A Kenya Beginning

Robin Swift’s great-uncle, Randall Swift, settled in Kenya in 1904, blazing a trail for his two nephews (Robin’s father and uncle) who followed him to Kenya in the 1930s.

The book tells of Robin’s childhood in the 1950s during the Mau Mau troubles, his experiences as a young coffee estate assistant manager in the early 1960s, and his time at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester in England.


  • Title: A Kenya Beginning
  • Published by: Jabiru Publishing
  • Year of publishing: 2017
  • Book format: Paperback
  • Pages: 392 pages, 71 photographs and illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780994495293

Robin Swift

Robin Swift was born in Nairobi and spent his early life in Kenya working on coffee and sisal plantations. Later he worked in agricultural and earthmoving machinery sales in Zambia, Rhodesia and Botswana before migrating to Australia with his wife and daughters in 2004.

He sourced the material for this book from his diaries and numerous photograph albums. Other valuable sources included his father’s war-time letters and the writings of his great-uncle, Randall Swift.

After arriving in Australia, Robin found employment in the plumbing section of Bunnings Warehouse in Brisbane, Queensland. After six years he reluctantly gave up this job, as his arthritic knees complained far too much.

Lost for something to do, Robin decided to write his autobiography which he called “A Kenya Beginning”. This book was published by Jabiru Publishing and is available from the website, www.jabirupublishing.com.au, “Book Store”, “Memoirs”.