Whether it’s the extreme heat or the nduthis everywhere, a stay in Kisumu is always worthwhile. However, there are facts about Kisumu that a lot of people don’t know.
1. Kondele shopping centre arguably boasts one of the highest number of bars and drinking places per Kilometre in Kenya.
2. It is one of only two urban areas in Kenya which can be accessed by road, water, rail and air.
3. In 2001, Kisumu City was named the first-millennium city in the world.
4. In 1965, Grace Onyango was elected as mayor of Kisumu town, becoming the first woman mayor in Africa.
5. Kisumu hosted the first air flight in East and Central Africa.
It was an inaugural maiden flight from Kisumu to England and it took place in 1931.
6. Kisumu was traditionally a marketplace where different communities came to barter various commodities.
7. Its name itself is a derivative of ‘sumo’ which means barter trade.
8. But white settlers wrongfully believed that it derived its name from ‘sumu’ – a Swahili word meaning poison because of the dangerous malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the area.
9. During the colonial days, Kisumu used to be called Port Florence after Florence Preston, the wife of the senior railways engineer.
10. Legendary British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill visited Kisumu in 1907.
11. Despite being the biggest source, fish is actually more expensive in Kisumu than in most parts of the country.
12. During World War II, three aircraft operated by South African Air Force crashed into Lake Victoria soon after take-off from Kisumu Airport.
13. It was founded in 1901.