As long as Kenya has owned Mfangano Island, since it gained independence. Mfangano has been a place considered left for the less educated, less fortunate and the primitive and people with no clue about what goes on in the mainland. For a time, it was considered a place only known for night runners.
It is growing up on this beautiful island that was once considered a course by many, that has helped to shape me into the person I am today. I can’t imagine living and growing up in a much more beautiful place than Mfangano Island, where you are surrounded by the beautiful lake Victoria, birds singing to your ear ,forest and mountains.
One will always find himself or herself appreciating Mfangano. Lately I have been reflecting on some of my favorite things about where I am from and how they have helped me grow and learn about living in a community.
The Small Community
Whether its going fishing, farming or into a grocery store or running on a trail through the plentiful woods Mfangano Island has to offer, I can honestly say I will almost always see someone I know. And although this can be a blessing and a curse, I have learned to enjoy seeing people from my community and taking a minute or two out of my day to catch up after being away at college or vacation. I never know who I might run into. Maybe someone from high school I haven’t seen in a few years, a family friend, or even the elderly guys.
It is always a nice surprise. Not only is it almost a guarantee to run into someone I know when out and about, but the small community of Mfangano Island is an amazing support system. I have witnessed countless occasions when the community stepped up for those in need, no questions asked, to create a loving and supportive atmosphere in a time of grief.
East or west, they say home is best, I could not have imagined being born in another place other than Mfangano. The second largest island in lake Victoria is rising to the global lime light, the dark forces are being driven out, it is opening it doors to the world ready to be recognized as part of it.
The Island boast of having produced one of the football legends , in Kenyan history like, Tilen Oguta and George odhiambo ( Black berry), and several other intellects across the world.
The Market day ( Sunday)
One of my favorite things about home is visiting the weekly market day on Sundays . From produce to soaps, paintings to baked goods, the market has it all. I love being able to stock up on my favorite fresh fruits and vegetables instead of shopping at the store. Plus, tying in with the small community aspect of Mfangano Island, I know most of the venders on a first name basis and exactly where their farms are located – talk about local! The Farmer’s market is a wonderful place to enjoy lunch, catch up on grocery shopping, talk with some old friends and listen to the local music.
I love Mfangano, and would love to encourage someone to visit, you’ll never lack something to be happy about, like going swimming, fishing, and hiking.