Alan Donovan arrived in Africa on July 4th 1967 as a food relief officer for USAID during the Nigeria/Biafra War. In 1969, he quit his job, bought a VW bus and traveled across the Sahara Desert to Nigeria, then across the Congo to Kenya, arriving in Kenya in 1970. He held his first exhibition of arts and material culture from the Turkana and other peoples of the Northern Frontier of Kenya in Nairobi in October 1970. It was there that he met the late Joseph Murumbi, former Vice President of Kenya and Africa’s greatest private collector. The two of them set up African Heritage in Kenya with Murumbi’s wife Sheila.
Celebrations for the 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th Anniversaries of African Heritage have been held at African Heritage as well as the French Cultural Centre and other venues in Nairobi. This year 2017 will mark 50 years since Alan Donovan’s arrival in Africa. Events are being planned at African Heritage House and other venues, including a train trip to the house for a benefit concert and will feature former stars and African Heritage lifetime achievement award winners.
Exact dates are forthcoming. Please contact Alan Donovan if you would like information on these events.