Friday, May 21, 2010

Kenyan Tribal divide lines

We have arrived in Kisumu safely, but there was something that was eating on my mind and I wanted to have Charles’ view of it. I have campaigned against tribalism both in my physical presence, writings, debates and of course in my cyber world. With no offence intended, I wanted to know what Charles thought of it. I asked him, “Apart from English and Kiswahili, do you speak any other language?” His answer was “Yes I speak Luar”. This is one of the 50+ tribes in Kenya and its indigenous presence is mostly found around Eldoret.

I told him that he resembled Akamba, this is also a tribe found mostly in Akamba provinces accommodating towns like Makueni, Machakos and many more. He replied “No” then I asked him if the Akambas get along well with Luars, his answer was disturbing, but I called it a day and waved goodbye to him. Kisumu is dominantly home to Luos and this is the home for Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Obama’s ancestral home.

I and KK crossed the huge park whose name I cannot recall. It was clean and lively. We passed though street vendors busy selling second hand shoes, clothes and everything you can think of to be found in Kisumu. We were extremely tired and hungry. We got a bicycle boda-boda ride that cost 40 Kshs for both me and KK to Imperial Hotel that KK suggested was a good hotel. Most boda-bodas are motorcycles, but some are bicycles. As you can see in the photo, it can be a tight squeeze for two people to sit behind the boda-boda (a term used for both rider and vehicle). Each of us took a private seat that cost 20 Kshs.When we arrived there, we asked ourselves why we didn’t walk in the first place because it was a short distance. We felt cheated but, on second thought, it was fine since we were too exhausted to walk anyway.

We arrived at the Imperial hotel’s reception. No one was around to welcome us, not even a receptionist. The security guard was standing in the far side of corner and didn’t pay attention to us either; so we walked right to the notice board where they listed the prices for staying in this hotel. The prices went from 6750 Kshs (189,000UGX) single bed, but not luxery to 10,000 Kshs deluxe, including a luxurious bed. KK said this was too expensive, thus walking out to check for another place.

We walked the streets trying to look for lodges, but was unable to spot one. We tried engaging Kenyans on streets, but maybe they thought we were Kenyan beggars disturbing them. No one stopped or even dared to inquire about the problem we had. I have traveled several times, so I do have a small experienced on how to deal with people in strange corners of the World. I told KK that the only option we have is to walk directly to a security guard or policeman and ask for help. I spotted one and walked to her quickly. She directed us to Kisumu hotel which was 100 meters away. We walked there as though free gold were being handed out.

When we arrived there, the hotel’s interior looked marvelous and lovely, and we were welcomed by a Kenyan lady who was at the reception desk. She presented us with a warm smile that attracted my attention and missed a heartbeat in me. The prices were more friendly to our wallets, ranging from 4000 Kshs single bed, and the same bed was being offered at 5500 Kshs for two people. KK chose to check on the rooms before he paid. He liked them and paid for one night. They gave us room 205.

The room was nice and smelt good inside and was cooled by AC. All day it was so hot outside, so I rushed to have a shower. When I came out, KK said that he will be leaving me in Kisumu tomorrow for his continued business trip to Nairobi about which I had no idea--and didn’t ask for details either. But one thing I knew was that, I will enjoy more for being alone on my own. I felt sad because, I didn’t know what was up with KK and he wasn’t willing to share more, I decided to say that “Some things are better not known” and cooled down.  The story is just getting started, dare not miss my next segment . . . .

1 comment:

Shrue Bleaver said...

You write very well. I will wait impatiently for the next installment.