Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omogaka Patrice Nyariki Mosorori, 1913-2018. Bokimwange Village, Kenyenya sub-county, Bomachoge Borabu Constituency, Kisii County


 Our Mwanyagetinge Elders, Our Inestimable Treasure: Rigwata [ April ] 23, 2018. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Omogaka nyariki

At A Glance:


Date Of Birth: 1913

Circumcision: 1934

Age: 103 Years

Home: Bokimwange Village

Marriage: 1950 To Omong'ina Osebe Mosorori

Number Of Children: 10 [4 Boys and 6 Girls].

Number Of Grandchildren: 125 



Even though we hand a chance to sit down under the knee of Omogaka Patrice Mosorori for some words of wisdom, we were not able to publish the interview before he passed on. Omogaka Patrice Nyariki Mosorori passed on last week after a short illness. His body is in state at Hema Hospital and the burial ceremony is scheduled for this coming Friday at his home in  Bokimwange Village, Bomachoge Borabu, Kisii County.

Ntwe nigo togoakera Omonene Tata oito Nyasae buna mbuya mono ase ribaga atoete, gotwara enkwana n' omogaka ominto omonene, konyora atarasira. Engora enene gochia ase enka, abasani, amo n' abaamate b' omogaka Mosorori. Kera egento ase Omonene Nyasae. 

Omwana O Bokimwange

Omogaka Mosorori was born in early 1913 at Bokimwange village, Kenyenya sub-county, Bomachoge Borabu  constituency, Kisii County. He was the first born in his family of 4 boys and 4 girls. He was then circumcised in the year 1934 and later got married at the year 1950 to Omongina Osebe Nyariki Mosorori. He was blessed with 10 children’s [4 boys and 6 girls] but in the process he has lost 4 children [including 2 girls and boys]. He was married with two wives but later, one of them passed away.  

We Were Always Vigilant

Omogaka Mosorori told us that life has been struggle for the fittest for him since his youth. He told us that he was brought up in a place where fighting was a daily routine for the Abagusii in the region. They were fighters from the Abagusii community who were having tribal feuds with our neighbors in Maasailand. He said that "We always waged with the Moran’s for having stolen our cows or grazing land"


Omogaka Patrice Nyariki Mosorori, 1913-2018. 

Omogaka Mosorori


He told us that that every week there was war between Abagusii and Maasai in the region. Because of constant wars, we got used to everyone being ever vigilant and careful not to be killed. During these frequent fights, he told us that the people who suffered the most were the young kids and women. This is because the kids were left fatherless and the women were left without husbands. 

Omogaka Mosorori told us that the old days were good because people did not steal from one another like today. He told us that the Gusii highlands have now been rendered useless by thieves who steal from farms and gardens. People cannot farm on their land and wait for the produce from their own farm. Instead they will start to steal from other neighbors whose plants have a good harvest.  


The Nyamakongiro, Oranganga And Ebichache Droughts

He told us that long ago, there was a great drought in Gusiiland. This  calamity killed everything around it. Many plants, animals and people died. "In the early 1912 there came a drought and famine that was named Nyamakongiro. At this period there was nothing for food except rikongiro" Omogaka Mosorori told usHe said that "In 1930, there came Oarangaga!!"

Mzee Mosorori told us that Oaranganga was form of locusts who were premature in nature and were later named  Bwonyonte, because they ate everything in sight. Then in late 1931 there came another famine also caused by locusts, and they called them Ebichache. They managed to survive this harsh life by killing the locusts, and storing them to eat as food!!


Enyamokirimbi And Obosisa: Those Were Bad

Omogaka Mosorori told us that in addition to famine, diseases attacked Abagusii as well.  He said that the most common diseases that affected Omogusii were Enyamokirimbi, Etutu Mache and Obosisa. He told us that some of the diseases were treated using traditional herbs or other herbs obtained from Masailand.  


