Emperor Haile Selassie's Gift that Angered the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta

  • Kenya's first president, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was known for his no-nonsense attitude and it showed in several instances.

    At one time during the 1964 Jamhuri Day celebrations, Mzee Kenyatta invited Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie due to their close friendship.

    Upon his arrival, Haile Selassie gifted Kenyatta a white pet dog.

    [caption caption="Haile Selassie with one of his Pet Dogs"][/caption]

    Unknown to him, Kenyatta hated pets and was somewhat annoyed by Selassie's gift.

    Apparently, Mzee Kenyatta would have preferred a cow, biographer Jeremy Murray-Brown narrates in his 1972 book titled; Kenyatta.

    According to Murray-Brown, Kenyatta was a very good friend of the Emperor that he kept a red, green and gold Ethiopian flag in his room in England.

    At the time, in 1931, Kenyatta was studying in London’s Quaker College in Woodbroke.

    It is reported that Kenyatta was so fascinated with His Imperial Majesty and 33 years after his stay at 75 Castle Road in England, he ensured the Emperor was Kenya’s first foreign dignitary invited during the Jamhuri Day celebrations in June, 1964.

    A street in Nairobi[caption caption="Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with Emperor Haile Selassie "][/caption] was later named in his honour - Haile Selassie Avenue.