Built 100 years ago, Old PC’s office building was referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded there.
 Built 100 years ago, Old PC’s office building was referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded there.

There are many cultural and historical landmarks in Kenya. Some of the most famous are like the National Museum on Museum Hill Way and Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

Fort_Jesus_mombasa
Fort_Jesus_mombasa

Among the many historical landmarks is the Nairobi Gallery located on the junction of Kenyatta Avenue and Uhuru Highway, just next to Nyayo House.

Entrance-of-the-Nairobi_gallery
Entrance-of-the-Nairobi_gallery

The little quaint building houses some of Kenya’s best-kept secrets that many Kenyans might not know about as they hurriedly walk to and fro to G.P.O that seats in front of it.

The story of Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, the man who gave Jeevanje gardens its name

The owl-grey house that looks forgettable from the exterior actually has a treasure trove for art lovers and is called the Murumbi African Heritage Collections. The building is a legacy of Kenya’s second Vice President, Joseph Zurtate Murumbi, who died in 1990.

Joseph-Murumbi
Joseph-Murumbi

The man together with his wife Sheila, amassed a collection of art that includes sculptures, paintings, and photographs.

Part-of-the-collection-in-the-Gallery
Part-of-the-collection-in-the-Gallery

The items housed in the museum are a portion of Murumbi’s full collection peopled with 50,000 books, 8,000 of them published before 1900.

Murumbi-with-Mzee-Jomo-Kenyatta
Murumbi-with-Mzee-Jomo-Kenyatta

Murumbi had sold his impressive collection to the Kenya government in the 1970s and it was housed at the National Archives before some of it was moved to the Nairobi Gallery.

Murumbi looking at some of his art collections
Murumbi looking at some of his art collections

The building began its storied history in 1913 with it being the office for the Ministry of Native Affairs. The Old PC’s office building was also referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded there.

The-Nairobi-Gallery
Inside the-Nairobi-Gallery

The building is a National Monument and serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions.

According to the National Museums of Kenya, a tour of the Murumbi African Heritage Collection Exhibition costs Ksh 300 for Kenyan citizens Ksh 150 for Kenyan children.

For residents, it costs 600 and non-residents it costs 1200.

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Geoffrey Mbuthia
I am a chef who loves to write. That is why all my stories are well cooked.
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