Ekerundu Was A Gusii Plant Of Strength

Mzee Mosorori told us that one of the traditional healing plants for Omogusii was the Ekerundu shrub. He said that young boys who were to be circumcised were not to be given any drugs for pains!! Only Ekerundu was given to them to strengthen them as the plant is regarded by Abagusii as a sign of hope, courage and strength.


Omong'ina Osebe Mosorori.

Omongina osebe nyariki

We asked Omogaka Mosorori if he had any words of encouragement to our community and young people. He told us to "Be strong in anything you do"  We agree.


Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Welcome To Elder Israel Monyoro, Nyaguta Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Nyaribari Chache, Kisii County



Manyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Welcome To Omogaka David Ogwoka Samusi

Abagusii Culture And Customs CIV: Omongina Bathseba Birundu Ateya "Obokima Bw' Obori Tibwarenge Koguunda Nonya

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omogaka Akama Mosorori





Abaminto welcome to Elder Israel Monyoro of Nyaguta Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Mzee Israel Monyoro, 99 years, is a Christian servant and church elder at Nyaguta SDA Church in Nyaribari Chache, Kisii County. He is well known in the South Kenya Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church as a travelling Elder who teaches children about the Lord Jesus Christ. He has travelled around the Conference teaching children, churches and Christians at Camp Centers  such as Masongo, Nyaura, Nyanchwa, Itibo, Nyamage, Nyaguta, Tabaka, Riokindo, Omobera, and Nyamache. 

Elder Israel Monyoro was born on May 10, 1917 and was circumcised in November 1932. He was married in 1941 and has seven children of whom three are girls and four are boys. Elder Monyoro told us that the SDA Church in Gusii has a long history. He told us that the first SDA church in the South Kenya Conference started in the year 1906 at Kendu Bay.

Humble roots at Kendu Bay

The Church was started by an American missionary named Pascal Armstrong together with a Luo named Jacob Orwa. From there, the Kendu Bay Church opended a branch at Kamagambo, South Mugirango in Kisii County in 1910. Through the continuing efforts of Pascal and Orwa, the church further proceeded to the rest of the Gusii highlands in 1918, opening a branch at Nyanchwa. 

Omogaka Monyoro told us that it was at Nyanchwa that Armstrong and Orwa were joined by another American missionary, Mr. Berfen. Now with three missionaries, the decision was made to have Berfen work at Nyanchwa while Pascal and Jacob took charge of Kamagambo and Kendu Bay respectively. While at Nyanchwa, Berfen did a lot of work to the people of Gusiiland and he is credited with starting a Vocational Bible School to the young children who were Nyanchwa. 


 Elder Israel Monyoro


Our Mwanyagetinge Elders, Our Inestimable Treasure: Elder Israel Monyoro, Nyaguta SDA Church, Nyaribari Chache, Ksii County.



 At a glance:

Name: Elder Israel Monyoro
Date  of birth:  May 10, 1917
Circumcision date : November, 1932
Marriage: 1941 with the same sweetheart to date.
Number of children: 7  [three girls and four  boys].

Home Church: Nyaguta SDA Church.


Cherished weapon, Circa 1950's: It is his first weapon against the enemy. Elder Israel Monyoro always takes his Bible with him wherever he goes.

When we asked him if he sometimes leaves his Bible at home, Mzee Monyoro told us that "You just never know when you are gonna need it. You cannot fight the enemy with nothing and expect  to win " 

When we asked Omogaka Monyoro if he had a favorite Bible verse, He told us that he loves the entire Bible especially Proverbs 3:5 [ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding ]. KJV. 


Back in those days, our people did not have lots of communication resources such as we have today. They did not have radios, recorders, videotapes, televisions or the Internet. Notebooks were in short supply. Elder Monyoro wrote most of what he knows of the SDA Church history in Gusii in his Bible, using a good old fountain pen. The Bible is what he read every day and therefore it was easy for him to remember.

