The Colonial Transformation of Gusii Agriculture c.1875-1963



Scholarly works analyzing Africa’s poor agricultural performance tend to ignore changes in specific and smaller units of study. Although Africa’s poor agricultural performance has continuously attracted scholarly concern, a big gap in knowledge exists in the study of specific local units to overcome generalizations tenable at continental and regional levels. Cognizant of that fact, this book focuses on the agricultural changes and their socio-economic effects among the Gusii of Western Kenya in the period 1875-1963. The study demonstrates that the Gusii pre-colonial agricultural economy was dynamic, diverse, efficient, and productive. But through a historical process of articulation, the colonial capitalist economy modified, marginalized and subordinated the Gusii pre-capitalist economy. It is indicated that modern methods of agricultural production were stressed during the colonial period to the disadvantage of the Gusii. Such an in-depth analysis of agricultural changes among the Gusii community is hoped to benefit a wide range of scholars, teachers and students in tertiary and university colleges with an interest in agricultural studies and the colonial process in Gusii region in particular and Africa in general. Other scholars will find the book useful in its wide coverage of other aspects of Gusii history.


Samson Moenga Omwoyo is an Associate Professor of History, Department of Education (Arts), Kabarak University, Kenya. He holds a B. Ed ( Arts), M.A. and PhD, in Social and Economic History; all from Kenyatta University. He has worked as a secondary school teacher educator and university educator in history since 1985. He has published widely and severally presented research papers in academic and international conferences. He has served as dean, supervised masters and doctoral students, developed curricular, initiated funded research projects, convened and coordinated international conferences, served as an External Examiner in the region, and as a Reviewer of professional periodicals. His research interests are in Social and Economic changes, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa.


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