Kisii people

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Abagusii
Total population
3,205,669[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Kenya
Languages
Ekegusii
Religion
African Traditional Religion, Christianity, Adventism, Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Kuria, Ameru, Batooro, Luhya, Basoga, Bagisu, Bakiga, Abasuba other Bantu peoples

The Abagusii (also known as Kisii or Gusii) is a community of Bantu people who inhabit two counties: Kisii (formerly Kisii District) and Nyamira in Nyanza Province, Western Kenya. Mogusii is culturally identified as their founder and patriarch.

Kisii town - known as Bosongo or Getembe[2] by the locals - is located in Nyanza Province to the southwest of Kenya and is home to the Gusii people. The name Bosongo is believed to have originated from Abasongo (to mean the Whites or the place where white people settle(d)) who lived in the town during the colonial times.[3] According to the 1979 census, Kisii District had a population of 588,000. The AbaGusii increased to 2.2 million in the latest Kenya Census 2009.

Origins of the Abagusii[edit]

According to various unconfirmed hypotheses formulated by European scholars such as Greenberg,the Bantu speaking tribes are believed to have expanded from West and Central Africa. However, the Abagusii like Luhya claim to have migrated to present day Kenya from North Africa in a Place they call Misiri. As these Bantu speakers migrated from their Semi-Mythical homeland(Misiri), they split up into different groups with the Abagusii ending up in Nyanza Province near Nalubaale. (The Kikuyu, Kamba, and other related Bantu groups in Kenya continued the hunt for richer soil for farming and moved on eastwards across the Rift valley to their current locations. They later settled in the formerly-called Eastern, Central and Rift Valley Provinces of Kenya.)

The Abagusii later ended up in a geographical location unique among Bantu speaking groups in that they were eventually surrounded on all sides by hostile nomadic pastoralist Nilotic communities of the Luo, Kipsigis, Nandi, and Maasai. Constant raiding & sieges resulted in the development of a war-like culture, unlike most Bantu communities, to defend against cattle-raiding neighboring communities. To this day, they have a reputation of being tough, emotionally labile, resilient, and very industrious.

There's strong evidence, however, that periods of peace with neighbouring communities must have led to intermarriages and consequent consanguinity. This is evident in the greatly varied complexion and physique between Abagusii from different subregions of Gusii. Some clans of the Suba (Abasoba in ekegusii) are said to have been completely absorbed by the Luos(Abagere in ekegusii). The Bantu community with a great many similarities with the Abagusii is the Meru (Abameru in ekegusii) from the windward slopes of Mount Kenya, although the Kuria (Abatende in ekegusii) share a great deal in common with the Abagusii in language and culture as well, and a history of intermarriage has led to prohibition of marriage alliances for specific clans of the Abagusii with some Kuria clans. Additionally, intermarriages between members of the same clans are prohibited.The Kipsigis, the highland nilotes bordering the Abagusii on the northern and northeastern frontier affectionately refer to the Abagusii as kamama (an appellation connoting extensive marriage alliances between the two very dissimilar neighbours). Indeed, many Kipsigis can easily point to someone in their lineage (especially a matriarch) from Gusii.

( Origins, Migration and Early Cultural History of the Abagusii )

Indeed, the origins and early cultural history of the Abagusii is quite interesting. A study of socio-economic and political conditions of the community forms a background to the understanding of these people and their history. The origin, migration and early cultural history of the Abagusii discussed in here is based mainly on oral sources supplemented with written works. The Abagusii are Western Bantu ethnic group who inhabit the south western part of Kenya. Presently, they occupy sub-counties in Kisii and Nyamira counties in the former Nyanza Province. According to Abagusii tradition, Mogusii was the founding father of their society. This was the person after whom their community is named. Similar sources imply that Mogusii was the son of Mosogo. Mosogo is believed to have been the son of Moluguhia, son of Kigoma, son of Riabaka, who was the son of Kintu.

The Abagusii tradition further asserts that Kintu first crossed the semi-mythical big river and it was this man who led the migration of the community from Misiri to Mount Elgon where they first settled before moving to their present homeland. In this region, the Abagusii appear to have lived for three to four generations before dispersing finally to the various destinations. Gusii traditions also indicate that Moluguhia, Mogusii’s grandfather, had sons who became the founders of the various Baluyia clans who now inhabit south western Kenya. The elder sons of Moluguhia were Mosogo and Mogikoyo. The Abagusii, Abasoga, Abakuria, Abalogoli, Abasuba and other related communities became the descendants of Mosogo. The  Agikuyu,  Aembu,  Mbeere   Ameru,  Wachagga,  Akamba and other related communities are believed to belong to Mogikoyo’s ancestry line.

