There are 44 tribes in Kenya. These tribes are made up of different cultures and people who contribute to its rich diversity and beauty.
Among these tribes, about 10 tribes stand out for their unique men, women, traditions, food and much more.
They represent more than 90% of the country’s population and occupy most positions in government leadership. Let’s see what sets all of them apart.
This is the largest tribe in Kenya and considered the leading tribe due to the highest number of politicians and affluent businessmen it has produced. The first president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was a Kikuyu, and it is through his leadership that most people believe the Kikuyus rose to their current status.
They are also the most widely spread community in the country courtesy of their knack for business. They can drop anywhere and launch businesses which makes its local competitors bankrupt in a matter of months.
However, they mostly occupy the Central and Nairobi regions which command more than half of the country’s GDB, another point for their status.
Kikuyu ladies are admired and feared in equal measure. The admiration comes from their looks; most are light-skinned and beautiful which is a favorite combination for a big share of Kenyan men. The fear comes from their ability to rain hell on earth if provoked.
They are taught to stand up for themselves and hence if you mess up with one, you’re not going down without a fight. Also, they highly treasure money as a factor of lasting relationships.
They believe they are angels sent from heaven and want to be treated so. Kikuyus’ favorite dishes include “githeri” and “mokimo”.
Second only to the Kikuyu tribe is the Luo community. Coming from the shorelines of Lake Victoria, they are considered probably the most educated tribe in the Kenya courtesy of the number of professors, lawyers, and other academically accomplished leaders they have produced in the country and around the world. Talk about Obama and Lupita Nyong’o.
Least of all, they never try to hide their amassed knowledge. Getting into a confrontation with them is calling for a premium lecture on not only law and freedom but also how to speak English.
Luos are also known for their ego and charisma.
A Luo can own a Range Rover while living in a two-bedroom apartment, take a flight from Kisumu to Nairobi for a whooping Ksh 50,000 to a non-emergency while a bus trip would cost 40 times less or waltz around with a 120K Apple phone and struggle daily to put food on the table.
For them, it’s all about creating the spectacle of living large.
Meanwhile, their charisma is evident with their diehard fan base and political energy. A Lou doesn’t mind sacrificing his life for the leader or team they believe in.
Luo ladies are a tourist attraction. They are known to be the most physically endowed beings in the country. Their bums are neck-breakers and their complexion represents the true African woman.
They probably get these features from their favorite dish, fish with anything, which also contributes to their brain matter. To top it all Lou women are intelligent and very assertive. They prefer alpha males who can match their egos.
The Luhya community also comes from Western Kenya, next to the Luos. They are Kenya’s second most populous tribe and are mostly known for their love for food. Luhyas are serious feeders; they probably have more than three meals a day and what’s astonishingly real is the amount of food they can fit into their stomachs on one sitting.
Ugali with chicken and some little green is their favorite meal. This explains why Luhya men are the most physically intimidating people in Kenya; tall, dark, tough faces with muscular and ripped bodies. Even in high school, the best and most dominant rugby players in any team were Luhya.
They also dominate in most professional sports in the country including soccer, basketball, rugby, combat sports, and bodybuilding.
Women also believe; some from hearsay and others from experience, that Luhya men are the most endowed in bed. Their energy and game is unmatchable and they can literally leave you not feeling your legs.
Luhya women are also endowed as their sisters from the Luo community. Yet they are more physically fit and energetic which explains their leg claves muscles; biggest you could ever see in women.
This makes them a threat to abusive men. They will beat you up if you physically confront them. Yet also, they are hopelessly romantic, they love madly.
The Kalenjin tribe is Kenya’s second most famous tribe in the international scene due to its dominance in long-distance running sports. As a community, they have garnered more medals in the sport than entire continents, let alone nations.
They have been subject to scientific studies as baffled scientists try to unravel the mystery behind their endurance in long-distance running.
Some of the top sportsmen and sportswomen they’ve produced include; Eliud Kipchoge, David Reudisha, Vivian Cheruiyot and Pamela Jelimo.
Kalenjins are also known to be energetic in the political scene. As the third most populous tribe in the country, they believe in representation at the highest-ranking positions of governance and have ensured so having produced the longest-serving president, Mzee Moi, and the current Vice President.
