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HomeSportsNyayo National Stadium

Nyayo National Stadium

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Nyayo National Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Nairobi, Kenya. It is located at the square of Mombasa Road, Langata Road and the Aerodrome Road. It is approximately two kilometers from the City Center, directly opposite Nairobi Mega Mall, formerly known as Nakumatt Mega. The stadium was built in 1983 for a capacity of 15,000. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The popular AFC Leopards football club plays most of its home games at Nyayo stadium. The stadium is also used for athletics , swimming and various ceremonies most common of which are National Holiday celebrations. Other facilities at the Nyayo Stadium include a gymnasium and a 50-metre swimming pool. Rugby union club Mwamba RFC used the Nyayo National Stadium for home games.

The completion of the Nyayo Stadium gave Kenya the opportunity to be placed in the category of nations that were invited to bid for the 4th All-Africa Games in 1987, a bid that was awarded to Kenya, giving it International status. In essence, the Nyayo Stadium “gave birth” to Moi International Sports Centre.

The Nyayo Stadium was the host venue of the 2010 African Championships in Athletics.

The stadium was renamed to the Coca-Cola National Stadium[1] after the multi-national company won the naming rights to the stadium in February 2009. The deal was worth US$1.5 million and would have seen the beverage company do branding, marketing and naming to the whole stadium for three years. Three months later, however, Coca-Cola withdrew from the contract, because the Kenyan government wanted to have the stadium branded as Coca-Cola Nyayo National Stadium.[2] but was renamed again to the Nyayo National Stadium, as the Government of Kenya wanted it branded. This decision has been widely criticised by many Kenyan citizens, because they believe that Coca-Cola would have heavily improved and popularised the stadium.

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The stadium houses headquarters for the Football Kenya Federation and Athletics Kenya.


Main stadium

The main stadium, holding 15,000 people and a FIFA-approved standard-size football pitch, also contains floodlights, 2 VIP lounges, a boardroom and an internet-enabled media centre. The stadium can also be and has also been used to host concerts, public holiday celebrations, public rallies, meetings and crusades.

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Aquatic Centre

The aquatic centre holds 2,000 people and contains a filtration plant and a public 50 x 25 m swimming pool.

Indoor Gymnasium

The indoor gymnasium holds 2,500 people and is the home of the Kenya National Basketball League and the Kenya national basketball team. It also features floodlights, electronic scoreboardssnack bars, a boxing ring, an indoor badminton court, a martial arts gym and other social facilities.

Handball and volleyball training courts

The handball and volleyball courts can accommodate up to 1,500 spectators and feature outdoor training courts.

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OwnerGovernment of Kenya
OperatorSports Kenya
ArchitectNyanja Architects and Associates
A.F.C. Leopards
Athletics Kenya
Kenya national football team

Derek Erskine: Foreigner Who Donated Nyayo National Stadium Land

The Nyayo National Stadium is the second biggest sporting arena in Kenya with a capacity of slightly over 35,000.

It is located a walking distance from Nairobi’s Central Business District Centre ( CBD), along Mombasa Road.

The multipurpose facility which was built in 1983 during the rule of the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi , has a swimming pool, a standard-size football pitch, an indoor gymnasium and Handball, Basketball and Volleyball courts.

It has hosted numerous events, including national holidays such as Jamhuri Day and numerous sporting competitions.

Moreover, the state funerals of the second and third presidents of the republic of Kenya (Moi and Mwai Kibaki) were both held at the facility which was initially known as Nairobi West Stadium. 

For most football fans, when the name Nyayo Stadium is mentioned, the memories of Dennis Oliech’s late screamer against Cape Verde in 2003 which ensured Kenya booked a ticket to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) come to their minds. 

All these memories would not have been possible without Derek Erskine – the man who donated the parcel of land for the construction of Nyayo National Stadium.

According to an article published in Daily Nation on Sunday, February 26, 2023, Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jackson Tuwei credits Erskine for the selfish act. 

“Sir Derek Erskine was the first AK chairman, after which he handed over to Musembi Mbathi in 1964. With that, Mbathi became the first indigenous Kenyan to hold the position.

“He finished his term in 1968, and Bartonjo Rotich took over.

“Erskine also donated 23.7 acres of land to Kenya, which the Nyayo National Stadium now occupies,” read part of his statement. 

He was a British settler who lived in Kenya in the mid-20th century and even served in the Kenya Legislative Council. 

The settler who died in 1977, is regarded as one of the pioneers of Kenya’s rich athletic history alongside the likes of Musembi Mbathi.

Erskine co-founded the Kenya Amateur Athletic Association (KAAA) alongside sir Archier Evans in 1951. KAAA was the first athletic federation in Kenya.

Erskine drafted Kenya’s first athletics constitution the same year and made sure it reached the recently renamed International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) making it possible for Kenyan runners to compete in major global championships.

“Derek Erskine: Foreigner Who Donated Nyayo National Stadium Land,” TeamKenya.co.ke, February 2023, https://www.teamkenya.co.ke/news/5218-derek-erskine-foreigner-who-donated-nyayo-national-stadium-land.

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