Photo: Did David Bowie Really Visit Kenya In 1978?


The demise of David Bowie who died on 10 January 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album, Blackstar from liver cancer at his New York apartment has been making the rounds. The star’s death made headlines all over the world and a lot concerning his lifetime has been uncovered including his trip to Kenya.

Nobody could have thought that the English singer, songwriter, record producer, painter and actor who was a figure in popular music for over five decades had explored Kenya as far back as 1978 for the sole intention of helping the inhabitants. Yes you read it right, David Bowie visited Kenya one time for charity reasons.

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This came up when a picture showing the star posing with two Kenyan men hit the internet. The said picture was posted by MSF and its caption shows he came to Kenya for an MSF Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders project.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is working on humanitarian ground to help people and places where there are no health facilities.


However, this photo has sparked controversies given that there has been confirmation that MSF was not in Kenya at that time.

If memory serves us right, in 1978, there were just missionaries in Kenya destroying cultures and weeding the ground for what turned into a cult of planting churches in Africa.

So there was probably a mistake in the caption as MSF activities during that time were focused on conflict relief and Kenya was not at war then! MSF only began in 1987 in Kenya, so it goes to show that there could have been a typographical error in what was posted in the picture.

Well, that aside, it feels good to know that David Bowie had visited Kenya in his life time for humanitarian reasons knowing that even the midst of all controversies he came when most successful celebrities haven’t started the wave on charity. There is still no doubt that Bowie was considered by critics and other musicians as an innovator, particularly for his many charity works in the 1970s.

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