It is also alleged that a big number of servicemen in the police and military arms are Kalenjins which gives them strategic immunity in governance. They dominate the central and southern parts of the Rift Valley.
Kalenjin women are typically dark and slender. They have the physical shape of what advanced economies consider for black models; lean, dark and beautiful, offering the best Kenyan competition to Sudanese models.
They love their men, Kalenjin men, probably due to their love for culture and their people. They are the most united tribe courtesy of how they support their people. They spend most of their time together speaking their language.
Kalenjins are also popular for their Kalee accent while speaking Swahili and English and for their brown jackets. “Mursik”, a type of fermented milk is their legacy.
The Kamba community occupies the regions south of Nairobi which are arid. Courtesy of this, Kambas are mostly associated with memes on lack of water, since their daily struggle is finding clean and enough water for use.
They, however, have the sweetest mangoes in the country which do well in their area.
Kamba men typically have no outstanding character; they are simple and easy going. They are known to be rather self-contained and high self-esteemed.
You would sleep next to a Kamba guy for a whole year without ever knowing he is the son of a prominent politician, a business tycoon, or himself, an accomplished academic.
They know how to keep things on the low.
Kamba women have always been on the tongues of Kenyan men. First, they are typically very light-skinned; lightest of all Kenyan indigenous tribes.
They are beautiful and well endowed, not to neck-breaking physical extremes but perfect proportions.
And the icing of the cake is the fact that they are considered best in bed. They are addicted to intimacy and are good at satisfying their men. Once you go Kamba you never wanna leave.
Kambas are also known for their dark magic which they use to punish wrongdoers.
Stories of people made to do crazy things such as eat grass, get stuck while having sex and experiencing unimaginable body alterations like bulging stomachs and shifting of body parts due to dark magic are popular with the Kamba.
If you steal from a Kamba, be aware things you see in horror movies could materialize in your life.
The Abagusii community dominates the eastern sides of the Nyanza region where a population of 2 million has densely occupied an area of 540,000 acres.
Due to this phenomenon and accompanied by the fact that Kisiis treasure ancestral land, it is believed that getting a considerable size of land in the Kisii and Nyamira regions is one tall task.
Most households use their land for subsistence farming and domestic animal husbandry. The land is very fertile and it receives ample rainfall throughout the year which ensures enough food for everyone.
Physically, Kisiis are generally healthy and well-fed. The men are characteristically divided into two groups, tall dark and physically imposing like the Luhya and short round and mostly light-skinned men. Handsome light-skinned men also do exist.
Yet almost all of these men have one trait in common; they are controlling which mostly manifests as arrogance. Kisii men are taught since boyhood to be the men of the house whose every word must be followed.
They, therefore, demand respect from their wives and children by all means. The short ones especially are known to be very aggressive despite their size.
Kisii women, on the other hand, are taught to be submissive to their husbands. During initiation ceremonies, they are advised by their mothers and elderly women on their role to ensure the unity of the family.
They are therefore very kind-hearted and submissive.
Nonetheless, in recent times, this submissiveness has been fading away as more young ladies have realized their rights and freedoms.
Beautiful, light-skinned (by gene or make-up) Kisii women especially have subscribed to their Kikuyu counterparts belief that money plays a very integral role in a relationship.
Lastly, Kisiis are also known for black magic similar to the Akamba. Cases of the burning of witches and their properties were popular a decade ago but nowadays the black magic-themed stories have receded.
Their staple food is “matoke” and favorite fruits bananas. Meanwhile, supper without “ugali” and “amabere marurani” (fermented milk) is no supper at all for a Kisii family.
The Maasai are the most popular Kenyan tribe in the international scene courtesy of their culture which has been studied and broadcasted all over the world as one of the most fascinating cultures in modern history.
In Fact, tourism of the Maasai people and land is one of Kenya’s recognizable revenue-generating streams.
The Maasai people practice pastoralism in the arid areas of southern Kenya and wherever they go, they maintain their unique dressing code and other customs.
Maasai men are known to be tall and lean. They can jump around 1 meter high which even NBA players struggle to achieve.
