You’re missing a lot if you’ve never been to Asembo.
In the incredible homeland of Ramogi where the great warrior and magician Luanda Magere and Gor Mahia, respectively, were born and raised, exists a village called Asembo, Nilotic-speaking group based on Lake Victoria basin with a population of about a hundred thousand people.
Known for producing sweet mangoes in abundance, the village receives appraisals in all forms – music, poems, literature books, et cetera – from all across the world.
Margaret Ogola, the late Kenyan novelist who wrote The River and the Source traces her origin from Asembo. The book mentioned had been on the Kenyan secondary syllabus for many years and even won the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book, Africa Region. Margaret referenced Asembo in the book.
Ooh, my late parents were born and raised in Asembo! I, myself, was born in Asembo. I wear that hat with a lot of pride.
Cool breeze from Lake Victoria has resulted in a warm and conducive weather in Asembo. The benign weather, fertile soils, and plentiful food have attracted many people, including jorochere. Strolling through the neighbourhood, you can barely walk 10 minutes, from one homestead to another, before you see someone preparing or actually cooking fish.
In the mango season, when they are all ripe, you don’t want to be anywhere else apart from Asembo. You want to be seated under a mango tree with a sharp knife and clean water in a jug with a couple of your friends waiting for ripe mangoes to drop right from the tree. A radio playing some Ohangla music is an add-on.
The village boasts a couple of urban centers – the main ones being Kamito and Nyilima – with sport and recreational facilities such as football fields, swimming pools, clubs, among others.
In the mornings when schools are open you’ll often bump upon a mixture of primary and high school-going learners in clusters making their way to school. In the evenings, expect bumping upon friendly and smiling boys and girls making stories while coming from school.
Southwards, about ten minutes from Nguka Primary School, you’ll reach a pathway with a bunch of sisal plants on both sides of the road (if lost, just ask anyone if they know “Ka-Sudhe ja-duar” – Sudhe, the hunter’s place. The sisal plants are just behind Sudhe’s home). If you may, spend a couple of minutes going through the writings on the sisal leaves. I bet you’ll bust out laughing – you’ll get to know which learners or teachers are dating each other at the school.
Lastly, have I not mentioned the expressive and euphonious Dholuo language of the people of Asembo (and Luo in general)?