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The Untold Story:Gusii Survival Techn...

KShs800.00 KShs600.00
The Untold Story, Gusii Survival Techniques and Resistance to the Establishment of British Colonial Rule. There is little written about the resistance to the establishment of the British colonial rule in Gusii. The scant knowledge available on this historical phenomenon in Kenya is inaccurate and intentionally distorted in favour of the colonial master. The truth, contrary to the incorrect histories presented by the British, is that the Kings African Rival soldiers suffered humiliating defeat in their initial encounter with Gusii warriors. It was a landmark historical event. Otenyo Nyamaterere is incorrectly portrayed as a frustrated and deranged lone-ranger who was high on narcotics when he attacked with a spear and injured the first District Commissioner of Kisii, Geoffrey Northcote. In a fierce rebuttal to this falsehood existing in colonial narratives, this book attempts to correct this erroneousness portrayal of a lead warrior who valiantly came out in defense of community and its lands. And there is context to this resistance. Over many years, the Gusii had honed their fighting skills and survival strategies from the many years of struggle against the hostile and warlike neighbours – the Maasai, the Kipsigis and the Luo. These skills and strategies that came in handy when later the Gusii faced a more formidable external aggressor – the Kings African Rival soldiers. The Gusii warriors fought with valour, demonstrating great fighting skills in their encounter with these forces of conquest even as the latter were better armed. Inevitably the warriors lost, defeated due to the British superior weaponry. The Gusii weapons and hand to hand combat fighting could not match the British gun power.

The Gusii of Kenya by John S. Akama

KShs1,800.00 KShs1,600.00
The Gusii of Kenya: Social, Economic, Cultural, Political & Judicial Perspectives provides in-depth topical insights of the Gusii (also known as the Kisii) of Kenya. The book captures historical aspects of the Gusii and how they ended up occupying their present lands. It enunciates the group’s cultural, political and economic organization that are core to the group’s identify and overall survival. Reading the book would provide understanding of some noticeable elements of these perspectives that persist to date. Cultural aspects such as the rites of passage and weddings, part of core identity elements of a people, are well articulated. Social organization, starting at the homestead to clan to community level, was intricately woven to form a coherence whole that defined the Gusii. Indeed, this also formed a basis of core elements of code of conduct (chinsoni) and justice as traditionally administered. The book also raises a number of questions regarding the core character of the Gusii such as lack of central authority and the implications this has had on the community over time. One can only speculate the trajectory of history that would have been had the Gusii organized themselves differently.

Gusii Soapstone Industry:Critical iss...

KShs1,000.00 KShs800.00
As is the case with most African indigenous industries, not much research has been done on the Gusii soapstone industry. Consequently, the main aim of this book is to fill the identified gap. Specifically, this book traces the origin of the Gusii soapstone industry, going through various stages, i.e. the Pre-Colonial, Colonial and Post-Colonial periods. Within this historical context, the book provides an elucidation of the social, economic, political and cultural factors that have impacted on the evolution and/or development of the soapstone industry. A critical issue captured in the book is the fact that, over the years, the soapstone handicraft products have been transformed from being items of utility for the local people to, mainly, becoming non-utility items that are sold to outsiders, particularly international tourists as unique pieces of indigenous handicraft and/or African art. However, it should be noted that, notwithstanding this transformation, indigenous cultural attributes and/or cultural themes that would have otherwise disappeared, due to increased impacts of globalization, are being preserved by the sculpturing of unique indigenous soapstone products. Furthermore, currently, the soapstone industry has become a major source of livelihood for the Gusii people of Tabaka in Southwestern Kenya. This book provides a lucid articulation of various facets (i.e., social, economic, cultural and political perspectives) of the Gusii soapstone industry, and the fundamental factors that have made the industry survive, over the years, notwithstanding the introduction of mass produced goods from the Western world. The conceptualization of the role of the indigenous industry in promoting sustainable livelihood is clearly brought out, and is presented within the broader milieu of the Gusii society. The book provides excellent reading for anyone interested in having proper perspectives on the history and the overall development of the Gusii soapstone industry. Elkanah Ong’esa, a world renowned artist and soapstone sculptor. As much as the soapstone sculptures are found in museums, art galleries, curio shops and people’s homes in most major cities of the world, not much research and documentation of these unique indigenous industry initiatives has been done. In light of that, this book on the Gusii soapstone industry fills a critical niche and is quite handy for people from all walks of life and academia looking for up to date information on the Gusii soapstone industry. Dr. Margaret Barasa, Anthropolinguistic Expert, and Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kisii University, Kenya. Most literature on African indigenous industries, such as soapstone mining, carving and marketing, is based on Eurocentric approach which looks at these industries and African art as exotic items for the pleasure of Western gentry and middleclass. Adopting an Afrocentric approach, this book provides a refreshing analysis of the history, transformation and growth of the Gusii soapstone industry; an indigenous initiative that has evolved, systematically, over the years, and has shown a lot of resiliency in the face of many complex challenges. The book is recommended to people who want to have a proper perspective of similar indigenous industries and the Gusii soapstone industry in particular. Matunda Nyanchama, Publisher. This book looks at the resilience of the soapstone industry in Gusii. It shows that the soapstone carvings as currently developed by the Gusii people may have its origin in ancient traditions that dates back to hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. It also gives a good historical analysis of the growth and development of the soapstone industry. It will goes a long way in illuminating critical aspects of the Gusii soapstone industry. Herman Kiriama, Senior Research Fellow, Kisii University, Kenya.

Undeterred : The Rural Boy’s Jo...

KShs2,000.00 KShs1,800.00
Undeterred is an insightful exposé of his distinctive life as an academic and community leader in Africa. It shows that taking a strategic life path of positive thinking, commitment and hard work can lead to success and eventual achievement of cherished dreams and aspirations; even against all odds that may stand on the way. Prof. Akama grew up in a simple rural African setting in Kenya’s hinterland, and was raised by a typical Kenyan peasant family with meagre resources and limited frills. He went through early childhood enculturation and basic education in rural Kenyan schools, characterized by limited educational resources, scant infrastructure and minimal facilities. Through high school and university, his path was characterized by daunting challenges and setbacks. Being one who does not give up easily, and notwithstanding the many odds encountered, he managed to succeed in several fronts to get to the pinnacle of academia and university leadership. Prof. Akama’s discourse is a vivid testimony that all of us, as human beings, are capable of overcoming many life challenges that come our way, if we are guided by principles of determination, selflessness, focus, commitment and hard work
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