Kenyan pleasure seekers in Uhuru Park, Nairobi

Uhuru or Independence Park in Nairobi is what Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai calls the “most important public space in Kenya” in her autobiography Unbowed.  In the late 80s the oppressive one-party government wanted to build a 60-story building on the park’s lucrative land which buts up against the central business district.  During the battle to save the park, Maathai was given death threats, was targeted for assassination, and was besieged in her home for three days before police cut through the window bars and arrested her.  After an international outcry, she was released and went on a hunger strike.  Through her actions and those of many others, the park remains the only true green space in the heart of Nairobi.

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