All About Kenya – OZY

Kenya is known worldwide for some of its exports, such as coffee, as a safe haven for many endangered species and for its spectacular landscapes. And yet, beyond this limited realm, you will find so much to learn, discover and explore in this East African country that spans 224,081 square miles. In today’s Daily Dose, we take you on a virtual journey to Kenya. We’ll start with an introduction to the land, a sampling of indigenous dishes and local festivals, and an overview of what Kenyans do for fun. Then, we’ll dive into some of the country’s most notable innovations and introduce you to people you should know, including Nobel laureates and pop icons, as well as the eclectic sports that are becoming hugely popular. From the big numbers of today to the economic horizons of tomorrow, this is Kenya as you haven’t quite seen it before. Take your ticket and let’s go!


1 – Map it

As we begin this virtual journey in Kenya, first are the major cities: Nairobi (the capital), Mombasa (to the south), Kisumu (to the east) and Eldoret (north of Kisumu). Also note the four countries and three major bodies of water that border Kenya: Ethiopia, Lake Turkana, Uganda, Tanzania, Lake Victoria, the Indian Ocean and Somalia. Visit OZY’s Around the World series to learn more about Kenya.

2 – Languages

English and Swahili are the country’s official languages, but there are about 70 other languages ​​spoken by indigenous groups in Kenya. Even though there are many different varieties of Swahili, most people can understand them all – much like the different dialects of Spanish (eg Peruvian vs. Cuban). For anyone surprised to learn that English is one of two official languages, it was a product of British colonialism from the 1800s to 1963 when Kenya gained independence.

3 – Food

Kenyan cuisine is very meat and stew based. A typical dish might be mutton stew, served with ugali (starchy corn porridge) and vegetables like spinach (often cooked with bones or in meat broth). So while the diet is definitely not vegetarian, it does include plenty of fruit, like mangoes, pineapples, and passion fruit, along with freshly squeezed juices. For a morning drink, grab a cup of Kenya’s world-famous coffee to wake you up for your game drive, then reach for Tusker beer at the end of the day. A popular midday pick-me-up? A cup of hot chai or spiced sweet milk tea.

4 – Fierce

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to watch animals like rhinos, hippos, giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers and hyenas gather around a waterhole? You can go on a game drive and even spend the night in the field. If you can’t visit in person, check out this live cam to catch the animals in action.

5 – festivals

Safaricom is one of Kenya’s biggest music festivals with people flocking to listen to live jazz. If music isn’t your thing and you’d rather take great photos and have the ride of a lifetime, you might want to attend the International Camel Derby – a three-day festival that also offers biking, horseback riding speed bumps and delicious cuisine from around the world.


1 – Smarter sanitation

Most of us take toilets for granted, but here’s an upgrade that really makes sense. Born from the need to find a sustainable solution for areas where water is scarce, this new toilet requires much less water than conventional toilets.

2 – Bright and shiny

Nairobi-based M-KOPA is an $8 billion solar energy company that provides affordable electricity to homes for as little as $1 a month. It is the first company to develop a metered payment system using mobile phone SIM cards.

3 – Education reinvented

Inside Kenya’s largest startup incubator, iHub, an educational software company called eLimu has created interactive tablets designed to train younger Kenyans to become tech-savvy and increase their earning potential down the road.

4 – silicon savannah

Kenya earned its nickname when it was recognized as the second most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa (after South Africa) – and for its ability to attract more than 60 of the world’s biggest brands, including Microsoft, and more than $2.9 billion in the IT and Software Sector.

5 – Economic precursor

From cupcakes to bitcoin, the winds of financial change are blowing through Kenya. It’s a key market for cloud data centers, it’s way ahead of the curve in terms of mobile money, and it’s important for cryptocurrency, which translates to an economy on the move.


1 – boxing for rights

Women fighting for their rights are nothing new, but meet a local boxing trainer who is adding a new dimension to the fight. Find out how girls and young women are learning the ropes so they can defend themselves against violence and abusive treatment in their country.

2 – Cycling

Iten, Kenya sits 8,000 feet above sea level, making it a popular training ground for budding competitive cyclists. Could this city produce the first all-black team to participate in (and win) the Tour de France?

3 – spiritual lives

Africa is a predominantly Catholic continent – with an increase of over 200% in membership since 1980. So while Kenyans are following suit, with 70% of the population identifying as Christian, 25 % belong to indigenous religions, 6% are Muslims and within the Asian community you will find Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Bahais.

4 – cuppa joe

Although coffee is a major export from Kenya, tea is the most popular drink of choice in most homes. But that could change as cafes pop up everywhere, winning over caffeine drinkers and redefining coffee culture.

