Mumias Musings

Wanzalla scans the horizon
Wanzalla scans the horizon – Image taken by Mulwa

Tuesday started with Sebastian capturing a sunrise at Kakamega Forest’s view point. The previous day’s recce had taken us up a steep hill carpeted in rock chips with sparse trees and small knots of grass for grip.

It was a scary ascent (and descent!) but the view was lovely. At 6:30 am, it was at its most spectacular.

We got off to a late start in the afternoon due to my sudden need for medical attention. And by the time we hit the road, the sun’s rays felt like they were boring into our skins. In any case, we were cruising down the Mumias-Kakamega road when the police flagged down our van.

I don’t know a thing about cars and traffic rules but what I do know is that we joined a huge gathering of private cars, matatus, lorries and motorcycles that had filled the police station grounds.

Could it be a coincidence that this crackdown was happening on September 30th, the last day of the month?

Safaricom green at Wanga Cultural Centre
Safaricom green grass at Wanga Cultural Centre

In any case, by the time we got to Nabongo Cultural Centre, Mumias, we were deep into the afternoon and Sebastian’s camera hadn’t clicked since dawn. He and Cindy were eager to get more shots in while there was still good light.

The grounds were well maintained with two terraced grassy hills, a huge round hut, mausoleum and small museum. A mock village had been set up in an adjacent field to show the ways of the Wanga people. We learnt quite a few things there, chiefly, that Luhya’s can proudly lay claim to Raila Odinga, if they so choose.

Why? Well, Nabongo Wanga (1040-1150) had a younger brother called Sakwa. This energetic gent is said to have moved away from the family and settled in Bondo. So it goes Sakwa -> Matara -> Nyibinya -> Omolo -> Ogola -> Migono ->Wenwa Sibar -> Wenwa Wasonga -> Rapondi -> Raila -> Odinga -> Oginda -> Raila.

If Raila has Luhya ancestry, Solve for X.
If Raila has Luhya ancestry, Solve for X.

Evening would find us resting our weary bodies at Sholom Guest House. Yes, Sholom.

The manager—one of the most cheerful administrators I’ve ever met at 11:00pm—said that they had to change the name of their guest house to differentiate it from a similarly named establishment in Kisumu.

The new spot wanted to forge its own identity hence the misspelling of this Hebrew word.

Now, I’ve been keeping a list of all the TV brands we’ve come across at the various places we’ve slept in. We’ve had a Toshiba, Samsung and Sony but Sholom’s model was by far the one with the most personality.

Say hallo to Tiger!

Meet the entire Capture Kenya 2015 team here and read more stories from the road!

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