Names are often windows to the past. Place names, in particular, are an important part of the intangible cultural heritage of a people. Such names contain information that tell us something about the place and the circumstances at the period of time the name came into being.
It is partly for these reasons that Okoa Mombasa Coalition considers the name ‘Mama Ngina’ Waterfront Park to be a gross deletion and obfuscation of an important aspect of the history of the people of Mombasa.
On 8 November 2019, Okoa Mombasa Coalition petitioned the Mombasa County Government to conduct a forum with structured public participation with a view to changing the name of the park.
We believe the selected name should signal a reclamation of the historical and cultural heritage of the people of Mombasa, in particular, and the Coast, in general. Towards this end, one proposal would be to rename the park Mzimli Waterfront Park as a way of reconnecting it with its earlier historical past.
Read our full petition here.