Posted in travel

Malindi-Watamu vacay: House of Columns


At first I had not seen this building yet I used this road twice on my ups and downs in the South side of Malindi. As I was lazily scouting for the key to the Portuguese chapel, boom I looked up and there it was. Shockingly, it was not even on my list of places to see probably because it didn’t pop up in my Google searches.

At the reception I was warmly received by a lady who was like, “when I saw you passing by looking at the building, I knew you were coming back.” And back I was. Remember the Ksh 100 got you covered for four places….read here👉🏾 https://evamuturi.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/malindi-watamu-vacay/ The ticket I paid for that morning to get to the Chapel gave me leeway.

Apparently the building was the first hospital for Malindi then it was taken over as the first Fisheries Office for Malindi after Malindi District hospital came into existence in 1952. In addition, it also housed the Game Department and then the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department. It was until later that the then KWS Director Richard Leakey agreed to hand over the building to the National Museums of Kenya.

10th may 2004 it opened as the first Malindi Museum with the ground floor being the Malindi Coelacanth and upper floor housing the Webb Memorial Library. Well, the name House of Columns is due to the thick columns that support the upper floor.

Malindi Coelacanth

Something strange yet amazing happened off the Kenyan coast at Malindi on 26th April 2001. A group of fishermen on their MV Venture II were out fishing prawns when their trawling net caught a Coelacanth at 12 noon. Thinking they had caught something evil since it was out of this world the crew of 28 contemplated on what to do with it but the captain insisted on keeping it and ordered the crew to keep it in the cold storage.

Our retired president, Daniel Moi declared it a national treasure at the Mombasa Agriculture show where it was then taken by the National Museums of Kenya to their laboratories in Nairobi. This floor houses tales of fishermen who caught the creature, to its biology formation (those interested can hit me up and will gladly share the notes as this might take one huge lesson) and other types of fish are classified as well. There is a post office to say the least that has interesting fun facts. You just open it, read the question asked and attempt it. A wheel to spin is also a fun game to try out. Gives insight on how much information do you really know about sea creatures.

Coelacanth sculpture

The crew

Coelacanth

Webb Library

One might be forced to say OMG loudly in here and forget there are avid readers doing their studies. For a starter, the balcony serves one with a glimpse of the ocean. The resource center has huge windows that leave a nerd transformed into the waters. The football pitch used by residents was once where the water levels used to be.

The library has a wealthy vast of books majority been science and history genres. Magazines ranging from Readers Digest to The Guardian can be spotted here. The serene ambience, sisal seats makes it a one stop library when one wants to pass time away from the beach life.From here, I went to explore a bridge I had seen locals using and thought it headed to some homes only to figure out this was the windiest part I had ever been. The waves were calling, fishermen were busy casting their nets and the photographers were busy trying to convince me to have a photo taken with their Nikons. It is simply a chill zone to breath in. On my way back spotted a biotechnology marine center where fish is processed.

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Living my life, exploring it, yearning more of it and learning from it.

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