By Kimani Kuria
Nakuru was granted the presidential charter for elevation to a city, joining the league of Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. The town has in the recent past experienced an influx of local and foreign investors who are keen on taking advantage of the new status of the county.
In this article, WoK looks into Centerpiece village-a one-of-a-kind residential estate developed in the outskirts of Nakuru city by former Kakuma refugees who were christened the Lost Boys of Sudan.
The Lost Boys of Sudan- Their story
The Lost Boys of Sudan is a group of over 26,000 boys belonging to the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were orphaned and displaced from their war-torn country during the Second Sudanese Civil War between 1987 and 2005. Only about half of the boys, approximately 10,000 to 12,000, made it to Kakuma Refugee Camp in 1992 with a majority of them being as young as ten years old and early teenagers. The name was dubbed by healthcare workers who worked at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where they ended up for a decade, after crossing the river through Sudan. It is believed to have been derived from the children’s story of Peter Pan. Some of the Lost Boys were later offered a new start for their lives through official resettlement programs in the United States.
Lost Boys-Centerpiece Global Partners Limited (CGPL) partnership
Maketh Kuer Koor is one of the South Sudanese-Americans behind the Centerpiece Village project. He is a businessman who owns real estate in Eastern part of Nakuru alongside working with Centerpiece Global Partners Limited, an initiative of the former South Sudanese lost boys living in Australia and the United States. Centerpiece Global Partners Limited (CGPL) was founded by the members of the diaspora community with the common goal of helping their members to build equity through Real Estate.
The Sudanese socialism culture behind this project’s success
Maketh’s success in the real estate business led him to challenging his fellow South Sudanese to invest in the project. He marshaled a team of 45 former lost boys members who warmed up to the challenge and contributed money to buy land, situated in the North East part of Njoro town, about 12 km west of Nakuru town in 2016. Their next immediate step was to develop the property into a modern village, dubbed Centerpiece Village, with fancy houses to meet the growing demand for better living infrastructure among the expanding middle and upper class in Nakuru County.
The Sudanese community living in Kenya are known to preserve their togetherness and practice socialism for their own good. It is safe to conclude that the initial challenges faced in their home country pulls them even closer when addressing future problems. They majorly lead a self-funded life in posh estates.
Centerpiece Village- Inside the lavish estate
Centerpiece Global Partners bought the five acres of land in 2016, and started developing it in 2017. With a goal to set up 28 captivating residential homes. As of 18th December 2021, 20 of these homes were completed and ready for occupation. The Governor of Nakuru County, Lee Kinyanjui officiated the launch of the village accompanied by other dignitaries in Nakuru near Ziwa Bush Lodge.
Centerpiece village is a gated community with its own shopping center located in Njoro area in Nakuru. Each house has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a spacious ultra-modern kitchen and a lounge. Additionally, the beautiful compound that has many tree species planted comprises a vast parking lot that would take up to four cars. The recently commissioned estate is currently being rented out to Sudanese nationals only.
How much? – Pricing for Centerpiece Village Homes
As the project approaches its completion phase, Centerpiece Global Partners are yet to list prices of these houses on the public domain.