The Kikuyu are a Bantu ethnic group that is native to Central Kenya. At a population of around 9 million they account for roughly just under 20 percent of the total population of Kenya. The statistic makes the community Kenya’s largest ethnic group in existence. The people of the ethnic group are unique in their own right and have made a name for themselves in the the community.
Here are some facts that set the community apart from the other communities and ethnic groups in Kenya:
- The Kikuyu people grow various crops such as maize, beans, potatoes, and vegetables.
- The Kikuyu people have a rich cultural heritage that includes music, dance, and storytelling. Additionally, The community plays their Traditional Kikuyu music using drums, flutes, and stringed instruments such as the lyre.
- The Kikuyu people are known for their strong family ties and communal way of life. The culture of the community values families. Accordingly, it is extremely common to find extended families to live together in large homesteads.
- Kikuyu ethnic group have a traditional religion that revolves around the worship of Ngai. He is the god of the sky for the tribe. Accordingly The community believes that he is the creator of all things.
- Today, many people of the ethnic group are Christians or Muslims. Some of the people believe they are a part of the ten lost tribes of Israel, descendants of the tribe of Asher. The people also believe that they suffered exile beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.
- Early western Christian missionaries to Kenya were found themselves surprised at the parallels between the Mosaic and Levitical laws in the Old Testament and Kikuyu history, culture, and traditions especially their sacrificial and ceremonial practices. Others say the nucleus of the kikuyu came from Kemet (Egypt)
- The community people are also known for their entrepreneurship and business acumen. Many successful Kenyan businesses are owned and operated by Kikuyu people.
- The community played a prominent role in the Kenya’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. Many Kikuyu people were involved in the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s. The freedom association known as the Mau Mau.