https://nyakiyanyakiyaism.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/reacquisition-of-olusuba-and-the-emancipation-of-the-abakunta/REACQUISITION OF ‘OLUSUBA’ AND THE EMANCIPATION OF THE ABAKUNTA
We are not a fossil but a suppressed, ageless and resilient spiritual conviction, resident in the Abakunta people who are now called the Abasuba. This conviction dates back to the periods preceding our ancestors’ exit from Uganda in the 16th century. It manifested itself through the ‘Nundu’ Spirit which guided the migration of Abakunta people from Uganda and later led them into victory in a war against their enemies; the Wasaki of Luo origin who in their evident lack of wisdom, had turned the Abasuba women into objects of rape. After a long period of inaction, it was back in the mid-1990s when the late Mzee Samuel Nyakiya together with other leaders from the region implored the then President, Moi to carve a new district (Suba) out of the then Luo dominated Homa Bay District in 1995.
But sadly and mostly due to political reasons, this evolution has fixated, dimming the prospects of finally achieving the desired end of self-identity. Ironically, when asked about their ethnicity, many people of Suba origin still identify themselves as Luo. It is even more infuriating to hear a young Suba man shouting at the top of his voice; ‘ujaluo utaniua’. Some of them even boast of ‘their’ being Luo, stating with a ridiculous abandon of cultural sense that ‘to be a Luo is a duty and a lifestyle.’ What a pathetic self-denial! In ‘Politics Among Nations’, Hans Morgenthau defined political power as ‘’the psychological control over the minds of men’’. Nothing explains this postulation better than the marginalization of the Abasuba , not only nationally but also within Nyanza. The political subjugation of the Abasuba by a wrongly assumed Luo hegemony has been for generations, exacerbated through indoctrination. The Abakunta have been taught to hate their own history, look down upon and abandon their culture, loathe their language and have a low opinion of themselves. And like in the old America in which battles won by the Cavalry were described as ‘Victory’ while the Indian triumphs were regarded as ‘massacres’, when The Suba people were awarded a District by President Moi, Political bigwigs in Luo Nyanza termed it an orchestrated scheme by the government to scatter ‘Luo’ votes and pejoratively concluded that Suba was a ‘dead tribe’ that was only resurrected for political gains. Annoyingly still, the Suba mindset has historically been programmed to believe that only Luos (in Nyanza) and other ethnic groups (nationally), can produce Heroes. An average Suba would rather die for the interests of the Luo heroes rather than create his or her own. They have been hoodwinked into believing that pushing for their interests is unnecessary and that it is sacrilegious for those interests to supersede the ‘dominant’ Luo interests. The past and current education systems have sadly been abused to dislocate the Abasuba children from their culture and to rob them of the capacity to master their language, in fact it is done in a forceful manner. As a child, I was threatened with punishment if I failed to ‘properly’ read and write in Luo language which wasn’t and shall never be my mother tongue. As a result, I grew up calling myself a Luo-Abasuba which is what the teachers and the books taught me but which I have now come to know and regard as nothing but a blatant historical blunder, crafted in the halls of prejudiced intellectualism and which was supported through institutional negligence and systematic exclusion by the institutions that provided education to us. As is now not a surprise, South Nyanza politics has been designed in such a biased manner that once the Luo, Kisii and maybe Kuria votes are negotiated, the deal is done. On political appointments, accommodation of the three represents regional balance. So the Abasuba are obviously locked out. This is a very worrying reality which should encourage the Abasuba people to, as a matter of urgency, develop a suba-consciousness which I call the rediscovery and full evolution of ‘subapithecus’ and to allow it to fully actualize into ‘Homosubian Sapien ’; who is a politically free, economically empowered, Intellectually endowed and socio-culturally independent being with an equal right and platform to share the national cake with the rest of other Kenyans. In a sense, The Suba people must reconsider the terms of engagement with their in-laws the Luo. As a people, they must redefine themselves, declare strongly their interests and demand for a reorientation of the values of the old order. They must come of age; reject the ersatz and reckless cultural terrorism which has in the past labelled them, an ethnic surrogate of another community by calling them Luo-Abasuba. They must begin to speak their own language and defend their heritage as a people. They must prove that they are not a cocktail of cultural agglomerations but an independent group among the 42 communities of this country. They must also desist from their shameless hero worship and adoration of other cultures at the expense of their own. They must reduce the high language mortality rates which have threatened to clear off their language from the surface of the earth and reject systems which constrain them within the definition of a geographically domiciled entity. They must shed off the political shell which has only depicted them as shiftless political good-timers and spectators and begin to shape their own destiny. It is a revolutionary idea that the Abasuba, should open up to democracy and realize that Kenya is 50 years into independence and begin to widen their social network to reach out to other communities, build more reasonable alliances and develop their own political space. Ask me anytime and I shall say it again, that for a complete emancipation of the Abakunta, they must reject the platitudes of political ‘oneness’ with the Luo or any other earlier alliance which only served to suppress them. The political and socio-cultural relationship between the Luo and Abasuba has only created two societies, one of leeches and another of blood donors, and so they either tame the appetites of the leeches or scamper into safety, far away from their grasp. And yet they must be keen to succeed, along the way they must not forget history. While America considered her war against British tyranny a ‘revolution’, the English tried to demean it by labelling it an ‘insubordination’. Their case will not be different for indeed forces that have used them for their own political expediency in the past will arise again, full of misplaced self-importance to label their call for freedom a riotous move. But that should never kill their determination towards recognition and self-determination. The Abakunta people must declare and decree in one accord that gone be the days of the yoke of assimilation.