Founding father Jomo Kenyatta’s rural home at Ichaweri Village in Gatundu South Kiambu County is going to be turned into a museum.
The homestead is located along Kenyatta Road with a unique V-shaped entrance.
In 1963, 600 school children were invited to the homestead where they unanimously chose Kenya’s national anthem. This was after the Cabinet ministers were unable to select from the three composed as samples.
The museum will showcase the whole story of Jomo Kenyatta from when he was born until when he died.
Kenyan Museums of Kenya, CEO Mzaelendo Kibunja in an interview with Mpasho.co.ke said,
“It will be about His [Jomo’s] contributions to the making of Kenya and some of the highlights about his life.”
The family has set aside part of the land for the presidential library and museum and public policy institute.
“We’re relocating one of the houses which he first occupied to the new location that has been set aside for the facility. It will be part of the attraction,” he said.
Kibunja explained that,
“The current president is going to establish a public policy institute where the retired can have research public policy where researchers can go and do research on public policy in the country.”
The president and the first lady would be housed in the public policy institute adjacent to the Museum and Kibunja said that it will be digitalized.
“Because of the lack of presidential Library in Kenya, where documents, images and artefacts associated with the presidency are transferred, this is one of them.”
This will be the first presidential Museum in Kenya and second in East Africa and it means a lot to Kenyans.
It is trailblazing. It’s common in America and the team that’s working on it took a tour to several presidential libraries in the US to have an idea of what they’re going to do.
He added that,
We’re hoping that we can now have one for retired presidents Mwai Kibaki and Moi. If we get this one (Jomo’s) actualised, it will give us a springboard to actualise the others.
Kibunja said turning the Jomo homestead into a museum is “being driven by the family and not a national government project.”
He added that,
We only have a consultancy with them as national museums of Kenya to provide them with technical expertise which they are paying for.
Asked when the museum will be ready for the public, Kibunja noted that,
The timelines and when it will be ready is the family’s decision.
According to the Kenya Gazette, notice no 11054, the public archives and documentation service act, (Cap.19)
Approval of a place for the deposit of his in the exercise of the powers conferred by section 4 (1) (k) of the Public Archives and Documentation Act, the Director of the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service approves the home of the first president of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, at Ichaweri, Gatundu in Kiambu County as a permanent place of deposit of his historical records.
Two years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s eldest son Jomo Kenyatta with his wife Fiona Achola Ngobi, held their Itara near the monumental homestead.
(Itara is where the groom’s family performs the last traditional marriage ceremony before the real wedding.)