Living in Kalenjin dominated part of Kenya for several years; I have gained adequate knowledge about who they are, where they come from and what they do as part of their culture though modern life is gradually eroding the indigenous culture. Kalenjin are divided into nine subgroups namely Nandi, Kipsigis, Tugen, Keiyo, Marakwet, Pokot, Sebei, Teso, and Sabaot.
Early this year I travelled to olenguone a small town right in the heart of eastern and west Mau forest. Mr. Korir who has been a forester at Mau forest told me that olenguone is one of the water catchment areas in Kenya that forms a large system of rivers that feed Mara River and Lake Victoria.
The name olenguone is a Maasai word meaning a place with a lot of ash. The name was coined after frequent burning of bamboo in the area. olenguone was first occupied by the Ogiek before they were displaced by the Kipsigis people.
Kipsigis people are believed to originate from Egypt before they migrated to Kenya. On their arrival to Kenya they first settled around Londiani, Tuliop Kipsigis (Mount Blanket) after which they further spread to Kipkelion, Kericho and Bomet area. Today Kipsigis people live in this area which forms part of south rift. They are the southernmost of the Kalenjin people bordering Masai to the south and Kisii and Luo to the west.
Kipsigis share similar customs and tradition with their counterparts from other Kalenjin people. The terrain of their inhabitant is hills and streams with good weather that favour tea farming which is their main economic activities, they also keep livestock in small scale. They have also ventured into white collar jobs.