Machakos, Eastern Kenya

***** Location: Kenya
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Earth


Also known as Masaku.

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Machakos is a town in Kenya, 64 kilometres southeast of Nairobi. It is the capital of the Machakos District in Eastern Province of Kenya. Machakos Town is a major rural centre, and also a satellite town due to its proximity to Nairobi. Its population is rapidly growing and is 192,117 (as of 2009). People who live here are mostly the Akambas though it is a cosmopolitan town. Machakos is surrounded by hilly terrain, with a high number of family farms.

Machakos was established in 1887, ten years before Nairobi. Machakos was the first administrative centre for the British colony, but they moved the capital of Kenya to Nairobi in 1899 since Machakos by-passed the Uganda Railway that was under construction. Town and the district were named after Masaku, an Akamba chief.

Machakos open air market. Fruits, vegetables and other food stuffs like maize mbemba, beans mboso, etc. are sold here. Major market days are Mondays and Fridays.
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Things found on the way


road accident-
torn sacks spill green
mangoes in blood

hot sun-
smelly sweat in
the matatu

weaverbirds' nests
swinging on an acacia-
dusty wind

blue hills-
tasling maize wilting
on terraced farms

naked herdsboys
lying flat on a rock to dry-
slow stream

Patrick Wafula

from a dry Machakos, Eastern Kenya.


A trip by Andrew Otinga

Machakos terminus-
an enthusiastic tout
grabs my bag

a long que
to the empty bus-
Friday rush

a pregnant mother
boards at Kangemi stage-
another stop

hot ride-
i suddenly fall in
a deep slumper

shoulder tap-
im woken by a tout
for my receipt

a display of
withered cypress seedlings-
Luanda Market

acacia blossoms
sprinkle on the tarmac-
sudden breeze

thick smoke
from burning maize stalks-
shamba preparation

the rhythmic
sound of digging hoes-
sweating workers

the smell
of fresh cow dung-
sudden breeze

a giant beetle
rolling dung balls-
cattle shed

our black calf browsing
on dry grass

his marble rolls
into a cracked surface-
dusty hands

- Andrew Otinga, February 2012

Related words

***** Nairobi


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