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Ndumberi in Kiambu county :A town of golf, gamblers and prominent people

Former Central Bank Governor Duncan Ndegwa (right) with Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi (left) during a past golf dinner. Ndegwa best captures the significance of Ndumberi Golf Club in Ndumberi Village, Kiambu in his memoirs, Walking in Kenyatta’s Struggles.

Former Central Bank Governor Duncan Ndegwa (right) with Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi (left) during a past golf dinner. Ndegwa best captures the significance of Ndumberi Golf Club in Ndumberi Village, Kiambu in his memoirs, Walking in Kenyatta’s Struggles.

Fifteen Kilometres from the city centre on your way to Kiambu is Ndumberi. The township is located on the Githiga-Githunguri road junction, just three kilometres from Kiambu Town.

Two modern joints; the Sam’s Pavilion and the Kontainer bar have given Ndumberi a major facelift and it is now frequented by prominent clients from far and wide. Our town rarely makes headlines. Some few years back, Ndumberi hit the news when a man raped and murdered a small girl then dumped her body in a coffee plantation.

It was in the news again last year when one Andrew Mbugua, a transgender, went to court to demand that Knec changes the name on the primary school certificate to reflect the new gender ‘he’ had assumed.

But Ndumberi is not only known for a few eccentric behaviours and congestion. Its three main unique characteristics are gambling, golf and producing prominent personalities.

Gambling and betting are in people’s blood. Near the main bus terminus, you will encounter groups of about five men walking anxiously and dismiss them as idlers.

Little would you know that each has placed a bet of Sh1,000 on whether the first vehicle to arrive from Kiambu will be a minibus, a 14-seater matatu, a saloon or lorry. Another group will bet on whether the first person to alight from a matatu will be a man, woman, boy or girl with another Sh5,000 at stake.

Late into the night, many bars turn into casinos. Fellows play cards, pool game or a betting game that involves throwing coins. The total amount at stake is astronomical.

Ndumberi Golf Club.

In Ndumberi, golf is not a rich man’s game. Every Tom, Dick and Harry, whether old and young knows how to hold a club, thanks to our golf course.

This small course on the ouskirts of the township prides itself at having nurtured prominent golfers. The chairman of Kenya Professional Golf’s Union and business man cum-politician, Nginyo Kariuki learned his golf skills on this course. In fact, he is the patron of Ndumberi Golf Club.

Other professionals who learned their golf in Ndumberi include Mike Moko, formerly of Karen Golf Club and Francis Karanga of Kiambu Golf Club. Many other dignitaries have also come to Ndumberi to play golf. Attorney General Githu Muigai and Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi are listed as some of the honorary members of the club.

Interestingly, Ndumberi is like the magical goose that lays the golden egg as far as leadership is concerned. Almost all prominent people in Kiambu county come from Ndumberi, within a radius of just 500 metres from one another.

Just opposite Ndumberi primary school is the home of Ndumberi county rep and former Kiambu Town mayor Ngugi Uiru. One homestead after his is the home of Peter Kahuho of the Ministry of Lands who was recently promoted by Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.

About 300 metres away on the same road is the home of Amb Kimani Mathu and his wife Eunice of Parents magazine who are next-door neighbours to Deputy Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani.

Right across the road is the maisonette of former Kiambu tycoon Kiarie Mbugua who was popularly known as Wa Njoki. Prof Githu Muigai’s ancestral home is a few metres behind Kiarie’s home.
Walk about another 100 metres on Githiga Road and you will be outside the gates of Cianda estate.

You will obviously be awed by the palatial home of former cabinet minister Njenga Karume. This house is reputed to be among one of the best family owned residential home in East and Central Africa.

Several media personalities also come from Ndumberi. There is the KBC Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya and his brother Kariuki Waihenya of NMG.

Joseph Warungu formerly of BBC and currently working with KBC also comes from our township.

So if you want to be another great Kenyan, make a point of buying a piece of land in Ndumberi though it will cost you a leg.

kiarieranji@yahoo.com

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