In his Bible, Omogaka Monyoro wrote about how the SDA Church started in Gusii in 1906. He mentioned the First World War of 1914 and the Nyanchwa Church being established in 1918. He told us that the work of the Lord through his servants resulted in many people believing and being baptized. Among them, Omogaka Monyoro told us that the following ten renowned people were the first converts to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Gusiiland.   


The first people at Gusii who accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. According to Omogaka  Monyoro's records, some of them were later baptized in 1922.

The First SDA Converts

1. Paul Nyamweya
2. Yusuf Simba
3. Musa Ayako
4. Samuel Omoke
5. Johana Ombega [Mwamoriango]
6. Joel araka [Omoguche]
7. Matayo Ratemo [Omobasi]
8. Ibrahim Ombega [Omotongo]
9. Marko Nyasinga
10. Daniel Kiyondi [Omonyamasicho]


After staying in Gusiiland for five years and having a fruitful missionary work, God's work through Berfen was praised. As a result of this great work, more American missionaries joined the Conference. These were Havis, Haet, Webster and Thomas. What had started with Armstrong and Orwa was now a huge SDA Conference. 

Below: Elder Monyoro's Bible showing where he wrote about the SDA missionaries in Gusiiland and the newly baptized Christians in 1922.

  SDA Church History 2

The Church is growing: Chinche and Nyaguta here we come with Joel Araka.

The church at Nyanchwa was growing rapidly and a new church needed to be built. For the next church to be built, the next location needed to have accessibility and people who are receptive and willing to accept Missionaries and the Lord's work. After consultation with the South Kenya Conference, a decision was made to build the next church at Nyaguta.


They were able to choose Nyaguta because it was centrally positioned and the area had all the commodities they needed in order to sustain a Seventh-Day Adventist Camp Meeting.  Among those commodities, included:

[I]. Esasati [swamp grass ] for building structures quickly.

[II]. Emete: Nyaguta area had a lot of trees to help in building houses and other structures.

[III]. Firewood: Chinko was needed for cooking for the missionaries and the converts.

[IV]. Amache [water]: This was readily available in the nearby fresh water streams and the River Gucha.

It was time for more Harvesting. The students and new converts who were baptized at Nyanchwa were sent for missionary activities around the Nyaguta area. This time round, one of the first converts and missionary sent was Joel Araka. Omosike Araka was sent to Chinche near Nyaguta and set up a Sabbath School which lasted from 1922 to 1923.

God's work and harvest was expanding.

In 1923, another Sabbath School was established at Nyaguta. Once started, there were a lot of interested residents who started attending the Sabbath school. Elder Monyoro told us that some of the people who were really interested in knowing the word of God at Nyaguta and were converted included:
1. Noah Nyangara
2. Jairo Getanda
3. Jeremiah Ombariga
4. Zedekiah Getenga
5. Micah Momanyi
6. Joshua Nyakeriga
7. Israel Monyoro
8. Wilson Moninda
9. Jason Marube
10. Swagera Onsare
11. Morara Nyakerura
12. Nyagero Omari

Like a father guides his children, God fights our battles for us if we let Him guide us: Elder Monyoro joined Sabbath School in 1923 !! Below, Elder Monyoro with his Weapon.
  Elder Israel Monyoro 1

Now, the church was ready set at Nyaguta and people were learning and understanding the Bible in the area. At this time, a missionary was sent to the region from Nyanchwa in 1927 to oversee the development of the church in Nyaguta. This missionary was Barben.

Elder Monyoro told us that Barben used to travel around the Nyaguta area while riding a bicycle. With the Church now expanding, another American missionary named Lewis joined Barben at Nyaguta in 1932 to help start Camp Meetings in the area. 

Now Nyaguta becomes the SDA Camp Center for the entire Gusiiland

In 1933, The South Kenya SDA Conference announced that in all of Gusiiland, Nyaguta was to be the best central point for the Camp Meetings. It was good news, being the first one of its own kind in the whole region. Christians around Gusiiland were happy and they came together. Once together, they started to prepare for that big event by clearing bushes, and digging up roads leading to Nyaguta.

