One of the truly useful institutions we Brits left behind in the African countries we invaded is the Annual Agricultural Show. We went to both Kenyan and Zambian versions, and found them hugely popular events, still held on their original dedicated show grounds. Nor are they simply about entertainment, shopping and crop and stock competitions, although there is plenty of all of these to be had. I remember one Kenyan smallholder being quoted in the national press. He had travelled many miles to attend the Nairobi show, and at some expense. ‘But,’ he said, ‘this show is my university. This is where I come to learn how to improve my farming skills.’
And as we wandered round we certainly found plenty of advice to hand, much of it rendered in model farm lay-outs. There was also that year’s exhortatory slogan to spur all to action: “Feed The Nation And Export”. And there were promotional exhibits for small-scale battery chicken rearing, camel raising, the Post Office and family planning. Even the National Archives had a small pavilion in which they were showing 1950s film footage from the Land Freedom uprising aka Mau Mau. The Young Farmers were showing off their crop growing and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (the place where Graham had his office) also had a big stand with plenty of experts to provide farmer guidance.
Welcome to Nairobi’s 1995 Agricultural Show:
27 thoughts on “The 1995 Nairobi Agriculture Show ~ Waiting For Admission”
Wonderful, Tish. Photography has come a long way, hasn’t it? Mind you, the 90’s don’t sound that long ago to me (or the 80’s or 70’s, for that matter), but they are in many ways and even in years now. 😉
Another great view of the past…and not such a distant past at that
It doesn’t feel that long ago, but when one starts adding up the years…
This is wonderful….love the old ‘new’ car.
But 52 tyre blow outs on one journey!
That would be a little discouraging.
And especially as the Mombasa Road runs through a few hundred miles of bush country, and back then there would have been an awful lot more wild game about than there is now…
Wonderful photos but they do look as though they are 50 years ago not 20! I feel sorry for shoeshine ‘boys’ as so many people wear trainers now, and I love the HairGlo Wave – I wonder how it really felt?
Yes, it sounds a bit mind boggling.
I agree there’s a fifties look about the photos – not much changed with the show since colonial times. The Lusaka show was even more old-fashioned – including a little coterie of white folks displaying small dogs in the dog show. All a bit batty.
Sounds utterly bonkers 😀
Nothing more bonkers than the left-over English in Africa. They create all sorts of fantasies there.
I especially love the sign on the old yellow car. Old is gold. I should put that in cross-stitching on the wall!
It’s a good ‘un!
22 years ago, Tish! And just like yesterday? 🙂 🙂 Good times!
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Definitely bigger and more serious than the Helensville A&P show is now, but much the same vibe. I love the notion of the show as the visitor’s “university.”
I found this post quite moving. Don’t know why. I think I was hearing the particular music of Swahili spoken all around. 🙂
Ah, yes. Sounds much missed.
Well, the “new” story I’m posting takes place in Kenya.
You make a very good breakfast companion. I love the man in the brown suit moving purposefully towards the planned families pavilion. The talking tractor tickled my fancy, especially the slogan “old is gold”: what is AA? Photos give a great sense of time past.
The AA if the very British Automobile Association. Years ago in the UK they used to have smart saluting chaps on motorbikes, like knights of the highway, out and about to help motorists in distress. The thought that such an organisation was ever transplanted to Kenya both amuses and confounds me, given the state of the roads and the madness of some of the driving; and also the lack of certainly functioning phones to contact the AA – before the cell phone era that is.
Well I enjoyed the “tour” via your post.
The sign on the car was fun –
And pics 2 and 4 had such cool foreground pulling that I almost felt like they were two pics – great depth and that beautiful cabbage still stands out. We just bought some and it is small and light in color – not sure if it matters – but not nearly as vibrant as the curls and size of the ones in this pic –
It was a bit of trip down Farrell memory lane, Yvette, so thank you for joining me at the show. And yes those cabbages!