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Monday, July 16, 2007

Why This Luo Thing Hurts Me So…


I was born in Kisumu and yet strangely enough my parents were not residents of this beautiful Luo Nyanza lakeside city. They were in fact traveling and Kumekucha just couldn't wait to get into this world—if only I knew the nature of this planet then, I would not have been in such a hurry.

I met the Kikuyu beauty who is now the mother of my children and the woman I still love so much, in Kisumu. I was on transit to Kakamega, she was visiting the city.

There is no denying that Kisumu is a place of destiny for me.

To this day I make friends more easily with Kenyans who happen to hail from this part of the country and it is never deliberate, it just happens.

This is probably the reason why over the years I have come to understand the historical scenario surrounding this wonderful community.

Many people say that Luos are violent and impatient. Yet the truth is that few tribes in Kenya are as patient and forgiving as these wonderful guys. Very few other communities would have voted so enthusiastically for President Kibaki in 2002 after the massacre that happened in Kisumu in 1969 where the presidential guard opened fire on the crowd, indiscriminately killing many innocent women and children who were by no means a direct threat to the safety of the President. The number of people killed to this day is still a state secret.

What hurts me most is that after all this suffering some very well educated Kenyans can proudly proclaim that a Luo cannot lead Kenya without realizing what they are saying.

P.S. For those who do not know, I am tribless. My father hails from Ukambani, my mother Bukusu, I am married to a Kikuyu was born in Kisumu, grew up in Nairobi, Garissa, Isiolo, Mombasa, Kakamega, Machakos. Language of communication in my house and when visiting the folks; English and Kiswahili.

Why Is Hon Michuki bullying his youthful challenger?

The photographs Kumekucha feared to publish.

Horror of Kenyan with female sex organ sharing cell with men at Kamiti Prison

Are you a Kenyan? Do You love your country? Join in this noble campaign to change things. Do something instead of just complaining.


kalamari said...

If the seeds of tribalism, cronyism, land grabbing, political assassinations and corruption were sown at the onset of independence, then Onyatos’ presidency was clearly a disaster for Kenya. If Tom Mboya was privy to or able to forecast (I don’t know who would) the impending failures of the independence administration; and did nothing to tilt the future (when it really mattered….i.e. before Onyatos’ ascendancy to the throne), then he too is a conduit to our currently dilemma; and thus a similar disaster. If Ogingas’ mechanizations were based on his unhappiness and doubts of Mboyas’ DNA, then he should rightly be solemnized as the great grandfather of tribalism…. at least in the form of ‘you cannot rule because you are Suba’….thus he too a major disaster. Talk about karma going full circle!!.... and attacking your children.

Not suggesting that your 40 year old postmortem analysis on the thoughts and plots of ‘great men’ is biblical truth, you must agree it paints a very pessimistic picture….i.e. Kenya had no chance whatsoever right at the beginning due to deficient leadership. If what you say is indeed fact, then the following cannot be false: 1) Mboya was politically inept and incapable of deflecting bullets or navigating the muddy rivers leading to State House. 2) Onyato (like Kibaki now) was in awe and amazement as the Union Jack was lowered… I mean the guy had nothing to do with it and now ‘they’ were giving him the presidency?? 3) Oginga, well he just hated the idea of being eclipsed by his distant brother. Who else should have led Kenya?

My shtick is this; No one in the history of mankind ever got a job he did not deserve (Onyato and Kibaki included). No one has ever been paid a salary of one shilling more than he deserved (our MPs included). My point is that, esp. in politics, we get the leaders we deserve. If Kibaki convinced Raila to make him king, it is because he (MK) was a smoother political operator (as was Onyato). If our MPs award themselves a million dollar package, it is because the voters let them.

At some point, we must lay the blame of Kenya’s inadequacies squarely on the voters. The way I see it, our selfish and corrupt leadership is a true reflection of Kenyan society.

PS. As far as the negative publicity Luos generate; they’ve had over forty years to reverse the curse. With the zillions of professors, lawyers, teachers etc one would think this issue would have been tackled prior to heavy eyes within closed door meetings. Really, where are the books, thesis, songs that dispel all those negatives? Be it as it may, the burden falls on the very community that has been victimized. I hate to agree with Koigi but a few days ago he talked of the somewhat tribal monster that has a tendency of turning its long neck and biting one in the ass without warning.
That being said, I’m a Raila maniac and not because he’s a Luo. I strongly believe that, given the current field of candidates, this chap has the tenacity and electricity to electrocute Kenyan voters back to reality. I will vote for change.
– Tit bit: By his welling of tears, Raila has managed to force Kenyans to review, discuss and intersect the said Luo negativities. He’s not looking for sympathy votes; rather, he’s eroding the misconception that to lead, one must not enjoy sex…. fully. He has forced us to face these ugly notions by simply shedding a tear. I love politics!!! said...

I support your view that few tribes in Kenya are as Patient and Forgiving as Luos. I will take an example of Kikuyus who are thought to be enemies with Luos, you will find them all over Luo Nyanza, they operate successful businesses without any problem. When travelling to Bondo sometime back, I noticed that most matatus and buses are operated by them. This is not very common in Central province. I know this because a friend living in Dagoretti, bought a Nissan matatu but it could not operate on that route unless she employed a Kikuyu driver and a tout.

Though I believe this trend is changing slowly, some tribes still feel they are more superior than others, hence have a right to more resources. In order to eradicate this issue of tribalism, all communities must regard themselves as Kenyans and not check ones surname first to know whether to employ them or not, some secretaries go to an extent of shredding applications of those with certain surnames.

Let us ask ourselves what have we done about this problem. Are we encouraging it or preaching against it?


Phil said...

All over the world, there are many instances where certain communities are deliberately discriminated upon on the basis of their ethnicity. The luo of Kenya are not the first.

This is not to say there are any regrets because no one sends an application to be born in a certain community or race.

Most people hate to admit it, but the fact is that Luo men remain a hot number with non-Luo Kenyan girls, especially from Kikuyu tribe. Luo food / restaurants are the most favoured among Kenyans from all walks of life including foreign tourists. Just walk into Ranalo Dishes (Kosewe) in Nairobi and you will see what I mean. Luo music known as ohangla is what is topping east african chats for the last couple of years. Kisumu is one of the leading destinations for local tourists in Kenya. Kenyan Men are known to openly salivate at the site of women from the lakeside and I know quite a number of non-Luo men who have actually married from the Luo community - and none of them has any regrets whatsoever!

I admire the way these guys carry themselves around. And I fully agree with what Susan says; that although the Luo have welcomed other non-Luos in their midst through businesses, inter-marriage, land settlement, etc, the same has not has not been extended to the Luos by other tribes. Why not? Political phobia I guess.


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