From Mount Elgon, the Abagusii sources indicate that their ancestors and those of the Abakuria, Abalogoli and Abasuba moved southwards along the course of river Nzoia. By the fifteenth century they had settled on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria. They finally moved eastwards and settled at Goye in Yimbo. Their settlement extended to Urima, Olowo Sare, and Ramogi. In the late eighteenth century the Luo migrating from Sudan invaded the area and hostility developed between the two communities. The Abagusii later moved southwards. They further moved to the shores of Lake Gangu in Alego and hence to Sakwa, Asembo, Seme and Kisumu. They are believed to have stayed at Kisumu from about 1540 to 1790. The Abagusii tradition further indicates that Nyakemogendi, the mother of Mogusii and Mogusii died at Kisumu.

Due to severe famine, drought and plague, the ancestors of the Abagusii left Kisumu for Kano plains in search of food and a better home.

The Abagusii migration to, and settlement at Kano, is thought to have lasted for several decades, presumably between 1700 and 1800 A.D. They settled by the lake shore from Dunga to Nduru, and spread into the interior along streams. Their furthest settlement inland was at present day Kibigori. They had a thin population and they led a scattered life. A family unit consisted a man, his wife and their children. They had mud earthen huts and very little contact with each other. According to W.R. Ochieng, the Abagusii pattern of settlement was largely influenced by Lake Victoria, and the rivers and streams that flowed into the Gulf of Nyanza while the majority of people crowded along the shores of the Gulf. A substantial number occupied river valleys. For instance they lived in scattered homesteads along rivers Miru and Ombeyi.

The Abagusii settled down in this area to graze their large herds of cattle, to hunt the large herds of wild animals, and to eat fish that were plenty in this area. The Abagusiis’ stay at Kano witnessed a remarked evolution of the community. The period was characterised by expansion and transformation of individual family units into small but distinct clans. There was also the evolution of small groups, which had migrated from Kisumu under recognised leaders, into a number of “corporate” clans which later developed into sub-tribes headed by various clan elders.

During their stay in Kano plains, the Abagusii had a mixed economy. They reared cattle mainly for meat and milk. They grew such crops as finger millet, sorghum, millet and arrow roots. They hunted a large number of animals. Hunting, mainly done by the young energetic men and boys, was mainly for Chingera (Buffaloes), Chingabi (Gazelles), Ebisusu (Rabbits), Chiguto (Anti-bears), Ebirongo (Porcupines), and Chinchogu (Elephants). Most wild animals were hunted for food, some for their skin which was highly valued for making shields, costumes for song and dance and for sale to the neighbouring Luo community. Lions’ and Leopards’ skins were used for ceremonial purposes. The Abagusii entered into various hunting groups. They celebrated over the spoils of the hunt and distributed them to the beneficiaries immediately after the hunt.Various birds were trapped or killed using sling shots. This was mainly the work of young boys. Birds like Amachore (Weaverbirds), Amaruma (Doves), Chingware (Ducks), and others fell victims of traps.

All these supplemented the Abagusii diet. Interviews carried out in the field indicated that the Abagusii women also gathered wild vegetables which included Chinsaga (spider flower), Rinagu (black night shade) and Ototo (East African Spinach).
However, the kind of food that was hunted and gathered was never enough to satisfy people, it only comprised a small portion of the Abagusii diet.

The Abagusii Community adopted traditions connected with the founders of their community. A totem played an important role in the evolution of the Abagusii. A totem here has been defined as ‘a class of material objects which primitive societies regarded with superstitious respect, believing that there exists between individual members of their society an intimate obligatory, and all together special relationship’.

