number of historical activities have taken place here. The late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai demonstrated against the construction of a 62-storey building by the second president of Kenya, Daniel Moi. She led other activists in protesting the grabbing of public land by the president’s political party, in 1989.
In addition, she brought the mothers of detainees together to demand the release of these political prisoners in 1991. A section of the park, known as the Freedom Corner, bore the brunt of this protest.