About the Kenya Museum Society
The Kenya Museum Society was established to support and promote the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) with two primary mandates: to raise funds for the work of the museums and to train museum guides.
KMS also runs the bookshop at the Nairobi Museum. Through public programmes such as the Know Kenya Course and Arts Festival, proceeds from the bookshop and other projects and events, funds are raised to support the KMS grants programme. Grants awarded to the National Museums in 2002 exceeded KSh 3 million.
History of the Kenya Museum Society (KMS)
Louis Leakey was born in 1903 and grew up in Kabete, Nairobi. Forty-five years later he proclaimed to the world that the Horn of Africa was the cradle of mankind. Teaming up with like-minded enthusiasts Joel Ojai, Dr. Thomas Odhiambo and Professor Joseph Mungai, in 1955 Leakey formed the ‘Kenya Museum Associates’ to finance the group’s activities putting Kenya in the global spotlight of prehistory assets. In 1971 Louis’s son Richard Leakey formed the ‘Kenya Museum Society’, non-profit making organization for the purpose of supporting the programs and activities of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK).
KMS awards grants to individuals and departments within the Museums in three priority areas:
- Exhibits & Research - in recent years, KMS funds refurbished the Meru and Hyrax Hill regional
museums, set up the new aquarium exhibit at Nairobi Museum, and renovated the
historic Old Law Courts Building at Fort Jesus, Mombasa. We also
underwrite the cost of research and fieldtrips, some recent examples being in
the areas of palaeontology and ornithology.
- Infrastructure - grants in this area
have provided computers, printers and other equipment for many Museum
- Training - KMS has funded local and
overseas training courses for NMK staff, and supported the PhD studies of
deserving Museum researchers.
KMS trains volunteer guides for both the Nairobi and Karen Blixen museums. Guide training is a follow-on from the annual Know Kenya More (Know Kenya Course). Our guides come from all corners of the globe and can therefore give guided tours in many different languages. There's generally a guide on duty every morning at the Nairobi Museum, but if you want a particular language, please call the KMS office ahead of the date and check availability. Guided tours are free.
See sidebar right.
- Chairperson – Patricia Jentz
- Vice Chairperson – Susan Linnee
- Honorary Treasurer – Peter Brice
- Honorary Secretary – Dr. Marla Stone
- Office Manager - Lucy Njeri
- Society Secretary - Dorothy Mkala
- KMS Shop Manager - John M'Mbono
- KMS Shop Sales Assistant - Brenda Ramdas
- KMS Shop Sales Assistant - Loise