A totem may be a feared, emulated or dangerous hunted animal, and edible plant or any staple food. For our purpose, the clan totem, thus, is an object revered by a group of people who believe themselves to be of one blood, descended from one common ancestor, bound together by a common responsibility for each other, and are united by a common faith. Sometimes the members of a totem group may refer to themselves by the name of their totem, commonly believing themselves to be descended from the totem, and therefore related to it. In such circumstances a man naturally treats the totem with reverent respect, the totem becoming an animal or a plant he will not kill or eat. It is however believed that totem animals could be kept as pets and would be treated with an almost religious respect, being things connected with founder ancestors. In this respect, leading Abagusii families are especially believed to have tamed and kept their totem animals in their homes, a symbol treated with a lot of respect. Disrespect to a totem would lead to a military defeat against the clan of a disrespectful man.The connection between a man and his totem is generally regarded as mutually beneficial. The totem protects the man in a number of ways, for example by revealing to him in dreams the fortunes or misfortunes that are imminent. The man, in turn shows respect to the totem in a number of ways, usually by not killing it. Working against this was followed by a penalty. Functionally totems have a unifying role, especially as members of a totem clan would regard each other as kinsmen, and are therefore bound to help and protect each other. A totem is thus ancestral to the clan and also to the individual, especially since it is connected with the “instituted morality, the totem is almost hedged about with taboos of avoidance or strictly ritualised contact.” In its religious projection a totem constitutes mutual respect and protection between a man and his totem and has consequently been defined as “the mystique of the family projected and extended into larger social forms.”

As a result of increase in population, constant conflict with their Nilotic pastoralist neighbours, the Maasai and the Luo, the Abagusii had to leave Kano plains to the highlands where they are presently. This was just a continuation of their migration. The most probable reasons for their migration were constant raiding attacks by the Luo & infertility of Kano plains which was caused by overcultivation, lack of security and famine. Justifying why the Abagusii had to migrate from Kano plain, A.A. Onchoke asserts: There was neither food, fruits nor crops.

{It was a terrible famine.

The story goes that whoever had his brother got hold of his hand and started after their relatives who had gone before} According to Abel Nyakundi Onchoke, Abagusii’s migration from Kano plains by a few clans was mainly caused by external attack from the Nilotic Luo and tropical diseases such as Malaria. The Abagusii left Kano plains and moved to Gelegele near Sotik From here a small group infiltrated the highlands, but the majority moved to Kilgoris. This kind of division could have been probably caused by internal conflicts between the migrating clans. The clans that had moved to Kilgoris which is in the present day Trans-mara, Narok settled at Ngararo in 1820. From here, after unstable and strained relationship with the Isiria Maasai characterised by cattle raids, the Abagusii were scattered during the battle of River Migori. They moved into the highlands, while some took refuge under the Kuria, and others among the Luo of Kabwoch near Nyagoe forest.

Throughout the rest of the century, when the majority of the Abagusii were already in the highlands, they gradually spread out within the whole territory and were joined by the group that had taken refuge among the Luo in Kabwoch. Between about 1820 and 1850, these groups again re crossed the Gulf separately to most of the present locations where they are found.

At the beginning of nineteenth century, the Abagusii were either settled or nearly settled in most of their present homeland. The Abagusii had been migrating as clans and over three centuries of migration, clan identity assumed a prominent form. Such clans as Kitutu, Nyaribari, Mogirango, Bassi (bobasi), Majoge(machoge)and Wanjale (bonchari) were prominent in Gusiiland.In the years just preceding colonial rule, Abagusii did not have any centralised political organisation. To a large extent, they derived their values mainly from religious experiences and beliefs. This view is supported by the scholars who have studied the Abagusii society such as P.Mayer, R.A. Levine and W:R. Ochieng. The community was made up of a collection of many political units, based on exogamous patrilineal clans(matrilinity is less common) or clan groupings, each of which often consisted of a large clan with a number of small clans or sub-clans or families, usually occupying a distinct territory over a ridge or succession of adjacent ridges. T. Bosibori observes that no one time did the entire Abagusii community fall under one ‘tribal’ leadership. This means that there was no ethnic authority which: overruled clan authority either in dealings with neighbouring ethnic groups or in the management of internal affairs. The clan then was the most effective political unit. The Abagusii clans were aware of having originally a common ancestor, and they were connected by bonds of intermarriage and common beliefs and practices in such a way that they considered themselves as a unit in contrast to the surrounding groups with whom they did not maintain such bonds. The leader of each political unit was locally called Omoruoti or Omogambi, a title equivalent to a chief. This was a man who was accepted publicly and performed religious and political roles. Omogambi was assisted by council of elders, etureti. The etureti met when there was need to solve social, political and religious problems. Omogambi were regarded as living representatives of the original lineage founders and were believed to be men who were divinely sanctioned to lead clans in communal sacrifices. and social activities. They would be the first to cultivate, the first to sow, to taste crops on maturity and the first to harvest .Besides the Amogambi, there were other notable leaders locally called Abarai. W.R. Ochieng has defined these leaders as persons who were talented or had qualities of leadership, played a directing role, wielded commanding influence, or had a following in any sphere of activity or thought.

