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Bantu History

They are the largest group in Kenya and entered the country from the east and south. The Agikuyu, Chuka, Mbeere, Ndia and Aembu migrated from West Africa, probably Nigeria. The Abaluhya are said to have come from Asia and travelled through Egypt Congo and Uganda into South Nyanza. The Akamba believe they travelled northwards from Tanganyika although some historians are of the view that they branched off from the coastal Bantu. By 100AD, the Bantu had inter-married with Arab traders who had set base at the Coast. Kiswahili, which was to become the lingua franca of the Coast and eastern Africa, was the result of the union. Towns such as Mombasa and Malindi also emerged. With the coming of colonialists and subsequent control of the region in the early 1900s, some groups were displaced. The Bukusu, a sub-group of the Luhya, were separated from their cousins, the Bagishu, now in Uganda. The Kenya-Tanzania boundary separated the masaai who today live in the two countries.