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TOM MALITI: Nai Ni Who missed Lang’ata’s story

Lang’ata Road has been hard done by the organisers of the Nai Ni Who initiative.

Since it began in May, Nai Ni Who has saluted the schools, social halls, pubs, streets, art and other facets of life in many Nairobi neighbourhoods.

This is its aim, to celebrate Nairobi neighbourhoods.

When it came to the neighbourhoods on either side of Lang’ata Road, however, Nai Ni Who only acknowledged the animals as residents by organising school trips to the Nairobi National Park.

Let me offer you a tour of some of the places Nai Ni Who missed when they came through the neighbourhood I’ve called home for three decades or so.

We can start with Wilson Airport. Today there are several aviation colleges and one or two private schools offer piloting as a course. Some of those institutions are located at Wilson Airport and others along Lang’ata Road.

Aviation is still the preserve of a few  compared to other sectors but in decades gone by it operated almost like an exclusive private members’ club.

Oldest airport

The allure of a plane in flight never ceases to fascinate and so growing up we would take a vantage point from one of the hangars, or the Aero Club of East Africa clubhouse, and watch as different aircraft take-off and land at  Kenya’s oldest airport.

Then we could hop over the fence, in a manner of speaking, and head for the Carnivore. It has been around for three decades during which time it has become a cultural hub of the city.

Aside from being an attraction for meat lovers seeking a more exotic menu, Carnivore has hosted numerous African musicians. It is also a home to stand-up comedy in the city, starting with Comedy Nights in the late 1990s to the Churchill Show of today.

But Carnivore is not all about entertainment. It is an example of environmental conservation, specifically the benefits of preserving our wetlands.

There is a stretch of wetlands between it and Splash through which waste water passes and by the time it gets to Splash it has been “purified” by nature and is good to drink. This is how Carnivore recycles its water.

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