26 June 2019

Kenya: Why the War Veterans Statues Along Kenyatta Avenue Have Been 'Covered'

If you regularly use Nairobi's Kenyatta Avenue, you may be wondering why the war veterans monument has lately been 'covered' with a temporary structure.

The covering of the statues facing Bank of India has left city residents with question marks with some fearing that they are being removed.

Well, it all has to do with renovation works being carried out on the statues by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

REPAIR

The repair works will involve scaffolding, hooding and also replacement of some missing pieces on the monument.

"The Commonwealth War Grave Commission who have interests in monuments, statues and cemeteries/graves that have to do with the World Wars are carrying out repairs on the statues. We as the National Museums of Kenya are aware of the renovation work being carried out. The commission have a permit to carry out the works," said Josephine Gitu, who is the Directorate of Antiquities, Sites and Monuments, National Museums of Kenya.

The monument along Kenyatta Avenue was erected on the site in 1928 in honour of the Kings African Rifles and Carrier Corps who served in World War I.

SIMILAR STATUES

The three African men represent a porter, an askari (a fighting man) and a gun carrier, but none of them is identified by name or rank.

During the World War I, between 1914 and 1918, most Africans were recruited into service by the British to fight in the war.

There are similar statues which were erected at the same time in Mombasa at Mwembe Tayari and in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam.

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