Remember the story of the great Luanda Magere?
Well, it seems to have a recurrent semblance with the story of one of our champions. The land conflict between the Luo and Nandi communities has since ages past never been fully settled, after that wife – the second wife of Luanda Magere – the gift from the Nandi community deceived him into defeat.
Thomas Dulo is among other peace negotiators working for the reconciliation of the two community groups and has done this for 9 years to date. It was here that he was chosen to represent the men and attend the KELIN training dubbed, Securing Your Family’s Future (SYFF) whose purpose is to transform and promote change in peer norms to influence women land tenure.
Hailing from the Oasi Ondiko Ward in Kisumu, Thomas grew up with the belief and conviction that men and only men could own land and make any decisions related to land. His wife was only an observer of decisions made around family property matters.
Thomas skips all the details of his past ways and immediately jumps into telling us how the SYFF training has impacted his outlook to family life and his responsibility as a husband and father.
What was the SYFF training about?
The training focused on changing the social norms on women’s land tenure which has been negatively affected over the years by the misapplication of culture resulting in the violation of women’s land rights. Learning this helped me to come out of the gender box and has slowly transformed my perception on women.
What was your highlight lesson?
One of the main lessons I took with me was the disturbing issue of making a will. In my culture, making a will is considered a taboo, whereby it is seen to be an invitation to death. What I heard during the training however, made me realize that the will is a safeguard for my family in case I pass on and leave them behind. I carefully prepared a will including my wife and daughters who would otherwise not benefit from being my people, because they are women. That would be a very painful event to witness, so I instead chose to secure my family’s future.
I also had the opportunity to apply the lessons to mediating a family land conflict between my brothers. My brothers accepted to split our family the land in a peaceful manner and each is in the process of co-registering their parcel of land with their respective wives.
What do you want your fellow community members to know?
I intend to share this knowledge with my community members and more o through the church, because I believe there will be more impact in the community. I was once ignorant about these things, but because of KELIN, I now know what it means to be a champion in securing the future of families!