They consisted of ‘prophets’ (for example Sakawa) elders, seers and rainmakers. The Gusii homestead was an internally self-governing unit. Omogaka (the father of the home) was the head of the family. He was assisted by his wife (Omokungu) to look after the children . A family consisted of husband, wife or wives in case of a polygamous family and children. Omosacha (the ‘husband’) of the family had the role of looking for food and other family needs. While Omokungu had a duty of doing domestic work such as cooking and looking after the children. Conflicts, between members of a given home were handled by parents. Those of different homesteads were taken to the elders’ council headed by the Omogambi

Religion was another unifying factor among the Abagusii. They believed in one God called Engoro who was believed to be the Supreme Being. Engoro was the creator of the world.

According to C. Nyabonyi, Engoro among the Abagusii governed man’s destiny, he brought rain to him and gave him all that he desired. W:R. Ochieng’ holds the view that Engoro sent to man rain or storm, well being or famine, health or disease, peace or war depending on what he chose to give him.The Abagusii believed that God’s continued operation in the physical world was executed through his agents, the ancestral spirits (ebirecha). These spirits were believed to have great influence on the social and economic lives of he Abagusii. In the event of a calamity or disease, a seer or a diviner (Omoragori) could be consulted on the wishes of the ancestors, who more often than not were believed to be behind the clamity. Sometimes, the Sun stood for Engoro and the two terms were used interchangeably. In the words of G.A.S North-cote, ‘God among the ancient Kisii people seemed to have slided on the scales of meaning between sun and ancestor worship’. Individuals had direct access to God throughout the year by means of prayer. The Abagusii offered sacrifices to God which were conducted mainly by the heads of the various homesteads. At harvesting time or the start of a given year there were always thanks giving to God in form of sacrifices which was followed by festivals involving singing, dancing and beer drinking. Among the Abagusii, the family was a social arena where all important human events such as birth, initiation, marriage and death took place in the pre-colonial period. These were marked with celebrations, feasting, singing and dancing. The entire Abagusii indigenous education acquired through infancy to marriage stage was put into practice throughout life. It was tested, refined and perfected.)

The Kisii People today (Abagusii)[edit]

The Kisii are regarded as one of the most economically active communities in Kenya, with rolling tea estates, coffee, and banana groves. However, Kisii district has a very high population density. It is one of the most densely populated areas in Kenya (after the two cities of Nairobi and Mombasa), and the most densely populated rural area. It also has one of the highest fertility and population growth rates in Kenya (as evidenced by successive census and demographic surveys). In fact the fertility rate of Kisii ranks among the highest in the world, (see Kenyan Conundrum: A Regional Analysis of Population Growth and Primary Education (Paperback) by Juha I. Uitto [Author]). These factors have ensured the Kisii to be among the most geographically widespread communities in East Africa. A disproportionately large number of Kisiis have gone abroad in search of education.The Kisii are some of the most heavily represented Kenyans in foreign (usually Indian and American) universities and a few in the United Kingdom. Their lands are currently overpopulated despite their rolling fertile hills, spurring immigration to other cities in Kenya and a substantial representation in the United States, especially in major hub cities like Houston, Atlanta, Jersey City, Dallas, Cleveland and Minneapolis-Saint Paul. The hard cash that flows from the diaspora has spawned significant economic prosperity in a locale lacking in politically motivated 'hand-me downs'.

The Kisii people have as a result moved out of their two counties and can be found virtually in any part of Kenya and beyond. In Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and many other towns in Kenya, they run most businesses. For example, the "matatu" business in Nairobi estates like Utawala, kawangware, Dandora, Embakasi, Kitengela, Matasia, etc. They have bought land and are residents in most of these Nairobi estates like Utawala, Ruai, Joska, Kamulu, Kitengela, Rongai, Ngong, etc. They are generally, by nature, independent and thorough in their pursuits whether in education, professional practices, or even religious belief(Islam, Christianity or Traditional African religions); making them more visible that their absolute numbers.The Kisii people are very diverse in terms of culture, religion and appearance(ranging from caucasoid like to negroid like features). Kisii people are not known to be related to the Kissi people of West Africa.

