Top political leaders from Gusii will on Sunday join religious leaders, scholars and academicians at the Panafric hotel in Nairobi to celebrate a landmark moment in the community’s history. Former Cabinet ministers Simeon Nyachae and Prof Sam Ongeri are expected to play a leading role during the event to mark the launch of the first ever Ekegusii dictionary. Apart from sitting MPs, governors of both Kisii and Nyamira counties as well as their deputies have been invited for the event.
Both Nyachae and Ongeri are expected to deliver keynote speeches at the gathering that would also involve the community’s former MPs, top civil servants, CEOs and educationists. Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) chairman Charles Nyachae, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Prof Jane Onsongo have also been invited for the event to be graced by Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (ICT), Jacob Kaimenyi (Education) and Hassan Wario (Sports, Arts and Heritage).
The CIC boss said the Ekegusii Dictionary has been published at a historic time in Kenya’s social and political life. “The Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognises the value of language and culture in the advancement of national cohesion and development. It calls on the state as well as citizens, to promote the use of indigenous languages,” he said. “This dictionary gives a sharp edge to various constitutional principles and values that define the historic transformation that Kenya has embraced.
It is particularly inspiring that the dictionary can be accessed online and is set to be disseminated worldwide for the benefit of various users and learners of Ekegusii language and culture,” he added. Among those expected are African Union Commission deputy boss Erastus Mwencha, Football Kenya Federation President Sam Nyamweya, who is the patron of the project, has also invited senior clergymen from the community led by Head of the East African Union of Seventh Day Adventist church, Pastor Jonathan Maangi and Catholic Church Bishop Joseph Mairura.
“Nothing could bring Omogusii together more than this launch because it is a celebration of a landmark moment in the history of our language. This is probably the only native African language dictionary of it’s kind and we deserve the chance to bring together all our people in this manner,” said Nyamweya ahead of the launch. The dictionary, known as “Endabasia” has more than 13,000 entries with Nyamweya saying: “It will be of immense value to our people and will indeed help preserve Ekegusii, while helping our children in the urban areas and in diaspora to learn it for speech and scholarly purposes.”