They hunt with spears and swords mostly through stealing game meat from lions and other big cats. They can comfortably walk tens of miles daily with their cattle and trace back their tracks with ease. Surely they are a wonder.
Maasai women are also tall and slim. They love their culture and their men just like the Kalenjin do. Most end up marrying from their tribe as intermarriages with other communities are frowned upon by most elders.
They are also courageous courtesy of their traditional lifestyle which requires bravery to survive; tribal wars and confrontations from wild animals.
The Swahili community occupies the coastal region at the shore of the Indian Ocean; home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world such as the Diani and Nyali Beaches.
The Swahili people originated from Bantu agriculturalist communities which settled at the shore of the Indian Ocean in Kenya, Tanzania, and northern Mozambique. They speak Swahili which is Kenya’s national language in the most inborn fashion.
Due to interaction with Arabs and other foreign communities through Indian Ocean Trade, a large number of the Swahilis are crossbred of the foreign communities and Bantu communities.
Swahilis are known to be very relaxed human beings. They tend to move and behave slowly and systematically. They are never in a hurry.
Also, the most dominant religion among the Swahili is Islam which greatly influences their way of life. Mosques are therefore very popular in Swahili towns such as Mombasa, Lamu, and Malindi.
The men love soccer which is evident by the number of Swahili football clubs and tournaments in universities and the coastal region. It’s also very rare to meet a Swahili man who doesn’t talk football.
Meanwhile, Swahili women are famous for cooking the most delicious foods in the country.
They have perfected the art of cooking and are actively teaching their girls how to cook since childhood, which explains why they are constantly inventing exotic Kenyan original dishes such as “pilau”, “biryani” and “mahamri”.
But you know what else these ladies are taught? How to satisfy their men in bed.
Girls who come of age are assembled in gathering rooms and practically taught the art of intimacy. I wonder how Kamba women still take the trophy in this.
Nonetheless Swahili might be the most romantic tribe in Kenya and the best tribe to marry in Kenya.
The Meru community is like a sister to the Kikuyu community. They occupy the northern and eastern parts of Mt Kenya, next to the latter where they enjoy good climate.
They are internationally acclaimed for Miraa, a legal drug they grow in their farms and which has markets globally especially in the European Continent.
Miraa which is harvested in leaves and stalks is considered best while fresh. Hence, Miraa transporters are required to move harvested produce quickly which explains the crazy driving skills these people have.
They could put Vin Diesel to shame considering Kenya’s bad roads.
Meru men are known to be hot-tempered, just like the Kisii men. They value respect more than anything else and anybody who draws blood from their ego is looking for war.
Miraa is their gold and the worst thing you would do in Meru land is to invade someone’s miraa farm. Most Meru men chew miraa daily.
In some places, it is sold in almost every kiosk you can spot around the street. Unfortunately, this drug might also be their undoing in sexual performance.
Meru women are also known to be explosive when angered. It takes a lot to make her mad but when you cross the line, you will face their wrath.
Yet also, Meru ladies can be hopelessly intimate. They are affectionate non-confrontational and submissive. But don’t mistake that for naivety. She can be a drama queen if her relationship is threatened by another female.
Lastly, the Somali community which originates from Somalia has exponentially grown in population over the last two decades. Most Somalis came to Kenya while seeking asylum from the War that has been ravaging their origin country for ages.
Currently, the Somalis are spread well all over the country where they have set up shops giving the Kikuyus and Indians a major run for their money.
Most evidently is their dominance in Isilii town in Nairobi, which now seems like a small city in pre-war Somalia.
The Somali community’s way of life is mostly affiliated with Islam religion and they mostly occupy the northeastern region of Kenya which neighbors Somali. The region is arid and they practice pastoralism as a cultural and economic activity.
Somali men are typically tall slender, dark-skinned and might have been referred to as the most handsome tribe in Kenya in ancient history. Due to their culture and religion, Somali men prefer their women and vice versa for marriage.
Somali women are described as the hidden treasure of Kenya courtesy of their dressing code which hides probably the most beautiful girls in the country.
Tales among team “mafisi” have revealed the mesmerizing physical specimens that are these ladies which they hide behind the “buibuis”.
Honestly, if their culture and religion were less reserved, Kenyan men would be drooling all over them.
Who did I leave out?