Oct 19, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Whether science or fables, Lake Simbi Nyaima retains its glory

It’s not far from Kendu Bay which is one of the area’s access points to Lake Victoria, but it is in no way linked to the larger water body.

Simbi Nyaima sits awkwardly but quietly with a few scattered trees on its shoreline.

Geological studies suggest that the reason for the scattered vegetation around the lake is because of earthquakes that took place centuries ago.

Volcanic eruptions created a crater lake that locals would call Simbi Nyaima. But locals have a different theory.

Luos call the lake Simbi Nyaima after a fabled village that sunk. “Nyaima” in Luo means “the submerged one”.

Strange woman

It is believed that the village was one of a kind, with music, food and drink in abundance; almost every night was what my generation would call “party after party” led by the chief.

On one of their “party after party” moments, a strange woman arrived seeking a meal and a place to lay her head for the night.

They assumed she was poor because she wore tattered clothes covered in dust. Villagers believed she was a bad omen.

The chief was forced to send her away. The stranger pleaded, but her cries fell on deaf ears.

She resolved to go back they way she had come, but lurking around the area was a young woman who had overhead her humble pleas and felt compassion for her.

The young woman secretly invited the stranger into her home and shared a plate of food and a warm blanket.

Submerged village

The stranger promised to leave before dawn so that no one would see her. At dawn, she thanked her host for kind gesture and hospitality.

But, as she was leaving, she warned the kind woman to relocate from the village because a disaster would soon befall it.

She said she would send the heaviest rainfall the villagers had ever seen and there was no telling what the outcome would be.

True to her words, a week later, heavy rainfall hit the village, and it was completely submerged in flood water.

These waters, now Lake Simbi Nyaima, are not only a tourist attraction, but also a haven for flamingoes.

We, the descendants of Ochuonyo, believe that the waters of Lake Simbi Nyaima have medicinal qualities. People who drink or bathe in the water find themselves cured of various ailments. Karachuonyo takes great pride in Simbi Nyaima.

Derrick Ouko is a communication student at Technical University of Mombasa.

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