Luanda Magere

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Folklore of the Luo peoples of Kenya speaks of a mighty warrior known as Luanda Magere (Alternative spelling is Lwanda). He belonged to the Sidho clan in Kano, and he was believed to have once walked the shores of the Lake Victoria. The Sidho clan occupies the present sugar belt at the foot of the Nandi escarpment. He was possessed of unearthly powers, and his flesh was made of stone. Arrows, spears and clubs simply deflected from his body, making him invincible during warfare. He was famously known for his capability to tear an entire army apart.


The Luo traditional enemies at the time were the Lang'o (Luo name for the Kalenjin community) . The Lang'o were tired of being defeated at war by the Luo. The Nandi elders sat to discuss the issue and came to a conclusion where they would give Luanda Magere a Nandi girl to marry, claiming that it was a gesture of peace. The girl's role was to find out how to defeat him. They therefore picked the most beautiful Nandi girl and sent her to him. Though the Luo elders advised him not to take the girl, Luanda Magere did not heed their advice. Luanda Magere's eventual downfall came at the hands of his wife. Now it happened that whenever Luanda was sick, his first wife would care for him. One day he fell ill when his first wife was away. He therefore called his Lang'o wife to bring him some medicine. Luanda instructed her to cut his shadow with a knife and instill the medicine. She was surprised when she saw his shadow bleed. That night, she crept out of Lwanda's home and ran back to her people. She was received with joy when she told them her husband's weakness: that his shadow was made of flesh and was vulnerable to attack. The news quickly spread. The Nandi knew that the Luo would not expect them to attack as Luanda had married one of them making them kinsmen. They then attacked the Luo. The Luo fought fiercely and Luanda killed so many Nandi warriors that they decided to retreat. As he was running, one Nandi warrior remembered that Luanda's strength was in his shadow. He stood at a hill and threw his spear at Luanda's shadow. Luanda Magere fell down and died. His body turned to stone. the stone is there to date and is a tourist attraction point.


A site in Sidho with a stone is still revered as the spot where Luanda Magere died and people come from far and wide to conduct rituals and prayers at the site. Luanda Magere is still celebrated among the Luo through song and dance. This folktale is told to generations and taught to children at Primary school level.


Luanda Man of Stone.