H i s t o r yK E Profile picture
Jul 3, 2018 23 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/22 #HistoryKeThread As Christianity spread among African communities in the early 20th century, locals desired leadership of their own churches instead of being led by European missionaries, who were viewed as agents of colonialism.
2/22 Some Africans were uncomfortable with the interpretation of some of the scriptures. On this account alone, for instance, the Holy Spirit Church, also known as the Roho Churches, broke away.
3/22 Independent churches, and even schools, began to sprout in various parts of Kenya. They had similar characteristics. For example, Africans led the worship services. Some allowed certain traditional customs, such as female circumcision and polygamy.
4/22 Others also allowed use of drums and other traditional African musical instruments during praise and worship.
5/22 The first traditional African church in Kenya was the Nomiya Luo Mission. In Dholuo, Nomiya means “I was given” (God’s word).
6/22 The Church was founded in 1907 by Johana Owalo, who, incidentally, had taught Jomo Kenyatta when the latter attended the CMS School in Nairobi. A native of Asembo in Luo Nyanza, Owalo had left the Church of England to become a Muslim when he worked as a...
7/22 ...house servant for a while in Mombasa. He later joined a Catholic Mission on his return to Nyanza.
8/22 One evening in 1907, Johana denounced Catholicism. He preached that the angel Gabriel had in a vision taken him on a tour of the heavens. Johana asked where the Pope was, and was told that nobody there knew anyone of that name. They only knew those whose...
9/22 ...names were written in the book which was kept there. He was shown into the presence of God who wore a white robe and sat on a throne. From his mouth came the Holy Spirit like a cloud of smoke.
10/22 On his right side sat Jesus. Johana knelt before Jesus, who rebuked him and said that God alone was worthy to be worshipped. The experience, he told his followers, made him realise that there was only one God worthy of worship. It was then that he...
11/22 ...started the Nomiya Luo Mission.
12/22 The new church practiced male circumcision, laid emphasis on the Ten Commandments and forbade drinking, smoking and even dancing. It however allowed polygamy.
13/22 As his church grew in popularity, the established churches, particularly at Maseno, called on the colonial authorities to rein on him. In his book, Not Yet Uhuru, the late Jaramogi Oginga recalls an incident in which Johana was summoned by a white...
14/22 ...District Commissioner and ordered to account for his actions at a baraza.
15/22 “Leave me to preach”, he told the authorities. “I’m preaching to Africans, not to Whites.”
16/22 But the spread of Nomiya was curtailed after Johana’s sudden death in 1921, after which Bishop Petro Ouma and, later, Bishop Benjamin Oundo took the reins.
17/22 The church spread towards Tanzania and in wider Nyanza. The Daily Nation reported recently that in spite of facing splinter challenges, the church had more than 50,000 faithful by 1966. A few years later, Archbishop Gideon Charles Owalo, who was founder...
18/22 ...Johana Owalo’s son, took over leadership of the church.
19/22 The Archbishop (pictured) was fairly well educated, unlike those he took over from. Educated at Maseno School and Makerere University, the Archbishop was a teacher. His father had taught Jomo Kenyatta at the CMS Missions. And he, the Archbishop, had...
20/22 ...taught Raila Odinga at Maranda High School.
21/22 The Archbishop died of illness in 2015. One of his famous children is Eliud Owalo, a one time campaign manager for Hon. Raila Odinga.
22/22 Meanwhile, the mission of the Nomiya Church continues.
Images courtesy kenya-today dot com, Mill Hill Fathers and Daily Nation.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with H i s t o r yK E

H i s t o r yK E Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @HistoryKE

Oct 3, 2018
#RIPJosephKamaru: The curtain falls on the life of legendary Gîkûyû benga musician Joseph Kamaru, following a long illness.
This is the man whose debut 1969 hit track, Darling ya Mwarîmû (teacher’s darling), caused a storm in parliament and in the national teachers’ union, who threatened to go on strike.

It took Mzee Kenyatta’s intercession to put the storm to rest.
He composed hundreds of gîkûyû songs throughout his lifetime. In 1989, he released the track Safari ya Japan shortly after his return from the Asian country, where he had accompanied Kamaru retired President Moi on a state visit.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: Seen here conferring with then President Moi, Mr. Burudi Nabwera is a former diplomat, MP, Asst. Minister and later not only Secretary General of KANU in its heydays, but also a Minister for State.
Last year, the alumnus of Makerere University released his biography, ‘How It Happened’, a book that should be a good read for anyone interested in the politics of Kenya during the single-party era.
On 7th of October 1990, Mr. Nabwera caused a stir when he announced that the government would not prosecute anyone for the murder of former minister Robert Ouko. The report by Scotland Yard’s detective John Troon, Nabwera argued, had not named any killers.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
#HistoryKeThread An American’s Observation Of Life Among The Agîkûyû

Published in San Francisco, United States, Western Field was an American west coast monthly sports hunter magazine.

The magazine featured stories about the hunting exploits of various American hunters both at home and overseas.
One such adventurer was Elmer Davies, who spent some time among the Wakamba, Wataveta and the Agîkûyû in the period until sometime in early 1904.
Read 24 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: The Wadavida (Taita) Of Yore

In 1890, author Thomas Stevens authored the book, Scouting for Stanley.
The book is an account of the time Thomas spent in East Africa, where he had been sent to join in the search for legendary explorer Henry Morton Stanley.
In April of 1898, he camped at Ndara Hill among the Wataita. Here, a Rev. Wray of the Church Mission Society strived to teach the Wataita with much difficulty about the gospel of Christ. Perhaps this difficulty is what led Rev. Wray to dabble in farming.
Read 11 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
#HistoryKeThread: When Colonial Officials Adopted Locals As Mistresses

Hell hath no fury like a randy colonial officer stationed miles away from conjugal comfort.
In the early colonial years, the Governors' subordinates were initially men taken over from Imperial British EA Company (IBEAC). Later on, a professional class of colonial civil servants was recruited to take up the many administrative positions opening up in the colony.
Many of the officers had hardly gone beyond the age of 30.

As such, they invariably found themselves sexually starved and lonely. That is, if they didn't have African mistresses.
Read 19 tweets
Sep 3, 2018

Krapf’s Tough Crusade

In July, 1846, pioneering missionary Ludwig Krapf struggled to attend to his ailing, bed-ridden wife.

Krapf had suffered a debilitating fever and so had his wife, Mrs. Dietrich Krapf, who was in a worse state....
She had days earlier given birth to a baby girl at their budding Rabai mission.

Hours to her death, she asked Krapf to bury her right there at Rabai, saying she needed her remains to "constantly remind the passersby of the great object which...
...had brought the servants of the church of Christ to their country...."

Krapf would much later write that his wife "wished to be preaching to them by the lonely spot which encloses her earthly remains."
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!