Untold Stories of How Thika Road Estates Got Their Names
Thika Road hosts some of the populous estates and the area is loved by Kenyans due to access to good infrastructure and basic amenities.
The area boasts of some leafy suburbs and informal settlements, but few people understand the interesting stories that led to the naming of the popular estates.
Names have a deeper meaning in African culture and with influence from white settlers or local ethnic groups- in this case, Kikuyu- here is how these estates got their names.
This was the property of Lord and Lady McMillan — who gave Nairobi the famous McMillan Memorial Library. The estate was once a farm that was owned by the Nettlefold Family, shareholders in Guest, Keane and Nettlefold.
Juja Farm was initially called ‘Weru wa Ndarugu’ (Ndarugu Plains), later renamed by Lord McMillan who bought a ranch in the area and brought two West African statues named ‘Ju’ and ‘Ja’ hence Juja that’s faced by Mt Kilimambogo (buffalo mountain) in the east.
The name “Witeithie” comes from the Kikuyu people and it means help yourself. After independence, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta went around the Mt Kenya region giving land that had previously been owned by White settlers. A group of women who acquired land after independence concocted the name.
When Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s regime took over, he gave that land, then owned by a white farmer, to the Nyakinyua Women Group. It was a group of dancers who entertained him.
The group members subdivided the land and each was allocated a plot and told: “Witeithie Gwaka Gwaku (Help yourself build a home).”