One phenomenon you will find out is that, while Swahili is the most widely spoken language in East Africa and so it behooves everyone to master its basics, the local tribe of Kisumu would rather speak broken English than fluent Swahili. Do not be surprised if an uneducated old man insists you directly address him in the Queen’s Language without using an interpreter, even if he understands little of it. The Kisumu people do not take lightly the fact that Barack Obama’s father hailed from a village around Kisumu.
The people of Kisumu are very friendly, especially when the political temperatures have cooled in the country. You will be treated like a king, especially if you are white. One may offer to take you to Kogelo village, the birthplace of Barack Obama’s father, or to the site and grave of Lwanda Magere and the site of Kit Mikayi. To your surprise, they may prefer having your wrist watch as a gift over your money, even if it is not worth much. So long they will remember they got the watch from a white-man, it is priceless.
But remember that the majority of Kisumu residents are poor so be prepared to meet your fair share of beggars whose approach might at first make you think it is them having something to offer you.
Of course there are thieves, like anywhere else, so avoid isolated areas especially at night. There are benevolent carjackers who will never harm you so long you co-operate in helping them get your valuables. If you are white, you are entitled to a respectful or dignified treatment while being robbed.
Take malaria tablets before traveling to Kisumu.…