The Akamba Tribe of Kenya

They are one of tribes belonging to the Bantu people. They are about 11% of the Kenyan population and speak the Kikamba or Kamba language. The kamba are said to have migrated into their current homeland from Western region of Tanzania also known as (Unyamwezi) along the Usambara Mountains. They moved into Kenya and eventually ended in the Eastern parts of Kenya.

They currently occupy the Eastern province in the Kitui, Machakos, Makueni and Mwingi Districts of Kenya. A number of anthropologists consider them as being a mixture of some East African people, but mostly bear traits of the Bantu and additional ones from some of the Nilotic speakers like the Maasai , Kalenjin , Borana and so on not forgetting the Cushitic communities who they boarder to the East of Tsavo . A large community of Kamba is also found in Kwale District of the Coast Province , where they migrated to for economic reasons.

Culturally, they have deep rooted customs practiced for example during marriage and initiation. Just like in many Kenyan tribes, during marriage their dowry is usually paid in form of goats and cows with a recent acceptance of money. Something interesting about the Kamba, is their value for ceremonies and parties. As a result, unlike the one-day events popular in the West, the Kamba weddings go on for an extended phase of about two weeks.

Child Naming is a significant facet of the Akamba culture. Children are often lovingly called names like Musumbi which means (the "king"), and Muthoki/Nthoki (which means"long awaited one"). In most cases, children are named for/after time or events surrounding their birth. For instance, Nduku is given to a baby girl born at night and Mutuku to a baby boy born at night. They believe in a monotheistic, invisible and transcendental God Ngai, who resides up in the sky ('yayaani'). Initiation into maturity was demonstrated with circumcision, for males and many females as well but after female circumcision got officially banned in Kenya, many have decided to abandon it.

Economically, this tribe is famous for its arty ability, particularly in wood carving, basketry and ceramic objects making. Their occupational work is seen all around Kenya in shops and even galleries. Their products are hits to the tourists who come to visit Kenya usually sold at village market in Nairobi and many areas of the Kenyan coast.


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