Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Prehistory Club of Kenya officials traveled to Nakuru on the 15th May, 2009 to give lectures on Prehistory. We gathered at the Nairobi Museum's parking lot at around 7a.m ready for the three hours drive to the lakeside. The morning was chilly and we managed to leave by 7.30 a.m. We arrived in Nakuru at around 10:35a.m and headed straight to Nakuru Boys High School where the lectures were scheduled to be held. After consultations with the school’s management we headed to their multipurpose hall where the event was to be held. We began setting up the equipments ready for the lecture since it was by PowerPoint presentation. The students and teachers gathered in the hall as we were setting the equipments eagerly waiting for the speaker of the day. The opening remarks were done by the curator Hyrax Hill Museum Mr. Richard Yego who welcomed all the participants and introduced the outreach team. He also emphasized on the importance of prehistory programs to schools and encouraged the schools to visit the Hyrax hill Museum regularly. After the introduction session, Mr. Yego a man of few words welcomed the speaker of the day, Dr. Fredrick Kyalo Manthi. The speaker took to the podium at exactly 11.00a.m and delivered his lecture entitled ‘A Glimpse into African and World Prehistory. In his power point presentation, Dr. Manthi compared different early human ancestors in a chronological order emphasizing on their characteristics and differences. His discussion centered mostly on human origins and evolution, highlighting on the major characteristics that defined the differences and similarities among the genus Homo. He discussed adaptation as a very key aspect in evolution. Lamarck’s theory about the use and disuse of any organ was also part of the discussion. A hominid cast of Homo erectus was displayed throughout the lecture for practical sessions. He also looked into non-hominoid paleo fauna and paleo flora housed at the National Museums’ including the extinct long-nosed crocodiles, dinosaur, four-tusked elephants, extinct tortoises, insect fossils, lizards, plant fossil remains. Dating methods for the fossils was another key area of discussion in the lecture.

The question and answers session was next and it served to clear any doubts, suspicions and worries among the students and teachers concerning prehistory especially the topic of human origins and evolution. The students were very interested in the lecture and this was evident on the question and answers bit as they sought clarification on the subjects they should pursue for them to land careers in Palaeontology, Archaeology and geology. Dr. Manthi clarified to them the required subjects to be able to undertake courses on Earth Sciences. At the end of the session, the speaker welcomed a commend from one of the teachers and one student representative.

The teacher commended Dr. Manthi for the informative lecture and the Leakey Foundation for sponsoring this outreach program. The student’s representative said the lecture was very helpful in their biology and history syllabus. Dr. Manthi concluded his lecture by acknowledging the Leakey Foundation for sponsoring this outreach program to schools.