History, Identity, and the Bukusu-Bagisu Relations on the Kenya and Uganda Border analyzes issues of history, identity, and the Bukusu-Bagisu relations on the Kenya and Uganda border. From this microcosmic level, Peter Wafula Wekesa explores forms of trans-border social, economic, and political relations that have evolved between the two communities since the pre-colonial period. Utilizing both primary and secondary sources, Wekesa presents the context within which border relations between the two groups emerged and were transformed over time. This book delves into the history of relations between the two peoples that had long developed before the European colonial partition. The partition, as Wekesa observes, not only ignored African interests, but also generally entrenched western notions of the border that contradicted African conceptions of space. These western notions were augmented by the colonial and independent government policies that froze the historical solidarities that had existed between the two communities. However, colonial and independent government policies generated contradictions over the Bukusu-Bugisu borderland area that made the control of the interactions between the two communities within the distinct geopolitical spaces problematic. As such, both formal and informal dynamics made the common Bukusu-Bugisu borderland a site of numerous permutations.
Peter Wafula Wekesa is senior lecturer in the Department of History, Archeology and Political Studies at Kenyatta University.
List of Maps and Tables
List of Abbreviations
Note on Orthography
Chapter 1: The Geographical Setting
Chapter 2: Patterns of the Bukusu-Bagisu Relations to 1894
Chapter 3: Colonialism, the Border and the Bukusu-Bagisu Relations to 1945
Chapter 4: The Bukusu-Bagisu Borderland Relations and the Decolonization Process 1945–1963
Chapter 5: Independent Kenya-Uganda and the Border Bukusu-Bagisu Relations to 1980
Chapter 6: Renewed Pan-EastAfricanism and Borderland Bukusu-Bagisu Initiatives, 1980–1997
About the Author
"This book by Dr. Wafula Wekesa of Kenyatta University is an extremely well researched and written masterpiece. It handles delicate issue of identity across the borders of Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda from an advantaged point of view in the sense that this is his area of specialization having written his doctoral thesis in the same study area. The uniqueness of Dr. Wekesa's book lies in its Afro-centric perspective. The book is useful to both graduate and undergraduate students of history, political science, anthropology and other social sciences disciplines. African and Africanist scholars in Africa and the Global North will also find it extremely beneficial."
"History, Identity, and the Bukusu-Bagisu Relations on the Kenya and Uganda Border examines the history of community relations across the border between Kenya and Uganda. Employing both state-centric and microcosmic theories, the book focuses on the evolution of different forms of trans-border social, economic, and political relations between the Bukusu of Western Kenya and Bagisu of Eastern Uganda from precolonial to contemporary times. The theoretical and practical significance of this book lies in its well-supported argument that community relations in borderland spaces are barometers of good neighborliness, as trans-border interactions can enhance, promote, and maintain peace and human understanding between states and, ipso facto, contribute to prosperity in borderland areas across state boundaries. This book is an important contribution to the literature on borderlands as sites where issues of citizenship and territoriality are negotiated and settled, particularly in Africa where state borders were drawn by colonialists without regard to the practical realities on the ground."