By Brigton Makori
Kisii AUGUST 24 2020………… As each community have its cultural ways,Gusii Council of elders have launched a cultural centre at Ekerubo in Masaba south sub county Kisii county as the local community reels from adverse effects of social norms breakdown.
The facility in Gesabakwa sub location aims to revive positive cultural norms and impart them to the current generation and for posterity.
Speaking to Gusii star during inauguration ceremony,Abagusii culture and Development Council chairperson James Matundura disclosed introduction of a chapel for worship within the center.
Mr Matundura noted that the centre will avail artifacts for the local community for use by researchers and learners bent on embracing the cultural characteristics for various purposes.
“We have launched this center so that it can be used for both learners and researchers more on cultural issues , more so how Omogusii used to perform his duties” He said
“learners will be assisted to compare past and contemporary cultural aspects from the material culture” He added
A former director of the Seventh Day Adventist(SDA) Union,Rev.Jonathan Maangi,said establishment of the chapel will help demystify culture.
Rev Maangi urged people to stop dismissing traditional culture by noting that even Jesus Christ was born and brought up in a Jewish cultural background.
“Culture, should be adopted to instill good morals in society , believe on the existence of God should not separate people living in different cultures”he remarked
Daniel Ondabu observed,the centre will teach married youths to abandon alcohol consumption at the expense of neglecting their families which was unheard-off in the traditional set up.
Priscah Keiri decried the emerging trend where youths married elderly women as opposed to their age-mates.
Getembe Masongo challenged the centre to train young people the need to observe chastity and respect for gender.
Dominic Onderi,urged the local community to take advantage of the centre to preserve the culture as an identity and for prosperity.
Gusii community Background
The Gusii community of Kenya is a tribe that speaks Ekegusii a Bantu language originating from the Niger-Congo group of languages. They are an agricultural community but also involved themselves with batter trade during the pre-colonial period.
The trade took place between the Gusii and their neighboring community who were the Luo located at Lake Victoria basin. The community was made up of polygamous homesteads which housed the husband, his wives, his unmarried daughters and initiated and uninitiated sons
Economically the Gusii community were agricultural people who did subsistence farming where finger millet was their staple crop. Sweet potatoes, beans and sorghum were planted among the finger millet to maximize land usage.