Genesis of elusive luhya Unity


I saw this somewhere…

Historically,The Luhya community is made up of eighteen sub-groups. The sub-groups which constitute the community have a common background, common customs and speak languages that are mutually intelligible. Each sub-group is divided into many clans. In 1940 the Abaluyia Welfare Association was formed. The name Abaluyia quickly gained popularity particularity after the Luyia language committee was established and formulated orthography for Luyia language. Within ten years, the name Kavirondo was discarded and the name Abaluyia stuck. According to Abaluyia tradition, communities used to hold criminal tribunals on the courtyards of identified elders. In a polygamous set up the courtyard outside the main father’s house is called Luyia. All the children are referred as children of one Luyia and hence the name Abaluyia.Just like Kalenjin,theres no tribe called Luyia:Ethnographically speaking,Luyia is a nation.
Abaluyia sub-groups are as follows:

  1. Ababukusu(Bungoma/Trans Nzoia Counties)
  2. Abamarama(Kakamega)
  3. Abalogoli/Maragoli (Vihiga)
  4. Abanyala ba Ndombi (Kakamega)
  5. Abatiriki (Vihiga)
  6. Abitakho (Kakamega)
  7. Abanyala baongo (Busia)
  8. Abesukha (Kakamega)
  9. Abakabarasi (Kakamega)
  10. Abawanga(Kakamega)
  11. Abasamia(Busia)
  12. Abatsotso(Kakamega)
  13. Abakhekhe(Kakamega)
  14. Abakisa(Kakamega)
  15. Abamarachi (Ambamataki)
  16. Abanyole(Vihiga)
  17. Abakhayo(Busia)
  18. Abatura(Bungoma)
  19. Abatachoni(Bungoma & Kakamega)
    The question is,why has Luyia unity been very elusive? It boils down to a number of historical facts.1.Supremacy battles pitting Bukusus and Maragolis.It is the feeling of a majority of Bukusus that,the Maragolis used the Friends church to subjugate them.2.Moses Mudavadi is accused of favouring his clan when he was in government,He is further accused of presiding over the relocation of St.Josephs Teachers Training College(Present day St.Josephs Boys Kitale) to Mosoriot Teachers Training College.It was his style of dealing with Masinde Muliro.3.The mistrust between Bukusus and Wanga.This boils down to the pre-independence differences between Sudi Namachanja and Nabongo Mumia.Wangas,it is said,deflated the bicycle and accused the Bukusu sentries.Fines were always paid.Furthermore,Wangas sold foxes to unsuspecting Bukusu traders around Watoya,assuring them that they were dogs.No wonder Bukusus have a saying to summarise their opinion about Wangas: “watikha emoni okhaba Muwanga”.Charting a common political narrative has always been a tall order for Luyias.Perharps the only thing that has effectively united them is, when AFC Leopards is playing against any other team.In my view,the Luyias design political dhows prior to General elections but destroy it by revisting the past and unearthing what they perceive or believe to be heinous acts against their respective clans.When the star of Masinde Muliro was rising,Wafula Wabuge was used to distract him.When the star of Elijah Mwangale was up,they used Nathan Munoko to checkmate him.When the star of Michael Wamalwa Kijana was on the upward trajectory,they used Mukhisa Kituyi to hold him in his tracks.Lets assume the star of Moses Wetangula is on the rise,are all Luyias behind him?Is it not the right time to also explore other unifying factors that are not necessarily ethnic based.Methinks,the Iteso community has an elaborate history with Luyias.Bukusus say “Khupa omumia akhulindile kamamela” and “Omumia kasima mukhwewe”.If I were any of the political actors around Western I can with ease invoke the fact that we share a common geographical region,inter-cultural relations …

Wangas sold foxes to unsuspecting Bukusu traders around Watoya,assuring them that they were dogs

Sasa hi ni nini ?
Kwani Bukusu hawajui tofauti ya doggie na fox ?


I don’t understand this nonsense of Luhya unity.

If you have 18 sub tribes,any endeavor to forge unity that trys to persuade some groups abandon their ways, leadership and etc for something else,that will be a hard sell.

You already have mutually intelligible dialects,share same geographic region.To achieve unity,agree on terms and conditions like each subtribe is free to have it’s leadership,then the leadership from all groups should agree to work together to achieve an amalgamation of each group objectives.

Decide how from this leadership whoever wants to fly the flag should emerge.What are the terms,what is the agenda,how should resources be distributed.