Mystery of Kenya’s Most Photographed House

  • An undated photo of one of Kenya's most photographed houses located near the Riat Hills along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway
    An undated photo of one of Kenya's most photographed houses located near the Riat Hills along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway
  • Building a family home is the grounding factor towards self-actualization. In the pursuit of security and peace of mind it presents, people will work, service loans and save for years for it. Granted, it's worth it.

    An avenue to express one's style and influence to dull the pain of years in cramped city apartments with leaking faucets, peeling walls and sadistic landlords with awful tailors.

    Then, fancy building a family home that's ideal in all aspects but privacy? So much, that it forces you to abandon a multi-million investment?

    Well, that's what befell a hapless homeowner whose house has infamously pulled curious strangers in droves, often taking unauthorised photos.

    On the Kisumu-Kakamega Highway, near Riat Hills (around Kibuswa Market), sits an architectural and landscaping masterpiece. It's a magnificent 4-bedroomed house beautifully set on a cascading landscape with neat lawns and terraces.

    Well, it's common to spot travellers making a stop, whipping out cameras for photos and selfies. After the famous Rift Valley viewpoint, this is the next most popular stop for wanderlusters.

    From a distance, it would be mistaken for a 3D model presentation by an enthusiastic architect.

    It begs more stories than it answers them.

    Who owns it?

    Why is it deserted? No one has ever been spotted in the vast grounds.

    As it often is with inexplicable occurrences, folklores thrive around this family home.

    To cash in on curious travellers, local youth hang around to tell stories of that house, for a small tip. There's no credible story from the local 'guides'. The higher the tip, the more colourful the story ........

    Guide 1: The owner left for the diaspora and not been seen since.

    Guide 2: That parcel of land was cursed by ancestors (you'll yawn, and he won't notice) and ghosts trim the lawns at midnight.

    On the return trip, the guides will have come up with other, more incredulous stories.

    Who knows the real story of this house?

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