Umardin Karimbux – Man who build Odeon Cinema, Nakuru

Umardin Karimbux logo

In honour of Umardin Karimbux, all businesses belonging to Asians and Europeans in Nakuru were closed on 19th March 1945,

The death of the young man was felt across the whole country. He had died two days earlier on 17th March 1945 aged only 37.

The young man had never been to school. The schools back then only catered for European kids. However, his father, Ibrahim Karimbux had taken on the task of homeschooling him.

Umardin Karimbux achievements

One of the greatest achievements of the young man was the construction of the Odeon Cinema in Nakuru. Odeon opened in 1929. The short road the joins the highway to Kenyatta Lane outside Odeon Cinema is named after him. The man is none other than Umardin Karimbux, son to Ibrahim Karimbux. He build the theatre when he was only 21 years old.


Odeon Cinema Building, Nakuru
The Odeon Cinema Building in Nakuru was first opened in 1929 by Umardin Karimbux

Odeon Cinema had the vision of serving people of all races. It was built as a revolt against the White people who only had theatres that served their own.

Umardin is also credited for growing the family business. Imagine if he hadn’t died young? At his death, his son Mohammed was 13 years old.