Agriculture and biodiversity in Kisii (Gusii)[edit]

In the past, Kisii (Gusii) was a heavily forested area, with old indigenous broadleaf rainforest trees and other flora. It was part of the old Congo Basin forests. The only remnant of this old forest in Kenya is the Kakamega Forest, which is the westernmost tip of the Equatorial rainforest. The two ancient forest areas were linked through Nandi and Kericho, before the Nandi and Kericho areas were cleared for tea farming and settlement. Now most of the tree life in Kisii (Gusii) consists of members of 4 tree families, all of them introduced from outside the continent. The most common trees in Kisii are the Eucalyptus spp. family (blue gum/eucalyptus), Grevillea robusta and Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii). All these three species are native to Australia. Finally, there is the Cupressus spp. family (cypress) native to South America. Other plant life forms are cultivated tea, bananas, maize, coffee and napier grass, with very little remaining of indigenous biodiversity.

It has been theorized that in future Kisii (Gusii) will increasingly be 'colonized' by the above few species of plants, as there is little awareness or even desire to re-plant the slow-growing and less economically valuable indigenous plant forms. This is aggravated by land shortage and reduced need for traditional herbal medicine, that has now been surpassed by modern hospitals and medical care.

Language[edit]

They speak the language of Kisii or ekeGusii as it is properly called (also called omonwa bwÉkegusii). However, some older texts refer to this community as Kosova. This language and other Bantu languages are very similar. Most of their phrases are similar or had been derived or acquired in the same manner. The only difference between these languages is that some words have been altered or differently pronounced and given new meanings.They are markedly similar to the Bakiga of south western Uganda in culture, industry and choice of terrain. The Rutooro language of Western Uganda shares a great many words with EkeGusii. For instance, "omoiseke" is the EkeGusii for 'girl' and the word in Rutooro is just the same save for a slight difference in inflection.

Culture[edit]

The Gusii play a large bass lyre called obokano. They are also known by their world-famous soapstone sculptures "chigware" mostly concentrated in the southern parts of Kisii County around Tabaka town. Circumcision of boys at around age of 10 as a rite of passage without anesthesia is common among the Abagusii. This ritual takes place annually in the months of November and December followed by a period of seclusion during which the boys are led in different activities by older boys, and is a great time of celebration indeed for families and communities at large. Family, friends and neighbors are invited days in advance by candidates to join the family. During this period of seclusion only older circumcised boys are allowed to visit the secluded initiates and any other visitor could cause a taboo. Its during this period that initiates were taught their roles as young men in the community and the do's and the don'ts of a circumcised man.

Some of the notable musicians from the Kisii community include Nyashinski, Rajiv Okemwa Raj, Ringtone, Mwalimu Arisi O'sababu, Christopher Monyoncho, Sungusia, Riakimai '91 Jazz, Embarambamba, Bonyakoni Kirwanda junior band, Mr Ong'eng'o, Grandmaster Masese, Deepac Braxx (The Heavyweight Mc), Jiggy, Mr. Bloom, Virusi, Babu Gee, Brax Rnb, Sabby Okengo, Machoge One Jazz, among others.

Marriage[edit]

Among the AbaGusii community, traditional marriage was arranged by the parents, using intermediaries called "chisigani", who also acted as referees for the bride and groom to be. The parents negotiated the dowry and organised a traditional wedding. The traditional wedding ceremony involved a mentor called "omoimari" who could provide continuing support to the newly married couple. Currently, civil and Christian marriages are recognized among the Abagusii. It is essential to note that traditions within the Kisii community prohibit marriages between members of the same clan.

Food and Nutrition[edit]

Their staple meal is Obokima(dish of maize flour, millet flour, or Sorghum flour cooked with water to a hardened dough-like consistency). It is often served with rinagu, chinsaga, rikuneni, enderema, emboga, omotere, risosa, egesare among other locally available green leaves consumed as vegetables. It can also be served with any other stew. The word for "having a meal" [ragera] usually connotes a meal involving Obokima at the centre.

Since maize only came into Africa after the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 1490s, and even then this was restricted to the Coastal areas for a while, more research needs to be done to explore the pre-Portuguese food habits of the Abagusii.

Although frequently associated with "ritoke" (plural "amatoke", cooked and flavoured bananas), this is usually supplemental and not considered to be a proper meal, but a popular snack.

