Amazing Facts About the Abasuba Community

The different ethnic organizations present in Kenya are what makes the country a hub of cultural diversity and pomp. With over 42 tribes and even more sub-tribes and languages, Kenya has an amazing array of food, clothing, and music and people in general.  Today we focus on the Abasuba community. A tiny but powerful group that is slowly fighting to keep their position in the Kenyan map. Here are amazing facts about them.

They are the last group to migrate into Kenya

Unlike most ethnic communities that moved into Kenya in the BC years, the Abasuba only came into Kenya less than 500 years ago. This makes them the youngest community to migrate into Kenya.

They migrated from Uganda

The Abasuba share a common origin with the Kuria of Kenya and Uganda. Their migration story tells of how the first Suba people came into Kenya via Lake Victoria by boats and settled in Western Kenya, specifically Rusinga and Mfangano Islands. Some later went further inland into Migori and even Kisumu but the majority are in Rusinga and Mfangano.

They are not Luo, they are Bantu

The Abasuba are commonly thrown into a general pot together with the Luo. This is because of their settlement patterns made them close neighbours with the Luo. Furthermore, one-sided intermarriages led to the slow fading and assimilation of the Suba into the Luo group. This can be seen in the similar Luo names the Abasuba take and the language they speak.

Less than 500 people can speak the original tongue

The Abasuba, although being close to 400,000 in number, have become so accustomed to the Luo that very few remaining individuals can speak the original Suba tongue fluently. Most of the community members either speak Luo or Kuria languages, making their language extinct.

Rusinga Festival is for the Abasuba

After seeing the threat of extinction to her community, one individual decided to organize a yearly festival where people from all over the country and neighbouring regions could come and witness the great Suba culture. Now, the festival that is held every week before Christmas, attracts visitors from all over the world including Germany and New Zealand. At least, through the festival, the members of the group can practise their customs and keep them alive while outsiders can know of their existence.

They are highly traditional

Although they get a lot of external influence, the Abasuba still get to hold onto most of their traditions including cattle keeping, maintaining of shrines of worship, male circumcision practices and practise of traditional medicine.

Have prominent people

Like most ethnic groups, the Abasuba too have a list of prominent people they can boast as their own. The Late Tom Mboya being the best example. There is even a structure erected at his place of Burial where the Abasuba go to pay their respects and sometimes hold celebratory events.