The Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday which claimed the lives of 157 people has left a section of Kenyans very frightened.

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Experts have warned that people who lost their loved ones in the crash, if not counselled, may develop a fear of flying.

The fear of being in a flying object is referred to as flying phobia or aviophobia.

One of the prominent Kenyans who suffered this condition was the country's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

During the 15 years he ruled the nation, Mzee Kenyatta, who is President Uhuru Kenyatta's father, used an aeroplane only once during a trip to Ethiopia to visit his close friend Emperor Haile Selassie.

According to the late former Minister John Keen, Kenyatta developed a fear of flying on the night he was flown to detention upon his arrest by the colonialists on October 20, 1952.

"He told me he came to hate flying the night he was arrested by colonialists and flown blind-folded to Kapenguria in a rickety police chopper. The nasty ride scared the wits out of the old man that he acquired a life-lasting phobia for flying,” Keen recalled in an interview with veteran journalist Kamau Ngotho.

After his release from detention, Kenyatta had to travel to London to attend a pre-independence constitutional conference at Lancaster House and he flew alongside Keen.

"The old man was visibly terrified. You could see him shake any time we hit a heavy cloud," narrated the influential Minister who died in 2016.

Kenyatta vowed never to be on an aircraft again following a journey from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa when he was serving as prime minister.

When he landed in Mombasa, he put all the blame on his pilot for his awful experience on air.

"Tell that pilot (unprintable insult) that henceforth he will be flying his mother not Kenyatta!" he said furiously, according to his then Presidential Escort Commander Bernard Njinu.

After attending his official duties at State House, Nairobi, Kenyatta would travel by road every evening to his Ichaweri home in Gatundu.

Even when late, the president never opted to use the many choppers at his disposal to fly to his rural home.

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