Notable Kisii People[edit]

  • David Kenani Maraga, Chief Justice of Kenya; President of the Supreme Court of Kenya.
  • Prof Isaac Meroka Mbeche, Acting Vice-Chancellor University of Nairobi (Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs, UoN)
  • Prof Sorobea Nyachieo Bogonko, Educationist and former Principal of Maseno University College.
  • Prof Mary Nyanchama Getui, Don of Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), former Dean at School of Humanities and Social Studies (KU) and Chairperson of National Aids Control Council (NACC)
  • Prof Ratemo Michieka, Director General of NEMA and first Vice-Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
  • Rev. James Otete Nchogu, retired president of ELCK; had been the first Kenyan Pastor (ordained 1958) and founding president of the Lutheran Church of Kenya (LCK) forerunner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK).
  • Wilkister Onsando, former chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization and nominated MP
  • Zachary Onyonka, Former Education and Foreign Affairs Minister
  • Sam Ongeri, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Senator of Kisii County
  • Fred Matiang'i, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Security
  • Cliff Nyakundi
  • Simeon Nyachae, Former Cabinet Minister
  • James Ongwae, First Governor of Kisii County
  • Caspal Maina Momanyi, Assistant Education Permanent Secretary
  • Janet Ong'era,[4] Kisii County Woman Member of The National Assembly
  • Hellen Onsando Obiri, Middle-distance runner; Gold medalist at Gold Coast (Aus) 2018 Commonwealth Games and at Asaba Nig) African Championships, Gold medalist at London 2017 World Championships, Silver medalist at Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Reuben Otundo Starr
  • Bogita Ongeri, Current spokesman in the Ministry Of Defense
  • Perpetua Moraa Bosire ( - 2016), former Commissioner of TSC and ex-Principal of Kereri Girls High School
  • Dr Protus Kebati Momanyi, former Assistant Minister for Tourism and Wildlife and then Home Affairs; First MP (1988 - 1992) of Bonchari constituency (hived off Wanjare - South Mugirango (1987)) under KANU single party and the first opposition MP (1992 - 1997) from DP (and then later KANU) under multi-party system; was the first Omogusii degree holder to graduate from University of Nairobi and also the first qualified Civil Engineer (Rome) from Gusii.
  • Prof Joseph Nyasani (1936 - 2016), Renown multilingual academic and former don of University of Nairobi and TV-News anchor of KBC (VOK).
  • Lawrence George Sagini (1926 - 1995), Ex-Chairman of Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), former minister for Natural Resources and for Local government; first lawmaker from Gusii to the Legco and first MP for Kitutu West (Chache)
  • James Nyamweya (28 Dec 1927 – 25 Sep 1995), Former Minister for Labour, Works, Power and Communications
  • Andrew John Omanga (1932 - 2004), Former Minister for Commerce and Industry, Environment and Natural Resources
  • George Anyona Moseti (1945–2003), former MP Kitutu (East) Masaba and indomitable political detainee during intolerable KANU single party and autocratic regimes of Kenyatta & Moi Eras
  • Thomas Mongare Moenga The first MP West Mugirango and indomitable political detainee during intolerable KANU single party and autocratic regimes of Kenyatta Eras
  • Nyantika (Nyandika) Maiyoro (1931 – 24 February 2019), MBE, Legendary and 1st Kenyan middle distance (3 mile = 5 Km) runner of the 1950s, Captain of 1956 Olympics Kenya team
  • Naftali Temu (20 April 1945 – 10 March 2003), Legendary long distance (10 km) runner, Kenya's 1st Gold Medalist at 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City
  • Robert Gwaro Ouko (24 October 1948 – 18 August 2019), Ex-General Secretary of the Kenya Amateur Athletics Association; Legendary 800 m and 4 x 400m relay team runner, Gold medalist at 1970 British Commonwealth Games (800 m) and at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich (4 x 400m relay)
  • Otenyo Nyamaterere ( - 1908), Legendary and indomitable Gusii warrior leader who dared and attacked the first white colonial administrator (DC) by the name G.A.S Northcote ("Nyarigoti") to protest against the encroaching colonial powers and to defend and protect the AbaGusii community's pride, the land, the cattle and other properties; the colonialists had regularly tormented the Gusii community with wanton killing of people, the destruction and looting of people's properties and cattle raids since early 1900.
  • Sakagwa , Legendary prophet and teacher of AbaGusii; much much earlier he had prophesied the coming of the white colonialist to invade Gusii land.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2015-10-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Urban centres in Gusii".
  3. ^ Bosire, Kennedy (2013). Authoritative Ekegusii-English Dictionary. Nairobi: Ekegusii Encyclopedia Project.
  4. ^ "Hon. Ongera, Janet | The Kenyan Parliament Website". www.parliament.go.ke. Retrieved 2019-06-03.

External links[edit]