5 – afropop

Since forming in 2005, Sauti Sol has played venues from South Africa to London to SXSW in Austin. The Kenyan band can sing in English, but their sound and powerful voice have many influences, including Malian singer Salif Keita, American singer Jason Mraz and British band Coldplay.


1 – Wangari Mathai

She holds two notable firsts: the first woman in East Africa to earn a doctorate and the first woman in Kenya to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1986, Maathai established the Pan African Green Belt Network, an NGO focused on environmental conservation and women’s rights. Elected to Parliament in 2003, she served as Deputy Minister for Environment and Natural Resources before her death in 2011.

2 – Boniface Mwangi

It’s a noteworthy transformation of Clark Kent into Superman! Once, Boniface was described as an introverted personal cameraman. Today he is a fierce activist and founder of the Pawa 254 creative hub, using his artistic license to overthrow political authority and promote a new political culture. He is the change he wants for his country, and until he does, he will continue to speak truth to power and hold those in power accountable.

3 – Gina Din Kariuki

She counts the rich and famous among her friends, has more PR awards than any other African and with the word ‘Boss’ prominently displayed on her desk, there’s no doubt who’s running the show. His company, Gina Din Group, has helped transform some of the biggest brands in the country, including Safaricom and the Kenya Red Cross, into household names. Now she is on a mission to change the way the world views her continent.

4 – Geoffrey Siwo

As an undergrad, he taught himself how to use computers and the internet to analyze DNA sequences and come up with a new pathway for HIV drug resistance. Today, the biologist and computer scientist is at Notre Dame, developing new ways to assess the efficacy and safety of gene-editing technologies in individual human populations, with a focus on Africans.

Quiz time!!

So, are you ready for your visit to Kenya? Take the quiz below to test your knowledge.

What is the capital of Kenya?

      1. Mombasa
      2. Kismu
      3. Nairobi
      4. Eldoret

What official languages ​​are spoken in Kenya?

      1. English
      2. French
      3. Swahili
      4. English and Swahili

What is a commonly eaten food in Kenya?

      1. Eisbein
      2. Ugali
      3. Acea and cod
      4. Sharon fruit okra

How Kenya Innovated Toilets

      1. I made it smaller
      2. made it bigger
      3. It consumes less water
      4. It does not use water

Who won a Nobel Peace Prize?

      1. Wangari Mathai
      2. Jump Ground
      3. Boniface Mwangi
      4. Geoffrey Siwo

What is the favorite drink of most Kenyans?

      1. Coffee
      2. Cider
      3. Milk
      4. chai tea


  1. Nairobi
  2. English and Swahili
  3. Ugali
  4. It consumes less water
  5. Wangari Mathai
  6. chai tea

Go further

To read :

  • rebellious by Wangari Maathai: The memoirs of the first African woman and the first ecologist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, rebellious traces Maathai’s path from a young girl in British Kenya to a divorced mother of three fighting to save her country from a corrupt dictator.
  • west with the night from Beryl Markham: You may know Markham as the first person to cross the Atlantic solo from Europe to America. In her autobiography, she begins long before that infamous theft, as a British-born girl who grew up in colonial Kenya in the 1920s and 1930s. From training racehorses to tracking elephants, Markham has led a life defined by adventure and natural beauty.

What to watch:

What to listen to:

  • JusKidding Podcast: Hosted by Chaxy and Ayrosh, this podcast focuses on upcoming stars. Past interviews include Kioko from Kioko Art Gallery and Porgy of Mooch, share stories that inspire hope and encouragement for other creatives.
  • Just another male podcast: Also known as JAMP, this podcast has a pair of co-hosts who tackle the current affairs and daily hustle and bustle of being a man in modern Nairobi. It’s a fun listen that can really start an ordinary day.

Ronnie Stanley in “The Carlos Watson Show”

You probably remember Ronnie Stanley as the guy who became the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL one day, then injured his ankle the next. But did you know that he created his own foundation dedicated to dogs? Stanley is a man of many passions, and as he heals from his wounds, he’s ready to talk about it. In today’s episode, watch Ronnie sit down with Carlos Watson and reflect on his life in the spotlight, from wunderkind to NFL superstar. To listen to the full, unedited conversation between Carlos and Ronnie Stanley, subscribe to the podcast version of the show here:


OZY is a diversified, global, forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “new and next.” OZY creates space for new perspectives and provides fresh perspectives on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment. / #OZY

Welcome to the new + the next!

Cathy W. Howerton