Paradigm Shift: Life in Luo Land a Priority for the New Luo Generation

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The move by Prof. Magoha to lecture at Maseno University Med School is becoming a new norm among a generation of medical doctors and academics opting to return home and build institutions here in Luo Nyanza.

Tom Mboya University in Homa Bay is benefiting from this profound shift in the thinking of a generation of Luos, many who prospered in Nairobi, and elsewhere, but are opting to finish where it all started. A number of private hospitals have come up to augment government health facilities.

You see this shift in politics, too. There’s a generation of Luos, perhaps the most consequential generation, who’ve opted out of national politics. Five years ago Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o left Senate for Prosperity Building in Kisumu town. Five years later, James Orengo followed. When Raila Odinga calls it quits, it will mark the end of Luo pedigree politics at the national stage.

But it is not just the notables exiting the ‘national stage’. Most Luos are calling it a day. Something in the Luo pysche has fundamentally changed. In normal conversations with Luos, there’s this urgency to exit, to quit, to leave the whatsapp group called ‘Kenya’, to a smaller, more tolerable group called ‘Luo Nyanza’. I have friends who can barely spend a month in Nairobi.

Luo Nyanza, that pristine habitat for the Luo, is where it all ends and this is not just an idle statement. It has the force of ‘Luo Law’, or you can read it up there in civil case no. 4873 of 1986.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there’s a problem with other parts of Kenya. Or that all Luos are suddenly parking and leaving without paying rent, hehe.

What I’ve observed, though, is that my tribesmen are increasingly dreaming of a life at home. It may also just be my idle hallucinations. Patience, and shuffle the cards.

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