restricted access Introduction

From: Dying Voice

African Books Collective colophon
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Introduction W hy is it that the story I have told in this book has haunted the memory of our people since time immemorial? Sigilai Arap Tormoi, the hero and narrator himself participated in all the events in this story. He saw season after season and raid after raid and how the Nandi people and their land could not be the same again. It was just like torrential rains that caused more havoc than blessings. Our hero underwent various moods. At times, he was depressed, sick, lonely, and sorrowful, while at other times he was enthusiastic, romantic, cheerful and hilarious. He was brought up in the original Kalenjin way of life. His naked soul excavated the blameless tribal wisdom. He saw the changes in the society. He belonged to the age-set of Kaplelach. The life of an age-set was about a hundred years. This means that during the next period of about a hundred years no youngster would be named in the Kaplelach age set. Only after a hundred years would the cycle be complete and a youngster’s age-set would be called Kaplelach. Our narrator lived throughout the age-set of Kaplelach to see a youngster being called after that age-set, about a hundred years later. He saw the Kalenjin community disintegrating, being trodden underfoot, neglected and tattered. He witnessed a new society emerging with scattered ideologies, prone to indiscipline, perversions and abuse. Dying Voice With bitterness, he replays the horrid tale spanning several generations. The Kalenjin community comprises the tribes of the Kipsigis, the Tugen, the Keiyo, the Marakwet, the Pokot, the Kony, the Pongomek, the Mosopcho, the Sabiny, the Terik, and the Sengwer (Cherangany). Unfortunately, today the Kalenjin community is not quite as united as it used to be long ago. For example, no one today seems to remember the name of Kingo, the community’s ancestral father. Nobody remembers that the Kony and the Nandi are cousins with a common origin. Though we speak different dialects of the same language, our norms and customs are much the same. Unfortunately, today the Kony and the Nandi live like strangers to one another. I feel that the time has come that all the sons and daughters of Kingo should realize their original affinity and live as true brothers and sisters. The characters in this story are fictitious, except some notable individuals. These include: the seer Arap Sirtoet, the Orkoiyot Kimnyole,Arap Chomu of Kaptalam clan,Arap Kitongo of the clan of Kapchepkendi and Songoro Arap Sisiwa. 14 ...


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