This road construction was commenced under the supervision of the American missionary Lewis and Paul Nyamweya [one of the students where baptized in 1922 at Nyanchwa]. The preparations were done and the first Nyaguta SDA Camp Meeting was conducted in 1933.

Mzee Monyoro says that during these Camp Meetings, "There were lots of programs introduced to the people and this attracted thousands of people, many of whom were converted and became Christians" Omogaka Monyoro told us that many people were very thirsty for the Good News and the ones who heard it went to spread it elsewhere in Gusii. 

The South Kenya Conference Of Seventh-Day Adventists and the First Camp Meeting in Gusii: Nyaguta Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Nyaribari Chache, Kisii County.

Nyaguta SDA Church 1

Gusii gets the first SDA Pastor and the next phase

Once started, the tradition of holding Camp Meetings continued at Nyaguta. The SDA Camp Meetings were held once a year. In 1937 Paul Nyamweya was crowned as a pastor being the first one of his kind in the Gusii community. He guided the people in the Conference according to the spirit as he availed himself in serving God.

In 1948 the Camp Meetings got a different phase and because of the growing Christian community, two new SDA Camp centers were established, making a toal of three Camp Centers in Gusii. These new Camp Centers were:

[I]. The Bobasi/Bomachoge SDA Camp Center which was established at Riokindo.

[II]. The Bogetutu and Bogirango SDA Camp Center which was established at Tombe. 

Elder Monyoro told us that with the establishment of these two new Camp Centers, the Conference made a decision to appoint a teacher or overseer for each one of these centers as follows:

[I]. The Riokindo Camp Center was to be led by Elder Asa Onyiego and

[II]. the Tombe Camp Center was to be under the supervision of Elder Abraham Oirere.


Reporter's note: First, we want to thank our Lord Jesus Christ for the opportunity to meet and interview our elders in our community. The knowledge and history provided is of immense value. Secondly, Mbuya mono Omogaka Israel Monyoro for your time and efforts.

This interview occurred over a period of two days and comprised of two different visits to meet Elder Monyoro. This interview could not be rushed. Good things cannot be rushed. It required patience. We sat attentively under the knee of Omogaka Monyoro for two days because we did not want to miss anything. 

The story of our church was narrated to us by an elder in the church who has served God for a long time. Someone who has been in the trenches for God. Mbuya mono Elder Monyoro. Mbuya mono ase Omonene Tata Nyasae ase aya onsi gwatoire, amo n' ase ogotoinyoria igoro y' History Of The SDA Church In Gusii.




Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Welcome To Omogaka David Ogwoka Samusi





Engatiato [ January ] 5, 2016.




Keep reading:

"Teri Buya Kona Goteba Buna Eye Nyamira County, Neye Kisii County. Omogusii N' Oyomo" Mzee Wa Kazi, Omogaka James Kinara

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omong'ina Anastancia Moraa Maribo

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omogaka Peter Nyagitare Manyange



Omogaka David Ogwoka Samusi

Our Mwanyagetinge Elders, Our Inestimable Treasure: "If you do not study hard, then you are setting up yourself for failure. Our people work very hard at every good thing they put theirs hands into. You should too"  Omogaka David Ogwoka Samusi korwa Nyamira County.





AGE: 91




Abaminto welcome to omogaka David Ogwoka Samusi. Omogaka Ogwoka hails from Nyaronyo village, Nyaramba sub-county, Nyamira County. He was born in the year 1924 as the fourth son to the late omogaka Samusi. He was circumcised in the year 1941 and seven years later he got married to his first wife.

As years went by, Mzee Ogwoka married four other wives to make a total of five and has twenty-eight children in his family. His family has several grandchildren totaling one hundred and fifty in number. Omogaka David Ogwoka told us that he lost two of his children due to illness and that saddened him for many years.

