As I was growing up, I knew Uhuru Park was meant for ‘shady’ people. No offense, but that’s the mentality I had for the longest time. If I were told I’d be hanging out at the park, I would literally tuck myself in a corner and cry uncontrollably. I always thought my friends would laugh at me or even look at me differently.
However, as more as I got exposed to the outside world, the more I appreciated local tourism. So, this was unexpected when I decided to tour the park I once loathed.
It took me around 10 minutes to walk to the park from Kencom bus stage in Nairobi CBD. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and for a place I’ve never thought of venturing, it was quite impressive. The expansive green fields were an attraction to the eyes.
Uhuru Park is a recreational ground adjacent to the CBD. The late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta opened it to the general public on May 23, 1969. I now understand why Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai, fought against a planned construction of a 62-storey building.
Saving the park was worth it. It’s home to many functions including celebrations of National holidays, prayer meetings, concerts and serves as a favourable recreation centre for many families. Since we had some pizza on us, we were up and ready for picnicking.
We found a spot just near the artificial lake that’s in the middle of the park. I noticed one could have a panoramic view of the city from up the park. The expansive lawns and trees offered cool breeze for those who were after some relaxation. There were preachers here and there out to win souls and also make a living from it.
As we started to enjoy our meal, more than three people must have approached us with different needs. There was an urchin who was really impressive with his trapping skills. He really got us entertained with Migos music. He aspired to be a rapper someday.
From a distance, I could see a group of college students on a photo shoot, I guess for their gram. For our pass time, we opted to go for a boat ride. There is a fee of Sh200 for adults to ride the boat for half an hour.
If you don’t know how to ride-peddle the boat, an assistant is there to help you with the ride. While at it you can feed the fish with bread. It was breathtaking. A fountain that was built during former President Daniel Arap Moi’s era, with the mantra: Peace, Love and Unity still stands tall at the park.
Uhuru Park is usually packed during the weekends, especially by picnicking families. The place is also ideal for anyone who just needs to breath some fresh air and to be one with nature. The free-to-enter park closes business at 6pm and usually there are officers on patrol just making sure no one stays back after dark.