by Christine Lagat
NAIROBI, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Mushawa Ndoro has nostalgic memories of listening to folklore from his ancestors who migrated from Zimbabwe and settled in Kenya in the early 1960s when the east African nation was gaining self-rule.
The 48-year-old carpenter belongs to the second generation of Zimbabwe’s Shona people who left their ancestral homes to spread African themed Christianity in Kenya and its neighboring countries.
Ndoro’s forefathers found abode in Nairobi and central Kenya where they built churches and blend easily with locals whom they share some cultural similarities.
Ndoro and his kinsmen now live in rented apartments on the outskirts of Nairobi, eking a living through carpentry, basket-weaving and small scale trade.
Speaking to Xinhua recently in Kiambu County outside Nairobi where Shona immigrants have lived for decades, Ndoro hailed the hospitality of local hosts but reiterated his desire for Kenyan citizenship to enable him to become fully integrated in the country’s socioeconomic fabric.
« We consider Kenya our home since it is the country that we have lived since childhood. Our parents are also buried here and our grasp of local dialect has made it easy to interact with the local hosts, » Ndoro said.
Kenya is home to an estimated 3,500 Shona people who are scattered in different parts of the country but are hard to decipher since they share physical and cultural similarities with local communities.