Book Review: Nairobi, Then & Now by Stephen and Bhavna Mills

On social media, Facebook and Twitter accounts compete to outdo each other with historical pictures of Nairobi, but none compares to this book titled, Nairobi, Then & Now by Stephen and Bhavna Mills.

I have never seen such a classic and accurate book.

The book carries pictures of places in Nairobi as they appeared in the past and how they look now.

It takes the reader through 50 years of unrivalled history showcasing photographs of Nairobi taken between 1898 and 2013, paired as comparative views, with detailed captions.

Nairobi was a largely Maasai land. According to the authors, the nomadic tribes referred to it as, ‘Nakuso Intelon’ a place where acacia trees grew close to a small stream called ‘Enkare Naih’rrobai’, “the place of the cool water”.

Guess the street: See Gill House? The book is foreworded by Dr. Evans Kidero, former Governor of Nairobi, and Dr. Christian Turner, former British High Commissioner – Nairobi.

The pictures are fascinating as they show how Nairobi has grown from a place where animals, mostly rhinos and lions roamed freely to a place of ‘modern streets and buildings now provide a centre for the commerce and administration of Eastern Africa’.

It is George Whitehouse, the Chief Engineer for the Uganda Railways, that changed the name ‘Enkare Naih’rrobai’ to Nairobi on Tuesday, 3 October, 1899.

Buy this 126-paged gem from Nuria Store.