Share post:

Grass to Grace: the meteoric rise of Dr William Samoei Ruto from chicken seller to President of the Republic of Kenya.

In his effort to explain the rise of Okonkwo in the text Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe wrote, “looking at…

Continue Reading Grass to Grace: the meteoric rise of Dr William Samoei Ruto from chicken seller to President of the Republic of Kenya.

Meet Chemutai, one of the best Citizen TV reporters

Speaks like a native speaker of both English and Kiswahili, a sharp contrast to her rural upbringing, the euphony-voiced Jane…

Continue Reading Meet Chemutai, one of the best Citizen TV reporters

Youthful potential Nakuru Deputy Governor enters race

SHAKES OLD ORDER Harold Wilson once said that a week is a long time in politics. This is true as…

Continue Reading Youthful potential Nakuru Deputy Governor enters race

Did Kibor ‘Chairman’ have premonition of his death?

Famously and controversially called ‘Chairman’ a name he earned after chairing the men’s conference on Valentines’ day, Jackson Kiprotich Kibor,…

Continue Reading Did Kibor ‘Chairman’ have premonition of his death?

Grass to Grace: the meteoric rise of Dr William Samoei Ruto from chicken seller to President of the Republic of Kenya.

In his effort to explain the rise of Okonkwo in the text Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe wrote, “looking at…

Continue Reading Grass to Grace: the meteoric rise of Dr William Samoei Ruto from chicken seller to President of the Republic of Kenya.

Meet Chemutai, one of the best Citizen TV reporters

Speaks like a native speaker of both English and Kiswahili, a sharp contrast to her rural upbringing, the euphony-voiced Jane…

Continue Reading Meet Chemutai, one of the best Citizen TV reporters

Youthful potential Nakuru Deputy Governor enters race

SHAKES OLD ORDER Harold Wilson once said that a week is a long time in politics. This is true as…

Continue Reading Youthful potential Nakuru Deputy Governor enters race

Did Kibor ‘Chairman’ have premonition of his death?

Famously and controversially called ‘Chairman’ a name he earned after chairing the men’s conference on Valentines’ day, Jackson Kiprotich Kibor,…

Continue Reading Did Kibor ‘Chairman’ have premonition of his death?

Did Dr Erick Mutai make Charles Keter a shell of its former self?

Even after expressing his confidence on a national television, Former Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Cheruiyot Keter was trounced by a…

Continue Reading Did Dr Erick Mutai make Charles Keter a shell of its former self?

The Kalenjin community History

The Kalenjin community belongs to the larger Nilotic group called Highland Nilotes that lives mainly in East Africa. It comprises of the following sub-tribes in Kenya: Kipsigis, Nandi, Keiyo, Marakwet, Sabaot, Pokot, Terik, Ogiek, Tugen and Sengwer. They include Sebei in Uganda and Murle in Sudan. The Kalenjin people can also be traced in some parts of Tanzania, these are Barabaek, Tatireek, Hilbangraek, Sonjoek, Sirikwaek (Sindawi), Nataek, Badyut and Tatogaeek.

Kalenjins are believed to have descended from two ancestors namely: Kingo and Tapnai. They were blessed with many children. Before the demise of Kingo, his eldest son Olchiangwal inherited his younger wife and was named “Non Kindii” which means one who inherits. This was later shortened to Nandi and became a sub tribe.

His other son relocated to a more fertile place and became prolific “Kipo-sigis” or “Kipsigis” which simply means the one who gives birth. Another version states that while Kingo’s son was looking after the cattle, he came across a traditional bowl, locally called “Kisiet” hence he was named “Kipsich-Kisiet” and that probably gave birth to the generation’s name Kipsigis.

One of the sons disappeared mysteriously. He was waited for long in vain hence his people kept on saying “Kigeni” which means having hope waiting hence his generation became Tugen. Another son was fondly known for his immense love for milking cows in the field. Whenever Kingo was asked about his whereabouts, he would respond “Kei-yoo” which simply means “the mother is milking” hence his generation became Keiyo.

The son who demanded for a ram, locally called “Kwesta” later became “Marakwet” locally “Machkwesta” which simply means the one who is in need of a ram. One of the sons was punished for the wrong he had done and out of anguish and anger, he fled away from home. Many thought he was dead but his mother kept on saying that “Sebei” which means he is still alive thus his generation became Sebei of Uganda.

Koony and Pokot remained in Kingo’s homestead. “Pokoot” is a local name which means the owner of the house. This is probably because he didn’t leave his father’s homestead. Koony means our home. Better known as “Koonyon”

The term Kalenjin was brought about by early scholars of the community probably during 1940s most likely at Alliance High School since people from the community were known to utter the word “Kaleei” which simply means “I say”. This word is common in all the sub-tribes of the Kalenjin ethnic group hence collectively known as Kalenjin.

The original name of the Kalenjin is “Miot” following their immense love for honey and milk. Kalenjins are believed to be descendants of Lote. Miot could also refer to Moabites in the bible. A clear indication that they once came across each other and probably intermarried at a place called Goshen. It is important to note that present Kalenjin council of elders is called Miot because of the mentioned reasons.