Kenya Name

Origin of name Kenya

Kenya is named after a mountain of the same name. The Kikuyu people who lived around present day Mt Kenya referred to it as Kirinyaga or Kerenyaga, meaning ‘mountain of whiteness’ because of its snow capped peak.

Mt Kirinyaga which was the main landmark became synonymous with the territory the British later claimed as their colony. However, the name Kenya arose out of the inability of the British to pronounce Kirinyaga correctly.

Kenya can be identified using the following names.

Conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
Conventional short form: Kenya
Local long form: Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya
Local short form: Kenya
Former Name: British East Africa

 

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