Kenya has some of the most iconic statues and monuments in Africa. Though relatively small in size, they play a great role as immortal symbols of identity, ideology, history, culture, power, domination, and commemoration. Some of these objects can be statues to remind us of great individuals that left blazing footprints with their existence, or monuments for events or occasions that left a lasting impact on the lives of many. 

Here are the ten most famous statues and monuments in Kenya.

1.The Hamilton Fountain.(‘Naked Justice Boy’)

Many people have seen the statue that stands outside the Supreme court.  It comes with many names, the most notable being ‘Onyango’, a Luo name that links the boy with the fish. 

Iconic monuments and statues in Kenya.
The Hamilton Fountain monument.

Its original name, however, is The Hamilton Fountain. The statue was put up during the reign of Sir Robert Brooke, a British colonial governor in Kenya, in honor of lawyer Alexander George Hamilton who died in 1937.

It was supposed to portray justice as naked, slippery, and fearless, like the naked boy. It was commissioned by the lawyer’s wife, Gertrude Hamilton. 

This is the third replica, the previous one having sunk in the ocean during transit and another stolen.

2. Tom Mboya Memorial Statue.

The Tom Mboya Monument is along Moi Avenue in Nairobi, Kenya. 

It was erected in 2011 in honor of Tom Mboya, a Kenyan minister who was assassinated in 1969. The monument stands about twenty meters from where Mboya was murdered and at no less than ten meters from ground level. 

Since its unveiling, the monument’s location has proven to be one of the most popular rendezvous spots within the Nairobi CBD. It is popular with Gor Mahia fans who congregate there for song and dance after games, and other people who sit at its foot to while away time.

3. Dedan Kimathi Statue

Dedan Kimathi Statue is located along Kimathi Street, opposite the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi. 

It was built in memory of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi. 

Iconic monuments and statues in Kenya.
Dedan Kimathi Memorial statue.

Dedan Kimathi (Oct 31, 1920 – Feb 18, 1957) was a freedom fighter that fought against British colonial rule in Kenya in the 1950s. He was later caught, found guilty, and soon after executed by the British colonial government. 

The bronze statue of Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi was revealed to the public in Nairobi City center on the anniversary of his execution. 

His statue is in military regalia, holding a rifle in his right hand and a dagger in the other, which represents the last weaponry he held in his struggles.

4. Nyayo Monument

This monument is located in Uhuru Park.  It was erected to commemorate 10 years of former president Daniel Arap Moi’s rule in 1988, and 25 years of independence. 

Iconic monuments and statues in Kenya.
Nyayo Monument in Uhuru Park.

It has once been a feature on the 100 shilling note, and 18 million shillings were spent on erecting it. The unveiling ceremony was attended by presidents from 10 countries, and over 300 million was spent on the event. 

The statue has been a bane for many people, who saw it as a symbol of suppression and dictatorship. Raila Odinga, who was then in FORD Kenya vowed to destroy the monument once the party came to power.

5. Jomo Kenyatta Monument

This is arguably one of the best-known monuments in the country, having dotted the backs of the Kenyan currency for a very long time. 

The Jomo Kenyatta statue is an 80-year-old British sculptor’s masterpiece by the name James Butler. It was sculpted in 1969 and unveiled in 1973. 

Jomo Kenyatta Monument in KICC, Nairobi.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of the Republic of Kenya and is celebrated as a true son of Africa. He is considered as the father of the Kenyan Nation. 

The cast bronze statue was entirely made in England with every detail intact and was then shipped from England by container to Mombasa and was then driven by truck to Nairobi and installed in its current location.

This monument is located outside the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC).

6.Vasco Da Gama Pillar

This is said to be one of the oldest monuments in African History, having been built in the year 1498. 

When first built, it was destroyed by the Muslim leaders at the coast for having a cross on top, which they took as a front for promoting Christianity, but later it was allowed to stand. 

Vasco da Gama pillar

It is located in Kilifi county. Vasco da Gama Pillar, which is topped by a cross made of Lisbon stone, was rebuilt in the 16th Century after it was brought down. 

Vasco Da Gama was a Portuguese explorer and navigator, and the first person to sail directly from Europe to India. His discovery of the sea route to India made it possible for the Portuguese to establish a long-running colonial empire in Asia.

7. War Memorial Monument.

“This is to the memory of the native African troops who fought; to the carriers who were the hands and feet of the army and to all other men who served and died for their king and country in Eastern Africa in the Great War, 1914-1918. If you fight for your country, even if you die, your sons will remember your name.” 

War Memorial Monument.

These emotive words are inscribed on the monument, where they will stand in memory of the days when men put their lives on the line to fight for a course that was not supposed to be theirs.

This monument is located along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi. The three African men represent a porter, an askari and a gun carrier, but none of them is identified by name or rank. 

It was designed by British sculptor James Alexander Stevenson in 1924, probably in memory of those who fought for the British colonizers in various indistinct capacities.

8. Peace, Love, and Unity Monument

‘Peace Love and Unity’ are the last words of the pledge, the Kenyan motto which also makes the name of this monument. 

peace, love and Unity monument in Uhuru park, Nairobi.

It was erected by former President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi and is located in Uhuru Park, an emblem of Nyayoism, which touted the three principles of peace, love, and unity. 

9. Mau Mau monument

Mau Mau Memorial is the popular name but its official title is Memorial to the Victims of Torture and Ill-Treatment in the Colonial Era 1952-1960. 

Designed and executed by the renowned artist Kevin Oduor, the sculpture shows a Mau Mau fighter being brought food by a woman fighter during the struggle for freedom in the forest. 

Memorial to the Victims of Torture and Ill-Treatment in the Colonial Era 1952-1960. 

It was launched by the UK government at Uhuru Park’s Freedom Corner, in Nairobi. It was a result of an out-of-court settlement for Mau Mau veterans who were tortured and detained during the State of Emergency from 1952 until 1960. 

It was officially opened to the public on September 12th, 2015. It is not without controversy, with opposition coming from all corners. 

10. Silver Jubilee Monument

This monument commemorates the 25th independence anniversary. 

Silver Jubilee Monument.

It was officially opened by the second president of Kenya H.E. HON. Daniel T. Moi in 1988 at Uhuru Park.  Most of these iconic monuments and statues are free to view along the streets of Kenya.

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