By Amos Kareithi
When rebellious sons and daughters of London’s finest families commune with drug addicts and bootleggers bathing in the African sun, they can only breed lords of impunity, capable of committing classical crimes of passion.
Seven decades ago, Kenya colony was transformed into a crucible of moral decadence where orgies of explosive sexual affairs were carried out with supplies of heroine being flown in. To date, echoes of the relationships linger along the slopes of Aberdare and, where pleasure seeking Europeans and Americans flew frequently.
Despite this passage of years, crime busters still scratch their heads in wonder, trying to figure out who killed the undisputed lord of debauchery. The echoes of the merrymaking and treachery committed decades ago have been deadened by the passage of time. But memories still linger in Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi and Wanjohi, Nyandarua, the headquarters of the Happy Valley.
The whole saga had started sometime in 1916 when an attractive son of an aristocrat, Josslyn Hay then aged 17 years, was kicked out of the prestigious Eton after he misbehaved.
His father, Victor Lord Kilmanorck was the godson to Queen Vitoria and was at the time an envoy in Berlin, a career he wanted his son to adopt after his expulsion from Eton.
However, Josslyn blew his chances of being a diplomat when at 22 he fell in love with a married woman, Indina Gordon, who was twice divorced, was eight years older and kept a string of boyfriends.
The couple was banned from London’s high society and was forced to relocate to Kenya in 1923, a place John Fox describes in his book, White Mischief as “beyond the reach of society’s official censure”.
The couple settled at the slopes of Aberdare Ranges in Wanjohi, at the heart of the White Highlands where they established a kingdom of uninhibited sex and wild parties.
In 1925, the couple moved to a house named Clouds that was to become the headquarters of unregulated sexual encounters where alcohol and drugs flowed freely.
During the parties, couples swapped sex partners and some colonialists were so scandalised that Indina was banned from ever setting foot at Government House, now State House.
Under Indina’s patronage, the White Highland settlers coalesced in her home; partying for days to a point that some whites would later accuse her for setting a bad example among Africans and motivating the Mau Mau to rise up against the white rule.