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Thika, a market town in Kenya's central province.


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Thika Kenya

Thika is a market town located in the central province of Kenya. It is in the northeast of Nairobi about 40kms away. Thika is rapidly growing, like the entire greater Nairobi area Thika is the capital town of Thika district, it is predominantly rural but that is changing with time. In Thika the kikuyu are the dominant tribe.

Chania falls, and Thika falls are situated in Thika. While a national park known as Ol Donyo Sabuk national park lies to the east of Thika town.

Thika has a railway station, but there is only limited passenger’s service. Falls known as “fourteen falls’ are close to Thika, this falls are a popular picnic sites for the people of Thika.

The economic activities of the Thika include agriculture, particularly in the horticulture (exports mainly to Europe) and coffee industry (exports mainly to the USA and Europe). Other industries include textile (cotton), food processing (pineapples, macadamia nuts, and wheat), tannery, motor vehicle assemblies and cigarette manufacturing.

About one hundred small scale industries and about twenty major factories exist in and around the town. The manufacture of matches and tinplate cans are other leading industries. Thika was formerly a center for light industry, but the focus tends to have shifted to another developing town known as Athi River.

The decline of the textile industry has hit local firms, including Thika Cloth Mills, which is cotton to fabric manufacturer that competes against Egyptian and Chinese manufacturers.

There is no precise explanation of the origin of Thika, but there are at least two theories. One has it that long ago there was a bloody battle between the Maasai and kikuyu for the waters of River Chania and Thika, due to a severe drought that had occurred in that region.

The word Thika came from a kikuyu word “guthika” meaning to bury because the dead were supposedly buried here. The other explanation came from a Maasai word “sika” meaning rubbing something off an edge. In addition, the area was originally inhabited by the Akamba tribe.

A monument in the shape of a pillar was erected by the British in the early 1900s in the central business district of Thika, which commemorates the founding of Thika as a town.

The town was given its status by the government gazette in 1924. Thereafter it was elevated to a second class municipality when Kenya gained independence in 1963.

Thika has historical sites like the Mugumo Gardens which is named for the giant fig tree where the ancient legendary seer "Mugo wa Kibiro" prophesied. Believers claim that all of his prophesies have come to pass. According to legend, the fall of the tree would symbolize the fall of British rule in Kenya. The British Government re-enforced the tree to prevent it from falling, but it split into two parts and fell in two stages in 1963. This land is said to belong to the first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who got it all to himself.Thika also has a bustling nightlife, ultra-modern recreational centers, including Thika Arcades.


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