Cradle of education Dr.Krapf Memorial Museum regains its glory

Germany ambassador to Kenya Mrs.Jutta Frasch, Dr.Mzalendo Kibunjia (centre) and National museums officer holding a Bao; a traditional mancala board game. PHOTO: HILLARY MAKOKHA

Kilifi, KENYA: Rabai is well known in the books of history as the place where Christianity and modern learning in Kenya started in 1846.

In 1989, the Krapf memorial museum was founded to give formal and a perpetual reminder of monumental events during the time the first missionaries set foot in Kenya.

The first ACK church was built at Rabai which is located 25KM North-West of Mombasa off the Mazeras –Kaloleni road in Kilifi County.

The church, St. Paul is still in use today.

Dr. Ludwing Krapf founded the church missionary society station at Rabai in 1846.

He lost his wife Rosine and their newborn daughter to malaria.

Their graves can be seen near Krapf Memorial Park at Mkomani in Nyali sub -County.

Dr.Krapf an explorer, linguistic and traveler wrote the first dictionary of the Swahili language and translated the sections of the Bible into Kiswahili, Kinyika and the Kikamba languages.

St. Paul church in Rabai. PHOTO: HILLARY MAKOKHA.

Dr.Ludwing Krapf arrived at Rabai with a mission of spreading Christianity in the region and he was warmly welcomed by the Rabai Kaya elders Jindoa and later bought 92 acres of land from the kaya elders.

Dr.Krapf along his colleague Johann Rebmann got access to Africa through the Indian Ocean.

Rebmann was a German missionary explorer credited with being the first European to see Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848.

Dr.Ludwing Krapf was born in 1810 and died in 1881 while Johann Rebmann was born in the year 1820 and died in 1876.

In April 2018,’Dr.Krapf Memorial Museum’ was rehabilitated.

The project was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and actualized through the ministry of sports and Heritage in collaboration with the Anglican Church of Kenya.

It was then launched by the Germany ambassador to Kenya Mrs.Jutta Frasch on April 19, 2018.

“May I thank your Excellency, ambassador Mrs.Frasch for your efforts in funding this rehabilitation which took one year.I am happy to note that the Government of Germany provided Ksh.5.7 million,” said the principal secretary for heritage Mrs. Josephta Mukoba.

The funds provided by Germany were used for rehabilitation of the Rebman Cottage and the first church which is currently the museum, research, improving exhibition and signage.

National Museum of Kenya also availed sh.2 million for research work and collections of exhibits.

With the launch of ‘Dr.Krapf Memorial Museum’ national museum of Kenya has said it expects more tourists at Rabai who will come to learn about the beginning of the church and formal education.

Most of the equipment and even cottages used by the missionaries remain at the museum and once you visit the area you will see them.