Tribes In Kenya – Stunning Or Ugly?

Kenya has greater than 40 tribes. Their position is diminishing slowly, however the tribe is likely one of the essential defining options of dwelling in Kenya. On the one hand, all people admires the sight of proud Masai warriors, dressed all pink with their typical spears and protect. And tribes have social benefits, similar to mutual assist. Then again, the tribes in Kenya are holding the nation again. This text offers some background info.

The Large Image Of Tribes In Kenya

Household in Kenya is all-important. Large prolonged households stay collectively and take care of one another. Then comes your clan, your sub-tribe, and your tribe. Since Kenyan independence in 1963, the federal government has tried to create a nationwide consciousness, stressing the concept that “we’re all Kenyans”. However because of the tribe system, nationwide id could be very weak in Kenya.

Kenyan tribes are primarily primarily based on language. There are three language teams during which all of the tribes could be divided: the Bantu, the Nilotic and the Cushitic talking tribes. Nicely-known tribes that also comply with the normal existence because the Masai, Samburu and Turkana tribes are Nilotic. Nonetheless, many Kenyans communicate three languages: their tribal language, English, and Swahili (which along with English is the official language in Kenya).

The most important tribes are, respectively, the Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin and Kamba (though actual numbers differ extensively from supply to supply).

Tribes In Kenya: Fairly Or Ugly?

After all, I very very like to observe conventional tribal life. The Masai, Samburu, Turkana tribes folks have magnificent colourful jewellery and garments, spectacular rituals, and delightful songs. Experiencing that is for a lot of one of many massive causes of coming to Kenya.

However let’s be sincere. How lots of the vacationers who idealize the tribes in Kenya would be capable of stay that means themselves? Tribes additionally imply a perception in witchcraft (and higher keep away from being referred to as a witch in Kenya!), feminine genital mutilation, and little particular person freedom because the course of your complete life is already fastened at start by tribal customs.

The “White Masai” film has made this all too clear. It tells the true life story of a Swiss girl (Corinne Hofmann) who marries a Masai warrior and joins the normal tribal life in his small village. Through the first years, she reveals a outstanding capacity to adapt. She eats Masai meals, sleeps in wood shacks, and delivers their child within the bush. However her husband feels more and more threatened by her independence and skills. When she opens a small store within the village, he’s jealous. He will get abusive and he or she lastly has to flee together with her daughter again to Switzerland.

Tribes In Kenya Enterprise And Politics

In addition to tradition, tribes play a essential position in enterprise and politics. Tribe members ‘assist’ one another, and this goes from , to favoritism within the authorities and overlaying every others prison actions.

The Kikuyu dominate each enterprise and politics. There are a number of causes: they’re the most important tribe, have westernized to a giant extent, are street-smart in enterprise and the led the independence motion within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties. This independence motion grew to become the primary massive political social gathering, KANU, which dominated Kenyan politics for a lot of a long time.

The primary president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, in addition to present president Mwai Kibaki are Kikuyu, and each have proven clear favoritism, if not outright corruption in the direction of their tribesmen. Kenyatta used the land reforms after de departure of the British to make himself and his fellow clan members the most important landowners of the nation. Kibaki was elected in 2002 on the promise to finish the ever-present corruption, however as soon as in workplace did valuable little to struggle it. As a substitute, he adopted members of his Kikuyu clan all through his administration. These individuals are generally known as the “Mount Kenya Maffia”, after the house area of the Kikuyu round this mountain.

Many citizens help a politician not due to his concepts or private talents, however as a result of he’s from the identical tribe. Political events are primarily based on tribes, not on concepts. Elections usually come all the way down to the query: which tribe goes to take advantage of the opposite tribes? The election struggles of 2007-2008 in Kenya additionally had a tribal background: many non-Kikuyu voters thought that the Kikuyu (22% of the inhabitants) below had “eaten sufficient” (slang for stealing authorities funds) below the Kibaki authorities, and subsequently supported a politician from the Luo tribe (Raila Odinga).

Whereas some folks within the west romanticize the tribal life, seeing this as a ‘purer’ way of life which is extra social and ‘nearer to nature’, I personally am completely satisfied that I’m not part of it, and I consider many Kenyans would profit from a gradual roll-back of the tribe system.