INSIGHTS FROM NAIROBI NEWSPAPERS – PART 4
Some of the notices in the Nairobi newspaper hinted at intriguing personal stories. For instance, the Saturday, March 26, 1921 Leader of British East Africa ran a curious note from a “young married woman.” She was looking for a job in the country for a short time. The immediate question is why? Is her husband gone for a while? Do they need a separation? Is she suffering from the confines of the city and feels that country air will be beneficial?
Another woman, also desiring to live in the country, posted another sort of ad in the June 25, 1921 issue of The Leader. She identified herself as a lady with small capital and said she wanted to meet another lady for the purpose of starting up a farm in the highlands. Once again, it’s the unknown back story that tantalizes. Is she single? Widowed? Divorced? Just fed up with men? The ad didn’t appear in the next weekly, but that doesn’t tell us if she found a partner or not.
Someone ran an ad in The Leader’s Lost column on August 13, 1921. This person requested information on the wherabouts of a 37-year-old man who had been missing three weeks. Another article in the same paper described a “lost lunatic.” Presumably this is the same person, but the same problem existed back then: follow-up stories do not readily appear. I could never find whether or not this poor man was found alive.
Perhaps the most pitiful notice of all ran Saturday June 11, 1921 in The Leader. There was a request for someone to please adopt a Dutch baby boy, age 4 months. One can only wonder what happened to leave this child stranded? Were his own parents giving him up? A single mother perhaps? Or had his parents perished and a neighbor took temporary custody? There is no follow up so we will never know. But we can be sure of this: despite all the social amenities in Nairobi itself, the life of the settler farmer was not easy.
Next week: DANGERS OF BIG GAME PART 1