Omogaka Ogwoka told us that life has been difficult since he lost his eyesight. He said that he is short sighted and that he cannot see things that pass by a long distance. He also told us that he lost part of his left ear due to a leopard attack in Londiani forest in the 1960s. He said that the leopard jumped directly to his ear and bit him. With his fellow friend warriors, they restrained it using his shield [engubo] and killed it using his arrow. He was treated by the best medicine men in the region until he was healed but he lost hearing in that left ear.

Mzee Ogwoka told us how in 2007 in their village, there came an elephant which destroyed a lot of plants in the farm. He advised the young men in the village not to kill it but to scare it away. He said that as a young man, he led the people in the clan to war and  and that nothing was expected from this wars than victory. He told us how he has fought with the Kipsigis, Nandi and Omosingicho [ Omomanyi ].  

I became Omosaaria

After peace resumed and there was no war with our neighbors, Omogaka Ogwoka trained as a person who circumcised boys [ Omosaaria ]. He told us that he has been circumcising boys for years and he is well known in the area for his traditional skill of circumcising boys using a knife. Omogaka Ogwoka told us that the following terms were used by Mwanyagetinge during the ceremony of  circumcision for boys:  

[ I ]. A tree they were using - Amabuko [or mote oitimo]  

[ II ]. Omosegi – omonto orenge korenda omorero and he was to lead the boys inside the house for their healing Fire [omorero]. The fire was not supposed to go out. It was meant to be a sign of power in anything you do while you are omware.

We asked Mzee Ogwoka what he thinks about our Mwanyagetinge marriage customs. Omogaka told us that when he was young, young men got married when they were between 17 to 19 years old. For girls, marriage occurred between the age of 15 to 18 years. Omogaka Ogwoka told us that traditional customs and beliefs should be taken into account because they are what defines us.

Omogaka Samusi said that our community is being destroyed by immorality. He said that " I am saddened by our our young people doing immorality with their relatives" He added saying that "Omogusii was given power to differentiate what is right and wrong. Therefore, you must respect our traditions and stop obonyaka in our community. You should not do immorality with your relatives"

It is taboo  

Asked if he remembers any taboos that Mwanyagetinge had but are now going away. Omogaka Ogwoka tols us that  "If your wife has cheated on you with another man, she was to be sent to their home and she was to explain what she did to the parents and in return, she was to come back with a goat for sacrifice to end that lie" He said that this was always done in the presence of the clan  elders. Mzee Ogwoka continued saying that "If a wife went into a fight with her husband and she touched his genitals, it was taboo" She was to be sent to her parents and asked to bring a bull for sacrificial ceremony to take place [Ekegusii].

Birds with certain meanings

Omogaka David Ogwoka  told us that in the old days, there were certain birds which were considered as having a certain meaning to Omogusii. They were:  

[ I ]. Amagonga – [good omen]: they reflected seasons that were to be experienced in the land. In the old days, amagonga used to fly over Gusiiland during the month of October (Esagati-Sagati ya Magonga).

[ II ]. Enyamuchera – it was to show [good omen] when it faced you and shows you the white spot when you are going to a journey and a [bad omen] when it gives you its back !!

[ III ]. A cock was used to give them updates on time so it was their watch or time clock !! It would crow when its early in the morning. 

We asked omogaka Ogwoka if he has any advice to give to our young people. Omogaka said that "If you do not study hard, then you are setting up yourself for failure. Our people work very hard at every good thing they put theirs hands into. You should too"

We can not argue with what our Mzee has said. 




Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omong'ina Anastancia Moraa Maribo



Genderera kwegokia:

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omong'ina Pacifica Kerubo Mwamu

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omongina Dinah Kinanga Orina

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omogaka Simon Mochache




December [ Egesunte, Egesunte Kia Masaba ] 9, 2015.




Mama Anastancia Moraa, 89, was born in the year 1925.  She hails from Bonchari Constituency [ Nyandoche Ibere, Bonyaore Sub-county ]. Omongina Moraa told us that she was circumcised at the age of 16 years in 1939. Later, she was married at the age of 20 years to the late Omogaka Thomas Maribo as the first wife in the family of three wives.



