Only Country Jomo Kenyatta Flew to as President

  • Kenya's first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Daily Nation
  • Kenya's first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta only flew out of Kenya once during his 14-year tenure.

    In a book titled Miss Uhuru 1963: Working for Mzee Jomo Kenyatta by former Social Secretary Elizabeth Madoka, she wrote that Mzee hated flying. 

    In 1969, Kenyatta made a flight to Ethiopia to visit the then Emperor Haile Selassie who was a very close friend, enough to make Mzee get on a plane.

    Kenya's first President Jomo Kenyatta and Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie

    When he arrived, Ethiopia's military performed a special aerial drill in Kenyatta's honour by spelling his name, Jomo, in the sky.

    Former Presidential Escort Commander, Bernard Njinu, also confirming Kenyatta's fear of flying, narrated Mzee's very last flight before he became president. 

    He was flying from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa and the experience was so rough that he insulted the pilot. 

    On landing in Mombasa, the fuming old man told his Escort Commander, “Tell that pilot (unwritable insults) that henceforth he will be flying his mother not Kenyatta!”

    Mzee also had a fear of frogs that made him go to great lengths to avoid them.

    It was this reason that Kenyatta only slept at State House once during his 14 years as president. 

    “He would not sleep at State House because he said there were ghosts of white people and frogs were croaking… he thought they were saying he should not be there,” one of the close associates of Mzee Kenyatta, Duncan Ndegwa told Nation.

    A young President Uhuru Kenyatta behind former Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie