Wednesday, March 30, 2022



Goan Achievers

THIS IS NOT A DRAFT, This is an idea germinating. I have posted this just to show what I would like to achieve. At the moment I am a little doubtful. I do not have the permission of the folks featured here ... if anyone objects, I will be happy to delete:


Goan Achievers

(Not even a draft)

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Suella Braverman MP, Attorney-General: It is an immense honour to have represented the people of Fareham since 2015, being re-elected in 2017 and 2019, on both occasions increasing our share of the vote. 

My parents came to this country with very little in the 1960s, from Kenya and Mauritius. Mum was recruited by the NHS as a girl of 18years old and worked as a nurse for 45years and Dad worked for a housing association. My family were proud to serve their local community in Wembley, North West London, through local politics: Mum was a Councillor for 16years and Dad a campaigner for local people. No problem was too small: whether it was trying to save the local library, keep the local playing fields open or help a resident get a better home.

I was born in Harrow and grew up in Wembley. After attending a local state school, my parents decided to send me to a local independent school where I won a scholarship to help with school fees. I gained a place to read Law at Queens College, Cambridge University, followed by a Masters in European and French Law (LLM) at the Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris and sat the New York Bar exams qualifying as an Attorney in New York State. This gave me a comparative insight into the legal, constitutional and political frameworks of Europe and the USA.

Since being elected, I have served on the Education Select Committee, as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury, and a Brexit Minister, a post from which I resigned in November 2018 over the unacceptable terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. In February 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed me to serve as Attorney General.

I’m a Conservative because we are the party that says it doesn’t matter where you start. It's about where you are going. You can make your life and that of others better by taking responsibility, self-empowerment and service. Aspiration means rewarding endeavour, enabling compassion and liberating people from the shackles of the state.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceANTONIO DA COSTA: PRIME MINISTER: Born in Lisbon in 1961, Antonio Luis Santos da Costa is of Goan origin. His father, Orlando grew up in Margao, Goa but left for Portugal where he married journalist Maria Antonia Palla. Antonio was born in 1961.

In 1991, Costa became a member of the Portuguese parliament, presenting as many as 20 law projects. He was secretary of state from 1995 to 1997 and minister of parliamentary affairs (1997-99). He organised Expo 98 which was a great success.

From October 1999 to April 2002, he served as justice minister.

From June 2004 to March 2005, he was a member of the European Parliament and was also elected as one of its 14 vice-presidents. In 2007, he was elected mayor of Lisbon.

In 2014, the Socialist Party nominated him as their prime ministerial candidate in the 2015 general elections. Costa resigned as mayor and won the election.



Description automatically generatedFRANCISCO D’SOUZA: superstar Indian American entrepreneur:  Francisco was born in Nairobi in 1968. His father was an Indian diplomat, Placido De Souza, who was posted there. His mother is Sushila and he has three sisters: Jacinta, Lucia and Maria. His rise was meteoric to say the least. Vivek Menezes wrote in the Times of India in 2013: “IN just a few weeks the very Goan name of Francisco (Frank) D’Souza has abruptly emerged amidst the most famous and admired titans of global business.

While industry insiders and observers have long admired the spectacular trajectory charted by D’Souza at Cognizant Technology Solution Corp, the multinational services provider and outsourcer, the 2013 results of’s global survey of than 500,000 corporate employees marked an unprecedented milestone.

The 44-year-old was rated the 6th best CEO (his estimation has gone up leaps and bounds since) in the world, polling significantly ahead of legendary tycoons like Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, and Larry Ellison. In breaking entirely new ground for an Industry, D’Souza also outranked Larry Page of Google and Tim Cook of Apple, who helm the giant corporations which define the current era of the information age.”

(D’Souza remains one of the most admired business visionaries of our time)

Two years after leaving Cognizant, D’Souza and his three co-founding partners set up a multi-million dollar private equity firm, Recognize, thus writing yet another brilliant chapter in his magnificent life.







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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceVivek Menezes is the co-founder and co-curator of the Goa Arts & Literature Festival (GALF) alongside his friend and mentor, the eminent Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo. He is a widely published writer and photographer, a columnist for Times of India, editor of The Peacock daily newspaper at the International Film Festival of India, and a frequent contributor to leading periodicals in India and abroad. He was born in Bombay, attended high school in New York, and holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the London School of Economics. He is also the curator of the large-scale group exhibition Panjim 175, which is part of the Serendipity Arts Festival 2018. He lives in Panjim with his wife and three sons, right next to where the Mandovi river merges with the Arabian Sea at Miramar beach.


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Description automatically generated with low confidenceSHIRLEY RODRIGUES: Shirley Rodrigues was appointed as Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy in October 2016. She is using her environmental expertise to work with Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the Mayor’s plans for tackling air pollution across London. This includes: expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), new charges for the oldest and most polluting vehicles, and creating Low Emission Bus Zones.

She is also overseeing the delivery of the Energy for Londoners programme (helping Londoners generate more low-carbon electricity), helping to boost London’s recycling rates and cutting landfills. She's working to deliver the ambitious target of London becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050.

Shirley was Acting Executive Director for Climate Change at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), an independent philanthropic organisation that works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries.

She helped establish CIFF's cities and climate strategy and represented CIFF on the board of the C40 Large Cities Leadership Group – a network of global cities committed to addressing climate change.

Shirley has an impressive track record of developing new environmental policies in London. She worked in senior environmental policy roles from 2005 to 2009, helping to implement the London Low Emission Zone and programmes to retrofit London’s residential and commercial buildings.


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Description automatically generated with medium confidencePatricia Rozario, OBE is a Bombay-born British soprano. Born and educated in Bombay, India, she went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She has performed at the English National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the Garsington Opera in England, and has performed on stage across Europe in Aix-en-Provence, Brussels, Frankfurt, Ghent, Innsbruck, Lyon and Stuttgart. One of her most notable appearances was across Europe in The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. She has also given concerts in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and as part of The Proms in England, and abroad in Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Halle, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Cologne, Leipzig, Madrid, New York City, Paris, Riga, Rouen, Strasbourg, Vienna, Winterthur and Zürich. She performed in a production of Elvis Costello’s Meltdown. Rozario has made numerous recordings of the works of composer John Tavener. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2001. Rozario is currently a professor at the Royal College of Music, where she is a member of the Vocal Faculty.






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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceDr Agnelo Fernandes was born in Margao, Goa, the son of the late Dr Joao Caetano Sacrafamilia Fernandes (Raia, Rachol,Salcette) and Lucy Fernandes (Orda, Candolim, Bardez). At the age of four, he moved to Nairobi where he attended St.Teresa’s Primary School. Six years later he moved to England. Dr Fernandes, Medical Director of NHS Direct South London and GP at Parchmore Medical Centre, Thornton Heath, Croydon, Surrey has been honoured with an MBE (January 2004) in the Queen's New Year Honours list for “Services to Healthcare”. Dr Agnelo Fernandes said, at the time: “I am delighted and thrilled. Such an honour is a tribute to all NHS staff who are working to modernise the health service.”

Claire Coutinho: Conservative MP for East Surrey  Her father Winston was a retired anaesthetist, and her mother Maria is a GP.[


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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceCrystelle Pereira is a 26-year-old quick-witted cook and baker from London. Born in North London to Kenyan-born, Portuguese-Goan parents, Crystelle loves sharing both her Portuguese-Goan recipes, but also recipes packed full of flavours from around the world. She stole the hearts of the nation in "The Great British Bake Off," where she reached the final. She is brilliant, sparkling, communicator and very creative in her video presentations. She is above all else a natural star people person.

By Alison Boshoff. … Who is up to her eyes in dough at Goldman Sachs? 3. Banker Princess Who Loves Drama: Crystelle Pereira, 26, client relationship manager. High-achiever Crystelle is quadrilingual, went to UCL and now works for mega-bank Goldman Sachs. She was also nominated for a Women in Investment award. Her family are prominent in the Goan community, and father Derrick is a successful businessman who runs his charity, Help A Poor Child, with the aid of Crystelle and her siblings. She has a theatrical streak … She says she served as chief taster for her mother’s family recipes growing up, and loves to infuse her bakes with spices from the places she’s visited. On her Instagram she describes herself as ‘90 per cent chaos, 10 per cent attempting to bake’, but the results are impressive. She’s posted pictures of a homemade Big Mac and Goan fish curry. Her cake pops are neat, as is her chocolate and peanut butter cake. Crème De La Creme? Everything she does is magic: four out of five 



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Description automatically generated with low confidenceWASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has appointed Father Earl K. Fernandes, a former staff member of the apostolic nunciature in Washington and currently a Cincinnati pastor, to head the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.

Father Earl K. Fernandes, a former staff member of the apostolic nunciature in Washington and currently a Cincinnati pastor, has been named bishop of Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: CNS/courtesy Archdiocese of Cincinnati) At 49, Bishop-designate Fernandes will be one of the youngest U.S. Catholic bishops. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on May 18, 2002, he served at the nunciature from 2016 to 2019. He has been pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish since 2019. His appointment was announced in Washington on April 2 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio. Bishop-designate Fernandes will be the 13th bishop of Columbus. His episcopal ordination and installation will be on May 31. (Catholic News Service)

“We will miss his incredible intellect, unflagging energy and concern for all people, but know that these traits will serve him well as he expands his ministry to shepherd the faithful people of Columbus,” Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr said in a statement.

“Through all his assignments, Father Fernandes has been an ever-joyful witness to the goodness, beauty and truth of the Catholic faith,” the archbishop said, asking the faithful of the archdiocese to join him in congratulating the Cincinnati priest “on this joyous news.”

Bishop-designate Fernandes was secretary at the nunciature from 2016 to 2019. Before that, he was dean and assistant professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati from 2008 to 2016. He is the published author of one book and numerous articles and essays and has given talks and retreats across the country. Born Sept. 21, 1972, in Toledo, Ohio, he is the fourth of five boys born to Indian immigrants. After graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School in


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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceBrendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya) is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Currently based out of Chicago, Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance hall, part political protest...always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity. Brendan is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2007) and a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Fellowship (2014). In 2010, he was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award and is the recipient of a prestigious 2017 Canada Council New Chapters grant. Brendan is also the recipient of the Artadia Award (2019), a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2020) and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant (2019). His projects have been shown at the 2019 Whitney Biennial (New York); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Museum of Modern Art (New York); The Getty Museum (Los Angeles); the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); MAC (Montreal); among a great many others. He is currently an artist-in-residence and Assistant Professor at North-western University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. Brendan is the son of Rudolph and Hazel Fernandes, ex-Nairobi who live in Toronto.

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceElena Fernandes is a Supermodel, Influencer, Actress and Philanthropist. She is half Indian and half South American; her father from Goa and mother from Peru. In between shoots and various projects, Elena resides in London where she was born and raised. She speaks fluent English, French, Hindi to name a few. Alongside her successful modelling career, Elena has made her acting debut in Kapoor and Sons released worldwide. Elena has featured in the most internationally renowned magazines such as Vogue, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar as well as landing huge advertising campaigns with powerhouses River Island, Adidas and FILA. Elena pursued an education in Law to degree level at the Kings College University of London following ambitions to be a solicitor alongside her successful fashion career. Modelling and acting materialised by chance for Elena and whilst she is grateful for her achievements in the industry, she still stays true to her academic aspirations. She is determined to maintain a healthy balance between her multifaceted career and charity efforts. Elena is heavily involved with various projects in India to aid both animal and child welfare. As well as helping to raise awareness for numerous children’s charities, she is actively involved with talks at schools for PETA, WFA, US charity Nightlife as well as her charity iAmChange.


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Description automatically generated with low confidenceBraz Menezes: Outstanding Architect and author of the very popular Matata triology about life growing up in Kenya as the country hurtled towards independence. Born and raised in Kenya currently living in Toronto, Ontario.





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Description automatically generatedMervyn Maciel: Pioneer author of a colonial civil servant’s life and adventures in pre-independent Kenya.


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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceDenzil Pereira and Trisca Fernandes: D&T happened when Denzil, the charismatic singer showman joined forces with Trisca an accomplished and versatile playback singer with loads of studio experience, Hindustani classical training and oodles of oomph. They combine a wide repertoire spanning Bollywood, Retro, Indi pop, RnB, funk, Western pop, jazz and swing with a stellar stage presence and infectious energy that can rock the socks off many a corporate stuffed shirt. They make the language of music even more universal with songs in English, Hindi, Konkani, Marathi, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish and more. They can stir the soul and burn the dance floor.


Ben Gomes





Some surprise inclusions in the list are Miss Great Britain (Preeti Desai, 25), CEO Roy De Souza, Symantec senior vice president Francis deSouza, Cognizant COO Francisco D'Souza, Dell Inc manager Andrew Fernandes, Kent bus-driver Ken D'Souza,


Romulus Pereira, former CEO Riverstone Networks Inc; Francis de Souza, senior VP, Symantec, enter messaging mgt group; Francisco D'Souza, COO, Cognizant Technology Solutions; and Andrew Fernandes, Dell Inc, US, manager, global business continuity.





Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tick Tick Boom, I loved this movie

I have been trying to write the review this film deserves for about a week because it's near impossible to put into words how incredible this film is. For starters, since the casting is an easy point to reflect on, this film is filled with incredible talent like Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesus, Alexandra Shipp, and Vanessa Hudgens to name just a few; and truthfully this feels like one of those projects where the cast was so perfect that I could go as far as to say these actors were meant to play these roles. Every person in this cast put everything into this film and it shows through the music and the acting and all those little moments where no one has to say a thing for you to understand exactly what they are feeling. They recorded these already remarkable songs and created exactly what, I personally think, Jonathan Larson envisioned when he wrote Tick Tick Boom. I am quite confident that Jonathan Larson would be so proud to see his work presented with this level of talent from a cast, crew, and everyone in between who helped create one of the best films I've ever experienced. Do yourself a favor, and give yourself 1 hour and 55 minutes to sit with this film and everything it represents. -- Eliza Reign

Based on the autobiographical musical by playwright Jonathan Larson. It's the story of an aspiring composer in New York City who is worried he made the wrong career choice, whilst navigating the pressures of love and friendship.

Maddison Feller:

New York Theatre Workshop became the first theater to produce Rent, allowing Larson to officially quit his job at the Moondance Diner. But in the lead-up to the show, Larson began having chest pains and nausea, according to his friends and co-workers in the documentary. During one tech rehearsal, Larson collapsed in the back of the theater. He ended up going to the emergency room twice, but doctors found nothing wrong.

He moved forward with the show, and on Jan. 24, 1996, Larson went to Rent’s final dress rehearsal, which took place in front of a full audience. Afterwards, he went to the back of the theater to do an interview with Anthony Tommasini, a critic at the Times, which you can still read hereand headed home at around 12:30 a.m. There, he put water on the stove to make tea and unexpectedly died from an aortic aneurism. It was the morning of the first Off-Broadway preview of Rent. Larson was 35 years old.

Awards: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Andrew Garfield.

I watched it on Netflix, loved every moment.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

More about Goa and Goans!

Like many places around the world where Goans gather around a bottle of this and that or at lunch or dinner, or even at a card table, the conversation more often than not turns to Goa, Goans, Portuguese, the origin of the Goan Catholic ... the Friday Night Club in Sydney is no different. Blessed with as many points of view as there are in a variety of curries, agreement, acceptance and more often than not the subjects under examination remain floating in the air until the next Friday we meet. Then having burnt many midnight oils surfing through the wisdom (or the lack thereof) of pedia this and that, this ghosts of conversations past are brought to life for another round of robust calculation, miscalculation, examination and this and that.

This offering is to the altar of misinformation and disinformation as preached by our resident Dr Google. It is by no means the answer to the question ... How did Goa get its name!

This piece is based on a virtual conversation on a site called Quora:

Sitesh Shrivastava

What is the origin of the State name "Goa" in India?


The origin of the name Goa is unclear. In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names such as GomantaGomanchalaGopakapattamGopakapuri, GovapuriGovem, and Gomantak. The Indian epic Mahabharata refers to the area now known as Goa, s Goparashtra or Govarashtra which means a nation of owwherds. Gopakapuri or Gopakapattanam were used in some ancient Sanskrit texts, and these names were also mentioned in other sacred Hindu texts such as the Harivansa and the Skanda Purana. In the latter, Goa is also known as GomanchalaParashurambhoomi is a name that the region is referred to in certain inscriptions and texts such as the Puranas. In the third century BCE, Goa was known as Aparantha, and is mentioned by the Greek geographer Ptolemy. The Greeks referred to Goa as Nelkinda in the 13th century. Some other historical names for Goa are SindapurSandabur, and Mahassapatam.



Pierre Moreira: Actually, the Hindu Goans who got converted by the Portuguese after Goa was conquered by them, used to opt for the family surname of their godfather or, sometimes, for the surname of the priest who baptized them. More rarely, the surname of the Portuguese viceroy or governor at the time of the baptism was chosen.

De Sousa, Fernandes and Rodrigues were (and still are) very common family names in Portugal at that time. So it is not surprising to find them so often in use. Noronha, Mascarenhas and Menezes which are very noble surnames in Portugal are also found even if the Goan family who uses it has no clear aristocratic roots.

Due to the proximity of the British Raj and also due to the fact that a lot of Goans used to work for the British in Mumbai and Karachi from the early 19th century on, some Portuguese surnames often suffered alterations in order to be more easily pronounced by the Brits: De Sousa and Da Silva became D’Sousa and D’Silva, Rodrigues became Rodricks, etc.

These phenomena are not limited to Goa and it’s common to find these family surnames in Kerala (mostly amongst the Roman Catholic communities of Kochi/Cochim) as well as amongst the East-Indian communities of Mumbai which ancestors were either Goans or Portuguese Catholic inhabitants of Bombay before this settlement was offered as a dowery by the King of Portugal to his English counterpart on early 17th century.

In Sri Lanka, which has been colonized by the Portuguese from the first years of the 1500s and where they kept their domination in big parts of the island till 1658, we can observe the same abundance of Portuguese family surnames which variety is even more limited than in Goa. The process was the same as the locals used to adopt their godfathers’ surnames. What is curious is that, nowadays, a lot of Buddhists also have Portuguese surnames. It can be explained by the fact that big numbers of the locals who were converted to Catholicism on the 16th century retained part of their Buddhist faith as the presence of Portuguese missionaries as well as the creation of a local clergy were very limited. Later on, after the end of the Portuguese rule, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) experienced a regeneration of the Buddhist religion and the Catholic faith disappeared in many regions. But the former Sinhala surnames of these families were lost for so many decades that they kept using the Portuguese surnames till today (with some alterations: Sousa often becomes Souza or Soyza, Peres becomes Peiris or Piris, Fonseca becomes Fonseka, etc.)


Vinay Borker: Almost all Goan Catholics are of Hindu origin. When Hindus were baptized into Christianity, they got the surname of the priest, usually a Portuguese, who baptized them. Thus, if an entire village was converted by a single priest then all got the same surname of the priest. Sometimes a European person, usually a Portuguese, was made the godfather of the converted persons. The converted got the surname of the godfather. So, the majority of converted Catholics got a Portuguese surname. Interestingly many records of conversions are still maintained in the churches in the locality. So, a Catholic can usually find out from the records what was his/her original Hindu surname.

Do people from Goa like being Portuguese or Indian?


Mark Quadros: Being born and brought up in Goa itself, I think I qualify to voice my opinion on this.

One Avo (Grandma) was Portuguese (born and brought up in Portugal) the other was from Goa, Both ended up marrying Goans so I think our family grew to be less orthodox and more liberal. It was interesting as a child to see that there were hardly any differences in both. I feel the older generation in Goa i.e. my grandparent’s generation were more into the Portuguese lifestyle than the descendants (us)

I can write Portuguese pretty well and have studied it for my boards as well but I think I like to associate myself as a mixture of both Goan and Portuguese and a bit of Indian. (To start with everyone was an Indian Hindu).

We have a more westernized culture, our parents are open to us dating, travelling, taking breaks in our education, it’s very liberal. We have no arranged marriage system or a ‘dowry’ system. Well, some pure caste Goans may have this.

So yes, I feel it is totally normal to not be associated as Indian as our culture is very different from that of an Indian family.





SOME of you may know that it has been my dream to produce a book celebrating current Goan achievers around the world. So far, I have failed miserably ... this is my last chance for my last book.

If you anyone who deserves recognition, please send me their names and contact details. There are lots and lots of Goans doing wonderful things in all aspects of life around the world. For history's sake let us celebrate them in a little book.

Help me, please.

Share this with anyone!