Our Mwanyagetinge Elders, Our Inestimable Treasure: "Thank you Lord for the daughters you gave me" Omong'ina Anastancia Moraa, korwa aaria Nyandoche Ibere, ime ya Bonyaore, Bonchari, Kisii County.

Omongina Anastancia Moraa

She is blessed with four children, twenty grandchildren, and several great grand children. Omongina Anastancia told us that she lost two children due to illness in early 1970s and this was a major blow to her family.

Education was not important in those days

Mama Moraa told us that she was educated by her parents in a mission school in Nyabururu up to class two. After that, she dropped out of school and never went back. She said that in those days, "Chisemi tichiarenge gento keneene ase abanto baito buna bono" and that the education of girls was not important to Abagusii abakoro at the time. 

Even after losing her children and husband, Omongina Moraa told us that she believes and stays strong in the Lord and goes to church every week.  She told us about the hardship of obtaining basic needs such as food because she grew up in poverty all her life.

Societal Pressure

After losing her two boys in the 70s, omong'ina Anastancia told us that she gave birth to girls only. "Egento gianchandete ase omoyo one ase amatuko amange, n' ogotatwara abamura because according to our traditions, a boy was very important in a family" Mama Anastancia told us. She continued saying that "In later years, I was at peace na koamoakera Nyasae buna mbuya mono ase abaiseke angete"    

She laments the Abagusii losing traditions such as dancing the Ribina. She remembers dancing the Ribina as a young woman with other Abagusii icons such as the late Hon Lawrence Sagini and the late Hon James Nyamweya. She says that life at her young age was really different because Abagusii had a lot of ceremonies we all participated in and most of those have gone away. 

She however says that she appreciates that we have not lost our traditional foods. Omongina Moraa told us that she enjoys traditional foods and vegetables such as chinsaga, obokima bw' obori, chingende, enderema, risosa, choyoyo and omwogo. 

We asked mama Moraa whether she believes if some of our Abagusii traditions will be observed again. " I do not think that our people will ever return to drinking again from Egesanda or eat from Egesero and Ekee" she added that "Our young people can still try to respect our elders like in the old days and to always trust in God"

In closing, we asked her if she has any other advice for our young people. "Always be thankful. Be thankful to God for what He has given you"  Said Mama Anastancia Moraaa Maribo.  

We agree.





Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omong'ina Pacifica Kerubo Mwamu

 Mbuya mono Tata Omonene for our elders. Our Mwanyagetinge Elders, Our Inestimable Treasure: Riete [ August ] 17, 2015.



Aya amwabo aya:

"Teri Buya Kona Goteba Buna Eye Nyamira County, Neye Kisii County. Omogusii N' Oyomo" Mzee Wa Kazi, Omogaka James Kinara

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omongina Dinah Kinanga Orina

Mwanyagetinge Voices And Stories About The Lives And Times Of Our Elders: Omogaka Simon Mochache




Omongina kerubo mwamu


At a Glance:


Abagusii did not eat salt until we heard about "Egento giatokire Getembe gekobekwa chinyeni. Now this salt is hurting our people" Mama Pacifica Kerubo Mwamu.



Omongina Pacifica Kerubo Mwamu was born in the year 1895 as the first child to his father from West Mugirango, Nyamira County. She was later circumcised in the year 1916 when she was 21 years old. Omongina Kerubo told us that at the time, a girl was to be around that age in order to be circumcised.

In 1930, she was married to the late Mzee Michael Nyasani Mwamu from West Mugirango. After matrimony, they were blessed with fourteen children [ five girls and nine boys]. According to Omong'ina Kerubo, the large number of children they bore caused the community to respect them, as was the Abagusii custom.

In those days, girls were considered to be a source of wealth

"We were respected because we had boys to protect the village, and also we were were considered rich because we had had girls" Omong'ina Kerubo told us. During that period and age, a girl child was termed as a source of wealth because she was to be married and bring in a lot of wealth in the home in the form of dowry. 

