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Alan Donovan: Founder of iconic African Heritage House dies aged 83

African Heritage House founder Alan Donovann is dead.

According to African Heritage Estate management, the 83-year-old died in his sleep at his home in Mlolongo, Machakos County on Sunday, December 5.

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Sitting on a 7.7 acres land, the iconic house features mud architectures from across Africa and houses more than 6,000 rare and precious items collected over half a century.

The African Heritage House, which was declared a national monument in 2016, was the first house in Africa to be featured in the prestigious US Architectural Digest in November 1996.

The house is also described as Africa’s most photographed house.

In May this year, the house was put up for sale for a fee reported to be in the region of KSh 340 million.

“I am too old now and need to find someone who will look after the priceless items. I may go to another house in the vicinity and continue with my Pan Africa studies,” Donovan said.


“The sale should not affect the national status of the house as long as the new owner does not make alterations in the design and will follow in my footsteps and my co-founders, former Vice President Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila, in preserving, protecting, and promoting African heritage.”

The environmentalist was mourned by among others Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who described him as a great pioneer of arts and a force that touched lives by protecting the environment.

“It with great sadness that I pass my condolences to the family of Alan Donovan, a great pioneer of the arts

“He passed away this morning at his home in Mlolongo, Machakos County. From African Heritage to protection of the environment, Donovan was a force that touched lives. RIP,” he wrote.

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The body has been taken to Lee Funeral Home, as burial arrangements start.

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