National Archives PHOTO | Courtesy

The impact of Freemasonry on various aspects of Kenyan society prompts diverse reactions from those who delve into the subject. As a clandestine society, Freemasonry invokes both fear and admiration among adherents and skeptics alike.

Central to its teachings is the inclusive embrace of all religions, a characteristic that adds to its controversial nature. The only prerequisite for membership is belief in a supreme being, turning one’s beliefs into a perspective among many.

The city of Nairobi serves as a poignant microcosm of Freemasonry’s historical journey in Kenya. Established when the area was predominantly wild, Nairobi’s early communities—Kikuyu, Maasai, and Kamba—were immersed in African Traditional Religion, with limited exposure to Christianity.

The city’s founders, comprised of Europeans, Asians, Arabs, and Somalis, introduced diverse religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Jainism. However, it was the European settlers who brought Freemasonry to Nairobi, establishing a lodge in the burgeoning town by 1901.

The influence of Freemasonry on Nairobi’s development is palpable. Masonic symbols and signs are scattered across the cityscape, reflecting the society’s roots in the ancient and mysterious religions of Egypt. Nairobi has not been immune to occult activities, with reports suggesting the presence of witches’ covens meeting in undisclosed locations.

The intertwining of Freemasonry with Kenyan Christianity is a subject of significance. Missionaries in the late 1800s and early 1900s, according to research by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, were often Freemasons. They integrated Masonic signs and symbols into church buildings, including those of Anglican and Roman Catholic denominations, a practice that raised questions about the compatibility of Freemasonry with Biblical Christianity.

The city planning of Nairobi during the 1920s and 1930s bears Masonic undertones. Figures like Sir Herbert Baker, a Freemason, contributed to the city’s layout, drawing inspiration from other cities recognized as Masonic-designed. Notably, city parks, public artworks, and monuments are scrutinized by Freemasonry observers for potential hidden significance.

In the fabric of Nairobi’s civic and governmental structures, Freemasonry appears to have played a role in influencing key buildings, from the Milimani Law Courts, parliament, Nairobi school, parliament, national archives, to the Holy Family Basilica. The Freemasons Hall, constructed in 1935, stands as a testament to their presence, while constructing all Saints cathedral, with earlier lodges dating back to 1901.

Notable figures associated with Freemasonry in Kenya include Cecil Rhodes, Sir Herbert Baker, Lord Delamere, Colonel Grogan, Charles Njonjo, and Moody Awori. The influence extends beyond individual affiliations to encompass global politics, business, media, and popular culture.

Controversies surrounding Freemasonry in Kenya have also linked it to the founding and spread of various movements, including Theosophical Society, Christian Science, Unitarianism, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormonism, ecumenical/interfaith movements, Satanism, and the New Age Movement.

The question of Masonic influence on Kenya’s development and history invites contemplation. Some argue that secret societies, despite their sinister connotations, could be instrumental in defending Africa’s interests and accelerating its development, echoing sentiments explored by secret societies like Skulls and Bones, The Bohemian Grove, and The Round Table.

As debates persist, one cannot overlook the intricate web of Freemasonry in Kenya’s past, present, and potential future, prompting a closer examination of its role in shaping the nation’s trajectory.

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