The King of Sabaots
Silhouetted against the breathtaking sunrise on the horizon, where the western highlands meet the Rift Valley, is an upright figure of a man reminiscing a time, close to 700 BC. His people trekked the jungle to settle in these vast and rich lands. Life was good to his people, there was plenty of food and numerous cattle.
Meditation to provide him inspiration for a new day was his normal morning ritual. Back in his house, the man whose name is Kingo strokes his gourd affectionately and gives a small but satisfied smile. Out of all his mantweets (traditional gourds), this particular one was his favourite.
Kingo had four sons; Chebok, Chepkony, Chesabiny and Chebong’om. One day, one of his sons broke his most cherished mantweet. Kingo got angry and chased away all his sons. Like sand thrown in the wind, the sons scattered in different directions, settling in Tanzania, Uganda and the western region of Kenya, present day Bungoma. Kingo’s sons established clans in these new locations.
But the bond of blood is strong and soon, all the clans had reunited to form the Sabaot community. Kingo chose a ring leader from each Sabaot clan who would stand and fight for the community against their enemies.
Today the Sabaot live around Mt Elgon, in Kenya. The legacy of Kingo lives on, as the great Sabaot patriarch.
The two homes of Kingo, Cherang’any hills and Mt.Elgon are key water towers in the western part of Kenya. They provide water for communities and neighboring urban areas. Maintaining and restoring the indigenous forests of these sires will ensure that the descendants of Kingo continue to benefit from the land.