Jezebel and the Puff Adder

Jezebel and the Puff Adder

When living outside Naivasha on the edge of the Rift Valley in a somewhat lonely and rugged place, we didn’t have too many wild animals, but we did have snakes. One morning Ezekiel, our mpishi and the chap who totally ran the household, rushed in to say Jezebel, one of our dogs, had been bitten by a nyoka. Hastily putting our baby daughter and Ayah plus the dogs into our old blue Vanguard, we drove off down the very bumpy track to Naivasha to take Jezebel to the Veterinary station. Driving perhaps too quickly through a flooded donga, the car stalled in the middle. With no one nearby to help, we got out and opened the bonnet. We removed the spark plugs one by one and dried them off with the only dry cloth we had – one of the baby’s nappies. By a miracle, the car started. We arrived at the Vet to find no one there. By now Jezebel was unconscious, the fang marks clearly visible on her lip.  We took Jezebel to the District Hospital where the Matron, after a little hesitation, injected our dog near the heart. In a very short time Jezebel recovered. We returned home and found our workers, with great jubilation, had killed the six-foot-long puff adder that had bitten Jezebel. Daphne Johnson, Hereford, UK...

Christine Nicholls’ Blog, 3 March 2012

I have been looking into the early newspapers of Kenya and have managed to glean the following facts, with the help of Stephen North. Can anyone help me further with this list? Have I got any of the dates wrong? Has anyone any more information about when the papers began or folded, and have I omitted any? I would be really grateful for your help. East African Newspapers and Magazines before 1925 1899 – East Africa and Uganda Mail begun in Mombasa with Olive Grey as Proprietor. She was declared bankrupt in Mombasa on 13 March 1901. The newspaper was discontinued in 1904. 1902, 15 November – African Standard began in Mombasa as a weekly, with W.H. Tiller as Editor and A.M. Jeevanjee as Proprietor. It was bought by A.G.W. Anderson and Rudolf Mayer in May 1903. This became the East African Standard in 1905 and moved its offices to Nairobi in 1910, when it became a daily. ‘Tillard [sic] the drunken editor of a native newspaper rejoicing in the name of the ‘African Standard’’. (F.J. Jackson, FO2) 1904 – East African Quarterly was begun as an agricultural journal. 1905, Aug – Times of East Africa began, with Ernest William Low as Editor from December. He was sacked but re-engaged on one month’s notice 26 January 1906. He sued the paper for outstanding salary in May 1906 but lost the case. Low then started the Star Newspaper & Publishing C. Which published the East African Handbook, 1907. J.G. Hartnoll became Editor of the Times in May 1906, but he left the paper without giving notice in January 1907. Frank Watkins, John Brind Ellis, Douglas Grey, D.O. Roberts and Rudolph Diespecker were directors, and H.C....

Bwana Sasa Hivi of Marsabit

Jaldessa Diko, the Boran station Mnyapara (foreman) during my service with the Provincial Administration in Marsabit in the early 1950s earned his nickname of “Sasa Hivi” meaning right now. Jaldessa was out to please everyone, and if ever I told him that I required something done urgently, his invariable reply would be “Ndiyo Bwana, Sasa Hivi! (Yes Sir, just now!) Whenever I wanted some work done to my government quarters or garden, Jaldessa would take care of it sasa hivi,  often by removing several labourers from a previously allocated job, and sending them to my house. I didn’t realise at the time that Jaldessa  had upset the wives of several of my colleagues from the Police department by his prompt action.  Only when my wife told me that Mrs “X” had complained that work on their house was only half-done, did I see what an awkward situation Jaldessa had created by  his sasa hivi promises! Fortunately, with a bit of diplomacy, I resolved the problem. Jaldessa wasn’t always popular with the station labour either. I often heard murmurings after he’d changed their programme at very short notice. Jaldessa had a colourful and commanding personality, and like him or loathe him, he will always remain, for my wife and myself at least, the unforgettable “Bwana Sasa hivi.” Mervyn Maciel, Sutton, Surrey...