Kit Mikayi, about 29 KM west of Kisumu at Seme town off the Kisumu-Bondo Road, towards Bondo town, are massive towers of boulders piled together into gravity-defying columns dipped in mystery and legend.
One Luo legend speaks of Ngeso, a man deeply in love with the rock! When Ngeso woke up from his house, he would walk into the cave inside Kit Mikayi and stay there the whole day. His wife had no choice but to bring him breakfast and lunch here. Ngeso’s unexplained love affair with the rock grew quite deep over time. Whenever anyone asked his wife about his whereabouts, she often answered he had gone to his first wife, Mikayi. That is how the tor came to be known as the stone of the first wife – Kit Mikayi.
Another legend speaks of how Kit Mikayi was once the homestead of a powerful man who abused and mistreated his first wife. The woman passed on and returned to haunt him. She eventually turned him and his property into stones. They say she then went up the rock where she has been weeping ever since.
Among the Seme people, Mikayi, the mother of the Luo tribe, sheltered herself at Kit Mikayi after her long journey down the Nile.
Whatever legend tickles you more, Kit Mikayi occupies an important place among the Lou. They believe that if any man with a problem visits the rocks after the elders have sacrificed a goat at the site, the stones will solve his issues and make his wishes come true. Only men were allowed near the rocks in the past, but both genders are these days welcome.
Nowadays, the Kit Mikayi Rock Development Group manages the site. The group plans to construct a banda where visitors can get refreshments and accommodation. The place is a popular local pilgrimage site for followers of the Legio Maria sect. Sect members camp at the rock for weeks on end in prayer ad fasting hoping to get answers.
Coincidentally, spectacular rock formations shrouded in deep mythology like Kit Mikayi abound in the western tourist circuit. The Stone of Luanda Magere and the Weeping Rock in Kakamega Forest Reserve are just a few. These days, the rocks are more of a tourist attraction than a place of cultural and religious importance. The last significant rituals and practices at the shrine date back to 1987. That is why UNESCO declared the stone a World Heritage Site on 11 December 2019 to keep its ancient significance alive. Next time you are in Kisumu, visit the Kit Mikayi site. The stones are about a kilometre off the Kisumu-Bondo Road.