Goan Achievers



Dr Agnelo Fernandes
was born in Margao, Goa, the son of the late Dr Joao Caetano Sacrafamilia Fernandes (Raia, Rachol,Salcette) and Lucy Fernandes (Orda, Candolim, Bardez). At the age of four, he moved to Nairobi where he attended St.Teresa’s Primary School. Six years later he moved to England. Dr Fernandes, Medical Director of NHS Direct South London and GP at Parchmore Medical Centre, Thornton Heath, Croydon, Surrey has been honoured with an MBE (January 2004) in the Queen's New Year Honours list for “Services to Healthcare”. Dr Agnelo Fernandes said: “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled. Such an honour is really a tribute to all NHS staff who are working to modernise the health service.”


Friday, March 18, 2022

The evil the British committed on men AND women in the colonies

This is a must read piece for anyone with the least interest in the British colonial atrocities ... Caroline Elkins was the first to comprehensively expose the British evil committed on the Mau Mau and she continues to expose more evils committed on men and women everywhere. Thanks MM for the heads up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Menegai is firing up agan

One of my former Menengai High School students, Narendra Khagram, sent me the attached photo of Menengai Crater with the message that Menengai, long considered a dormant volcano, is showing signs of activity. The accompanying photograph shows either smoke or steam - it's difficult to tell which with any certainty.  The activity shown in the photograph is almost insignificant compared with, for example, the eruption that took place in La Palma in the Canary Islands and lasted 85 days until December 14, 2021. Although Menengai crater is considered dormant, in view of the increased activity, it is prudent of the authorities to have alerted residents of Nakuru to the possibility of danger especially as fault lines run near the city and cracks have occurred recently showing signs of dangerous activity below.

I taught in Nakuru from 1961 to 1970 at Menengai High School. Cybele and I had a lovely house on the last road on the way up the crater which is the second-largest volcanic caldera in Africa after Ngorongoro. Around the mid-sixties, a tremor shook Nakuru at night. Cybele and I slept through it. The next day, when we heard the news on the radio, we checked around our house and the only evidence of a tremor that we noticed was that some pictures on the wall were askew. No big deal, I thought.

Anyway, as the subject was topical, we invited a Government seismologist to give us a talk on volcanic activity in Kenya's Rift Valley. We were aware that there had been a major earthquake of 6.9 magnitudes in the Subukia Valley (about 30 miles from Nakuru) in 1928, but there had not been anything of consequence since then to our knowledge. In my naivety, I asked the expert how often there was evidence of volcanic activity in Nakuru.

"Oh," said the seismologist, "on an average, we have a tremor once every four minutes," he stated, quite matter-of-factly!

ONCE EVERY FOUR MINUTES!!! My house, scenically located on the slopes of Menengai, is in the first line of fire. If lava comes pouring out of the sleeping giant, I thought, Cybele, Lisa and I would be toast in seconds!  

As it happened, we lived quite safely and slept quite soundly for a further five years in Nakuru till the Ministry of Education transferred me to Mombasa, Cybele's birthplace on Kenya's beautiful coastline, 400 miles away from the seismic danger zone.

Lava streams from the volcano in La Palma burying vineyards, houses.
cars, everything in their way.

Cracks and sinkholes in West Nakuru along fault lines.

From time to time, I have heard reports of increased volcanic and seismic activity in Kenya's Rift Valley. Longido, near Arusha, (not far from majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa), has an earthquake or two of a magnitude of 5.0 or higher every month. The doom and gloom fear mongers are convinced that in the not too distant future a whole chunk of Eastern Africa is going to break off at the Rift Valley fault line and become an island the size of Australia! I'm not the gambling kind but I would quite happily wager a buck or two that such a catastrophe won't happen in my lifetime. What is much more likely is that Menengai is likely to continue to give the residents of Nakuru the jitters to an increasing extent. Nakuru was a town of 45,000 when I left. It has increased tenfold to a city of 400,000. A major earthquake or volcanic eruption in the area would have serious consequences for a city of that size. I pray it won't happen. I spent ten of the happiest and most productive years of my life there and have very many happy memories of Nakuru and its people, especially my students and colleagues.



  This invaluable collection of photos was sent to me by David Mungai. He says it is “for the acknowledgement of Kenyan History, the celebra...