Ngomongo Villages is a theme park original presentation of the ways of life of the rural peoples of Kenya.
It is a unique presentation of the ways of life of ten most colourful and diverse rural peoples of Kenya. It is situated along the road leading to Five Star Hotels in SHANZU, MOMBASA.
Ngomongo Villages was born in 1991. At that time it was a sun baked and barren rocky base of an exhausted limestone mine. The floor of this quarry is barely five feet above the slightly salty water table.
A local medical doctor started single handedly to reclaim this quarry by planting four acres of eighty different indigenous trees. Public awareness to tree planting was raised by inviting the public to plant the last open acre of quarry. A total of about fifteen thousand trees and plants have so far been planted in Ngomongo Villages.
Once the forest was ripe, rural villagers from far-flung corners of Kenya were invited to recreate their rural homesteads, each in a niche of the now fully-grown forest. The recreation was to detail including huts, farms, animals associated with some rural people like cattle for the Maasai and crocodiles for the crocodile hunting El molo people.
The paths connecting each village were themed to represent a dominant feature of each community. For example, beehives line the path leading to honey gathering Akamba people. Cattle skulls line the paths leading to cattle lovers Maasai homestead.
Once the households were complete, the villagers moved in in January 1998 to tender the crops and animals. These villagers have since found a permanent home in the village, living as they would in their rural homes up country.
That completed the Garden of Eden creation of Ngomongo Villages. A visitor completing this interesting one and a half kilometer walk through the village gets the impression of having literally walked through the entire rural Kenya in two hours. It is easy for the visitor to forget that this was once a desolate quarry.
The village therefore presents a fairly comprehensive look at the ways of life in rural Kenya in an enjoyable manner and without having to go and travel into all the respective rural areas.
However, a written and probably more detailed look at these rural Kenyan ways of life would supplement details not possible to put in place in the village homesteads. Hence this short narrative that follows.
It is in itself neither complete nor exhaustive. Just enough details are selected that would make an interested reader want to go and look up more details in our national archires and other books of culture, few and rare as they are.
The writing is in present tense and therefore tends to project a rather stagnant culture. This of course does not mean that rural Kenya has escaped Western influence. Far from it. There are various shades of western development in all the rural areas. This has not been represented in this booklet, or in Ngomongo Villages.
Any reader who feels that vital knowledge has been left out, misrepresented or otherwise is very welcome to write to us and we will amend or add relevant comments in our next edition