When Barrack Obama Sr. conceptualized and planned the development of Bomas of Kenya in 1971 to display Kenya’s traditional homesteads, he probably never imagined it would evolve into a crossroads of the past and present. By day, it is a leading venue for musical concerts performed by celebrated International Artistes to Nairobi’s urbane, sophisticated, cultured music lovers with a taste for modern genres of music, while by night, it is a leading venue for musical concerts performed by celebrated International Artistes to Nairobi’s urbane, sophisticated, cultured music lovers with a taste for modern genres of music.
Traditional Homestead of Kenya
The reproductions of Kenyan homesteads from twenty-three ethnic groups are the major attraction of the Bomas of Kenya. The widespread spherical form of huts in the various communities’ homesteads may appear boring to the casual observer.
However, a skilled observer would notice the distinct organization of homesteads from various groups, which is based on the social structures and interactions within each ethnic group. In areas where polygamy was practiced, for example, the homestead design shows family hierarchy. The distribution and amount of granaries by family members also reveals the roles that each family member played in the family’s economic well-being. Differentialities in building materials, artistry, and interior partitioning of huts from various societies are also visible, revealing information about each community’s surroundings, living circumstances, and habits, as well as the issues their houses were built to answer.
Traditional dances performed daily in an Auditorium created in the shape of a traditional African hut complement the Kenyan homesteads display. Dance troupes from Kenya’s 42 ethnic groups demonstrate the country’s cultural variety and how it is expressed through song and dance. The level of these vibrant, energetic shows in Kenya’s bomas surpasses that of Kenya’s five-star hotels. This is, without a doubt, the highlight of most people’s visits to this institution.
The Auditorium’s basic facade hides an interior that includes a state-of-the-art sound system, breathtaking stage lighting, numerous enormous display screens positioned high on the walls, and 2,500 seats arranged in an amphitheater around a full stage.
Salif Keita’s recent luxurious, ritzy concert at this venue was such a massive runaway success that it had most of the audience on their feet the whole time, fully enthralled by the great man, his music, and the incredibly spectacular light show that accompanied it!
The third cornerstone of Bomas of Kenya’s cultural exposure, Utamaduni Restaurant, tantalizes tourists’ taste buds with authentic Kenyan food and delicacies. The majority of the foods on sale reflect Kenyans’ contemporary eating habits, with others being relatively recent contributions to local cultures, like as the widely loved Ugali. Regardless, they are all real representations of Kenyan culture, both past and present.
How to Get There
If you’re taking public transportation, take Matatu 24 for Karen or Matatu 126/127 for Kiserian and get out at the Magadi Road junction on Langata Road. A 200-meter stroll to the left will bring you to the Entrance Gate.
If you’re driving, Bomas of Kenya is about 10 kilometers outside the city center on Langata Rd, on the left side of the Magadi Road intersection.