Dead capital? Why do Luos build lavish palaces and stately homes in the village

In recent days, a heated debate has raged online about the wisdom of building luxury homes in the village or other rural areas, which quickly became a quarrel between those hailing from Luo Nyanza and those hailing from the mountain.

In the past ten years, the Luo community has embraced the culture of building elegant palaces in the countryside, which was not the case previously due to strong superstitious beliefs and fear of the “evil eye” from jealous neighbors and relatives.

This has resulted in them matching or exceeding investments in the “dead capital” of their neighbors in Josi and Luhia.

However, in central Kenya, people there have stuck to their entrepreneurial spirit and prefer to invest in business ventures, save money in the bank, or place bonds and other securities rather than spend it on homes they rarely visit or stay in. .

Kenyans will remember that it was Professor Bitang Ndemo, Kenya’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union, and then Associate Professor at the University of Nairobi Business School, who first raised the issue in 2020 when he called for a change in mindset among Kenyans. .

Professor Ndimu estimated that Kenyans have invested more than $50 billion (Sh7.34 trillion at current exchange rate) on non-productive assets.

“I am not against people spending their money in any way they choose. But there is a need to change the mindset because we have invested more than $50 billion in unproductive assets, putting ourselves on a destructive path,” Professor Ndimo said.

He added: “No matter how poor Kenyans are, they will still invest in unproductive assets.” Culture dictates the emotional attachment between Kenyans and their rural investments that have no value at all.

The current joke was sparked by photos posted on the Facebook group, Home Beautiful, where people seek to showcase the splendor of the homes, but the controversy that followed was illuminating, exposing the mindsets and approaches to wealth of two of Kenya’s most populous communities. Creation and life.

In the past, the two communities were almost on equal footing with the joke that Luo professionals used to retreat to the village during the festive season or to attend funerals in luxury vehicles only to be parked at houses whose only features were poorly built mud. Houses and even thatched houses in remote villages.

Scenes of urban dwellers erecting temporary tent-like structures known locally as “akumba” were a common feature whenever a deceased who had spent his life in the city died and was brought to the village for burial.

Dr. Ken Carson’s house in Simi, Kisumu. (Photo courtesy)

The trend is changing quickly

Building luxury homes and cottages in the village was a reserve for a few people, especially politicians and some wealthy families.

However, today, as shown in photos posted on Facebook in the past few days, the trend is changing rapidly.

Many Luos residents now agree that a well-built and furnished house in the village is important because it can be used for family holidays and, more importantly, for retirement.

One of those who publicized his lavish “farm” that attracted comments and apologies from those hailing from other areas was Kisumu dentist Dr Ken Carson, who has never hidden his love of the good life, something he attributes to his rags-to-riches story.

Dr. Carson noted that he built the palace in Simi, Kisumu, as a gift for himself on his 35th birthday. He previously built a house for his elderly mother, who he once revealed sold part of the family land for his education, on her 55th birthday, and also gifted his lover a new car for her birthday, posting it all online.

“God look! This is my 35th birthday present. Welcome to my humble retirement/vacation farm,” he captioned one of the photos.

In response, Jemima Kanini said: “We said we were sorry.”

“Awesome! Doctor, I apologize on behalf of the peasant people. We promise to fill your teeth with Lake Basin Orthodontics. I hope that’s enough of an apology,” Sheri Roria added.

The doctor owns Lake Basin Dental and Orthodontic Center in Kisumu.

A walk through the many rural towns and villages throughout the region reveals the changing landscape, beautiful homes and intense competition for homes. Build a wonderful home with a beautifully landscaped complex.

An aerial view of Bekedi Ecolodge in Lionda Beach, Siaya District. The eco-lodge was a luxury home built by a family that turned it into a business. Many luxury homes appear in Luo Nyanza. (Photo courtesy)

Lifelong investment

Benard Onyango, Managing Director, West Kenya Real Estate Limited, says houses are not dead capital but a lifelong investment.

He says rural homes are built on plots of land owned by their owners and can therefore be rented or leased and used as collateral for loans.

“Building nice permanent homes also helps improve the overall market value of an area and thus increases the financial value of the area. Finally, permanent homes in rural areas attract investors. Private schools and hospitals will emerge in a place that is being transformed by the types of real estate development in the area,” he says. “.

Joseph Okello, a house owner in Rarida, told the Nairobi newspaper that he found peace at home and did not feel embarrassed in paying Sh20 million to build his house.

“Home is where my heart is. Lu Nyanza has changed and many people now embrace good homes. My neighbors were also homes,” he said.

According to him, he does not believe that houses are dead assets. “What’s the point of working all your life and earning money to be buried in a small house?” Subtract.

But he is not alone, as Maureen Akello, also a homeowner, claimed that she chose to spend the money to build a beautiful house in Nyahira to serve as her retirement home.

(Tags for translation)("Dead capital"(R)"Nyanza"(R)"Dr. Ken Carson")

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