Tembea Kenya: The Suba People of Mfangano Island

Mfangano is the largest island on on the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria within the greater Suba District, Homabay County.

It was initially known as Ivuangano meaning the meeting point. The island is surrounded by other small islands namely Takawiri, Remba and Ringiti.

Mfangano is home to the largest population of the Suba people (Abasuba community). A large group of the Abasuba is commonly known as the Abakunta. They migrated from Uganda after the assassination of Kabaka Junju and fled to Busoga then to the island of Mfangano and later spread to Rusinga island.

The major tourism attraction is the rock art dating back to over 2000 years.The Suba on Mfangano mainly practice agriculture (livestock keeping and farming) during the long rains (March, April, February and may) and short rains(October, November, December). They also do fishing with Nile perch being the main species caught and is exported to Japan.

Transportation is mainly on ferries (water bus) and boats. Cars have recently been introduced as a recent means of transport.

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