Nairobi. Happening Place.
Nairobi. The third and final “memory lane” stop. I lived here in 1972/73 before moving to Canada. Overall impressions: Nairobi has grown tremendously in the last 44 years and in my view has now made a mark as a key commercial player in Africa. More beautiful than I remember, greener than I recall. New airport, roads good. Service and people like I experienced in Lagos. Buzz, vibe, a happening place. Security vastly improved, streets much safer. Traffic like a parking lot during rush hour. Standstill. Great for reading.
I have posted several pictures in the same order as I started my day yesterday. So you can follow the descriptions.
Breakfast overlooking pool. Kids in swimming lessons. Must go to a nice school:).
Started with panoramic view of city overlooking Uhuru park, the big park in the city. Reminded of the 25 km walk I had done 43 years ago, the pain, limping my way home. Went to the Panafric hotel – seem to recall meals there at Flamingo Grill. Well maintained, you can rent a two bedroom serviced apartment there for $2200USD per month. Visited the United Kenya Club where family stayed for extended visits. Vivid memories of my parents and brother Alnoor coming to visit. Wow! The memories all came pouring back. Ditto Mayfair Hotel.
Next stop: Consolata school. Where Amal Janmohamed Zamil Janmohamed Aleem Rajpar and Zulfikar Gulamhusein went to primary school. Extremely well maintained, lots of additions, extensive grounds.
Sobering. The building called Westgate is where that terrorist incident happened 3 years ago. Just very very tragic. They have now revived the building.
Then my own school. Wow wow! Same facade. Went in proudly letting everyone I know of my alumni status and since none of them were born at the time I attended the school, they were all in awe. I remember joining the Aga Khan Academy, then not too vogue to go to a school without a “Saint” in the prefix. Best 2 years of my educational life. Enjoyed chess and tennis in off hours. During exam seasons up at 3.30 daily to study. As I look back these 2 years really paved my way for post secondary schooling. Stood in the same courtyard where we “assembled” twice a day and walked to our classrooms in pairs, being inspected for nails, socks, hair and other grooming as we passed the prefects. Actually saw the exact same classroom I was in and also the rooms in which we had to go through our “practical” exams. In those days we qualified for our “O” levels through the University of Cambridge. They made us go through 6 weeks of mock exams before the finals which were deal breakers for university entrance. One had better do well, we would only find out how we did several months later, in the country’s leading newspaper. Phew! Anyway. Now they have added a primary wing, an IT Bill Gates room, beautiful courtyard and gardens and a swimming pool! Where was I when these fun things happen in schools? So glad things are more relaxed now.
Lived with Zarina Ladak , Amal, Zamil and my brother Din. Hirani Estate. Actually located the “Lane” we lived in though it has all changed completely. Before that we lived at Azee House. Still there!!!!!!!! We had such fun together. Remember the Saturday night drive in cinema as well as the Globe Cinema where we watched the Indian classic Pakeezah and many other films.
The visit to the Aga Khan University Hospital was another eye opener. The red brick pics. Honestly felt like a hotel. My friend Asmita had come here as CEO. I dropped by the current CEO to offer my congratulations on the developments I witnessed in my “walk around” chatting with folks. Captured a picture of her assistant:). Saw Firoz Rahul’s office, someone else I worked with in my community work. Small small small world we live in!!!!!!!!
Went on to visit the parklands Jamat Khana. Ismaili mosque. The grounds remain. Sports club still active.
Ended day with a visit to the Stanley hotel where my oldest brother courted my sister in law Yasmin in 1964. Passed the stunningly beautiful downtown Jamat Khana and headed out to enjoy a local specialty called “Mishkaki” a wonderfully marinated beef on a skewer.
All good things end with great food☺️