She told us that she has lost her husband and four of her children due to various ailments, causing her lots of sadness. Omong'ina Mwamu told us that even though things change, some of our traditions  should be respected so that we can maintain our identity as Abagusii.

Mama Kerubo told us that "Sometimes I feel lonely because most of my age mates are no longer living" She said that she spends most of the time sharing stories about life in the old days with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

"Obokima Bw' obori and ching'ende ch' ebara are the best"

Omongina Kerubo said for their entire lives, she and Mzee Mwamu lived as farmers growing obori, amaemba, ching'ende, chinsaga, riinagu, egesare, riisosa, omotere, and enderema. She said that they also kept lots of livestock and were well known in the village to have a lot of cows.

When we asked her what kind of food she likes, she said "Of course obokima bw' obori and ching'ende chibekire ebara from Luoland" She said that her late husband would never eat any obokima from maize and always insisted on seasoning their food with ebara from Luoland, instead of salt. 

She said that they grew up not knowing anything about salt. She said that the first time she heard about salt was from a servant of Abasongo who came from Getembe and showed them this white substance and said that "Egento giachire Getembe [a name describing Kisii town] gekobekwa chinyeni.

"Once the whole village tasted it, everyone was very happy and all looked for a way to have the salt. In the beginning, the salt came in chigunia and they sold it in small bags after being weighed. Now they are telling us that the salt is causing amanyinga aigoro [ high blood pressure ] " Omongina Pacifica added.

We asked Omongina Pacifica to tell us if she remembers any Mwanyagetinge tradition that has disappeared. She said that she laments the disappearance of three things:

1. Grandmotherly advice: Omong'ina Kerubo told us that grandmothers house place was like a school whereby all the grandchildren were to be taught on how to live and behave themselves. She said that nowadays, most children do not spend time with their grandmothers and this has caused many children to grow up and not know their roots.

2. Etureti [ Esaiga ] was a house where those men who are not yet married went to live. Mama Kerubo told us that young unmarried men should get advice about being men from the elders. She thinks that the loss of Etureti is the cause of many social problems in Gusii since young men nowadays do not get guidance from the elders.

3. Egesarate. Omong'ina Pacifica said that Gesarate, a temporal structure where livestock were kept under the watch of strong young men should be restored. She told us that because we do not have Geasarate, we lose many of our livestock to thieves and rustlers.

We asked her if she remembers when the Abagusii experienced difficult times as a group. She said that she remembers the times when there were droughts and lots of food crops and livestock died. As a result of this, some Abagusii also died due to lack of food.

Nyangige was the worst drought of them all

Omong'ina Kerubo told us about the drought of Nyangige. It was the worst drought ever to hit Abagusii. During that drought, there were many locusts [ ching'ige ] in Gusiiland. These locusts ate every green thing in sight, causing famine. The children who were born at that time were called Nyang'ige, or Ong'ige.

Omongina Pacifica also remembers the Nyamakongiro famine. She said that the famine was so severe that Abagusii for the first time started eating amakongiro.  " I did not care about the amakongiro back then and I do not care about them now but we had to eat them in order to survive" Omong'ina Kerubo added.

The other famines caused by drought which she remembers are the Kirera and Kengere [ occurred when the bell or ekengere was intoduced to Gusiiland ] famines. Mama Kerubo said that the children who were born during the Kengere drought were called Kengere.  

We asked omongina Kerubo if she has any advice for our young people. She said that "Nchiri gosira monibi atasireti, Toganeria oyomino amakweri, Bwata semi semi oyomino, Oyotabwati oyomwabo abwatwe okoboko gocha inka, Totogi momura kieni motogie enkoro, mwanyabaiseke obotaka mbogosira …."

In closing, we asked her if there was anything she could add to the Emebayeno she just told our young people. "Always trust in God" Mama Pacifica Kerubo added saying that it is the most important advice she can give to our young generation.

We agree.