Inside each room, a short life history of the occupant is posted on the wall, together with some pictures that illustrate their stages in political life.
The short histories are quite illuminating. Kubai’s names are given as Fredrick Poolworth Kubai, and his date of birth as 1918 in Kikuyu Escarpment. Kaggia’s room has literature on his life and claims that he at one point established his own religion, which was called Kaggia.
Inside Kenyatta’s cell, there are no surprises except for a picture of a young man in a vest, busy using a plane. The caption helpfully explains that at one time Kenyatta, whose year of birth is given as 1889, was a carpenter.
The room also has a mat that Kenyatta used to lie on at night as he agonised over what the colonialists had in store for him. A metallic bucket he used to relieve himself in also occupies a prominent position in the room. Away from the compound, in another secluded place, another cubicle that acts as an office of sorts has some dubious conspiracy theories.
Although there are no records, there have been allegations that one day, there was an attempt to finish Kenyatta as he slept in this cell. “The deep marks on the wall were alleged to have been made by bullets aimed at Kenyatta.
Fortunately, he had been warned and was not sleeping on his bed at the time,” John Silakwa explains. This theory, hotly contested by the Museums of Kenya, is further deflated by the fact that Kenyatta was a prisoner and was not accorded any special treatment at Kapenguria. The mat and the bucket show that he was treated as a common criminal.
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