Kisumu is such a lovely place. I have bumped into so many people who were not born here, and after staying here for a couple of months, they finally decided to stay and build a home as well as start their families herein. A lot of negative information has been peddled about this lovely, inviting and friendly lakeside city, and they are all but negative bile. There is just so much beautiful historical and anecdotal facts of how amazing this city is. Below re some of them:

Why do you love Kisumu?

  • Kisumu emerged as a port in 1901. This can arguably be attributed to its location as the main inland terminal of the Kenya-Uganda Railway.
  • The name comes from the word #Sumo meaning trade. It is thus a major trade/shopping district in Kenya and the great lakes region.
  • October 1900, the 62-ton ship Sir William Mackinnon,1st Baronet, built and registered in Kisumu, made its maiden voyage to Entebbe, marking the beginning of the Lake Marine Services.
  • On December 20, 1901, Florence Preston the wife to the engineer building the Kenya-Uganda Railway, drove the last nail in the last sleeper (crosstie) of the railway by the shores of Lake Victoria. Port Florence thus came into being.
  • Kisumu was thus known as Port Florence for only one year. It then reverted to its original Luo name.
  • The arrival of the railway line made it strategically and economically vital for the interests of the British in the city itself, and in Uganda and the lake basin region as a whole. The railway consolidated British interests in Kisumu and Uganda.
  • The railway also literally transformed the manner in which goods and services were transported from the coast to the interior of East Africa. Up until that time, the main form of transport in the interior was either the ox-drawn wagon or human beings working as porters.
  • English statesman Winston Churchill visited Kisumu in 1907.
  • In addition, the railway facilitated tourism. Hunting parties used railcars on the railway to go hunting.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt was one of those who traveled to East Africa for game hunting, which is chronicled in Roosevelt’s book about his African expedition.
  • The railway also helped the British in their campaign against General Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck and the Germans in the East African Campaign during World War I.
  • In the 1930s and 40s, it had become a leading EA center for commerce, Administrative and Military installation.
  • Kisumu was also privileged to host the first flight in East and Central Africa. The current police workshop was the first hangar in Kenya and entire East Africa.
  • Some of the white settlers, however, actually believed, erroneously that Kisumu derived its name from ‘sumu’ – a Swahili word meaning poison because of the dangerous malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the area.
  • Kisumu is the most strategic city in the great lakes region. Both commercially, and administratively.
  • Various tribes had a different pronunciation of Kisumu. Luo – Kisuma/Kisumo; Luhya – Khusuma; Gusii – Egesumu; Nandi – Kisumett
  • Kondele shopping center arguably boasts one of the highest numbers of bars and drinking places per kilometer in Kenya ( if not Africa).
  • Kondele is the only 24hr economy in Kisumu since time immemorial.
  • Kibuye Market in Kisumu is the biggest open-air market in East and Central Africa.
  • Been to Kisumu? Have you done your orientation at the city’s most talked about, most photographed and most written about address? #Kondele?
  • If not, put Kondele in your bucket list of places to visit before​ the end of time.
  • Is Kondele the home of Ondele? If so where is the exact place? #KondeleDala
  • The great Kogallo – GOR Mahia FC would rather have their matches in Kisumu. Have you ever asked yourself why?
  • The great songstress Suzanna Owiyo among others sang about it.
  • Kisumu is the first-millennium city in the whole wide world ~ UNHabitat #ScratchThat
  • ALL Luos come from Kisumu, so they say.
  • Some Luos have never stepped foot in The City of Kisumu
  • It’s only in Kisumu that you can have “the lakeside walk with the Impalas”. Ask me how.
  • They call it Kisumu, we call it Dala, Kisumu Dala, Kisumu Pacho, odhus, Kisumo, Kisum City ??
  • You cannot purport to have visited Kisumu without eating fish at the world famous Lwangni Beach.
  • Yes, the blessed Hail Mary appeared in a rock in Seme two months ago. Visit Kisumu, we’ll proudly take you there. And many other beautiful places around us.
  • Kisumu is proud to host the second largest freshwater lake in the world, after Lake Superior in the USA. #ScratchThat
  • It’s only in Kisumu that you’d hit a professor with a stone if one is hurled. The number of degree holders per square inch would take IEBC eons to count, let alone give a correct count, but do we say
  • Land of Lupita Nyongo, Raila Odinga and Barrack Obama.
  • Kisumu has amazing sunsets beyond the Lake Victoria waters.
  • Kisumu is the New Canaan. Great people. Great minds. Loving residents. That’s why we call it Amazing Kisumu


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