For starters, Kisii’s are an enterprising lot. The number of matatus plying routes in Nairobi, especially Kawangware routes, and a host of other businesses are associated with Kisii’s. The community is also known for its love for America. Ask any Kisii if they have a close relative in the US and the answer will be a Yes.
That said, Kisii’s are known for being individualistic and will only come to the aid of their fellow tribesmen during funerals. Funerals are a big deal in Kisii and a lot of myth surrounds this ceremony. It is believed that night runners have magical powers of retrieving buried bodies and feasting on them. This has lead to lynching of many “witches’ by the dreaded Sungu Sungu. This vigilante is ruthless and you will not want to cross their line. They play the role of police, judge and executioner. It is said that politicians use them to settle scores with their opponents.
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Traditions are very critical in this community. One of the outdated, unhygienic practice that is still prevalent in Kisii is Female Genital Mutilation. This rite of passage denies women s3xual pleasure and its relevance is not clear even to those who support the practice. What is worrying is the fact that elected leadership support of FGM.
Land is another emotive issue in Kisii. A report released by the Kenya National Food Security shows that Kisii is among the food insecure counties in the same league with Turkana. Only 34 percent of households are food secure while 23 percent are faced with chronic food insecurity in spite of reliable rainfall. The locals are so much obsessed with sub-division of land for inheritance purposes leaving no space for farming.
Leaders Lacking In Vision
Since the exit of Simeon Nyachae from active politics, no other politician from Kisii region has managed to inspire the locals. The national cake is being enjoyed by other tribes, even those that did not vote for the Jubilee government, while the Kisii politicians play flower girls. Except for Fred Matiang’I, Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology, no other position has been awarded to able Kisii’s.
And county bosses are not helping matters either. Apart from enriching themselves and dishing jobs to their relatives, they have remained as dead as doornails. Kisii leadership should on the forefront to chart the way forward for its people.
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