Editorial

THE KENYA TRIP

And King Charles returned to London... by tuk tuk

The sovereign's official visit with Camilla is over

04-11-2023 by Freddie del Curatolo

Halfway between a 'social' holiday and responsible tourism, the official visit of King Charles III and Queen Camilla to Kenya has come to an end.
Four intense days for a couple who came to the throne late in life but who, with the well-known temperament and imperturbability of the 'British Old Generation', held their own like the most consummate touring politicians.

After their debut in the capital, with the official receptions, the homage to the fallen of the Second World War in the Kariokor cemetery, the plantings in the parks, after cultural digressions between museums and bookshops and the red carpet rolled out in the savannah, the rulers of England moved on to Mombasa, where they experienced two equally intense days, after bringing rain from Nairobi to the coast.

It is destiny that the umbrella almost always has to cover a Briton's head, and it is perhaps this habit that makes it difficult for him to get unstuck. So Charles and his consort, representing their people at their best, attended a military parade of Anglo-Kenyan marines and then turned their attention to the environment, being lectured on turtle conservation and the recycling of plastic and rubbish from Nyali beaches.

The well-known Kenyan environmental organisation Flipflopi, which has become an international company, donated a throne made entirely of recycled plastic to the king while Camilla visited victims of gender-based violence.
The British High Commission also revealed of a private meeting of the UK ruler with the families of Kenyan independence heroes, some of whom were murdered by the British colonial army.

Charles met the heirs of the 'leopard' Dedan Kimathi, the historic leader of the Mau Mau, the spiritual leader of the Nandi tribe, Koitalel whose remains (or at least skull) are said to still be in England more than a century after he was killed, and Mekatilili WaMenza, the Giriama 'pasionaria' who first challenged the London coastal commissioners in the 1920s.
Charles also met Gitu Wa Kahengeri, president of the Mau Mau veterans association.

After his official apology about the atrocities of colonialism, many expected a symbolic gesture or a real promise of reparations, not only moral, but this did not come.
The finale, almost as an influencer, saw them leave by (electric) Tuk Tuk for the airport and from there, greeted again by President Ruto, for the equally rainy (look at that...) London.

The bond between the two countries remains strong, and it is not only the interested words of politicians and the passion of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City fans that tell the tale, but also the media and social media relevance of millions of Kenyans who for four days slightly diverted their attentions from the economic crisis, the grip of taxes and the disasters of the little big rains, onto real gossip.
Now it is back to the everyday reality of a Kenya for whom the word 'real' has just that other meaning.

TAGS: re carloinghilterracoloniamau maukahengerimombasavisita

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