Dini ya Musambwa offering education by sponsoring a school in Bungoma County
Written by Timothy Makokha
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St. Walumoli Musambwa Israel Primary School Head Teacher Mr. Patrick Nyongesa speaks to class four pupils. [PHOTO|Timothy Makokha|West Fm]
Every person, village, location, County in Kenya, have their pride, a belonging and are associated to what they believe in, trust and invested in heavily.
There are such pride as forests, wild game, hills, waterfalls, game parks, mountains, industries, schools, churches, mosques among others that every individual, region take pride in.
Residents of Chenjeni village, Sirisia Constituency, Bungoma County are no exception.
They are proud of St. Walumoli Musambwa Israeli Primary School, the only school in Kenya that is sponsored by the Dini Ya Musambwa.
The school was named after Mr. Joash Walumoli who was a famous leader and saint in the Dini ya Musambwa religion.
Initially schools were established by District Education Boards (DEB), Catholic Church, Protestant churches and other private agencies but the Dini ya Musambwa is not left behind in matters of establishing and sponsoring schools.
Dini is a Swahili name meaning religion while Musambwa is a Luhya name meaning spirit.
The school was started in the year 2007 on a ½ acre land in Sichei sub location, Sichei location. The school was registered on June 13, 2011 and up to now 3 TSC teachers have been posted to the school, a move that makes Musambwa people to appreciate the government for registering the school and giving them teachers.
Mr. David Mukhali Kitayi is the Head Teacher while Mr. Patrick Nyongesa Njibwakale is the Deputy Head Teacher of the school. The school has a total of 7 teachers, 4 of them are PTA teachers as the remaining 3 are TSC employees.
The school admits pupils from all religious denominations and currently the school has a population of 195 pupils from pre-primary class to class four.
The head teacher said that he is expecting government funding now that the school is registered and has TSC teachers.
He however noted that the school has not benefitted from CDF and LATF money but he is liaising with the Sirisia CDF office among other education stakeholders in the region to ensure the school is funded.
Class three pupils at the St. Walumoli Musambwa Israeli Primary School with PTA representatives.
The PTA chairperson Mr. Paul Wamalwa Mwanda who was also present at the school said the school is growing rapidly despite usual challenges.
Mr. Wamalwa also acknowledged the sponsor of the school for its tireless efforts to ensure the school is growing fast.
“The quality of education being offered here is the same as the one being taught in any primary school in Kenya as we follow the same curriculum,” said the deputy head teacher.
“The school is like any other of the six different schools that I have taught since I was employed by the TSC,” he added.
Mr. Moses Simiyu a retired teacher was the first head teacher who led the school before the school was registered.
“I was the first Head Teacher when the school was started before handing over the school to TSC teachers who were send to the school by the government and I would like to comment that the school has really improved,” said Mr. Simiyu.
He called upon elites in the area to support the school fully as the school is a resource to the whole community.
Wangila wa Mtoto is a follower of Dini ya Musambwa who represented the sponsor during a visit to the school on Wednesday where we caught up with him.
Wangila complained of ridicule and laughter to the Musambwa followers and teachers teaching in the sponsored school.
Dini ya Musambwa leaders and followers during the burial of traditional preacher Mzee Wanyonyi Manguliechi who was its member. [PHOTO|Timothy Makokha|West Fm]
Joseph Munyelele is an elderly follower of Musambwa who urged community members to establish more institutions in the region in the name of Musambwa to offer education, medical services, among other services.
“Establish schools, hospitals and other social amenities in the name of Musambwa,” said Munyelele.
In the past children of Dini Ya Musambwa followers were being chased from missionary schools as well as trained teachers who were the religion’s followers were expelled in the same schools.
Musambwa was the traditional way of worship among a section of the Bukusu people which was used as a tool to resist the colonial rule in Kenya and therefore there is no need of despising it an opinion held by its followers.
The religion is said to have been founded around 1936 by Joash Walumoli, one Wekuke, Israeli Khaoya and Elijah Wa Nameme who was their spokesperson who agitated vigorously for its recognition.