The Story of Ngong Hills

A long, long time ago, the elder said as the flames we sat around danced in his eyes, a long, long time ago, there was a giant who developed a pimple on his knee.

The pimple grew and grew, and became the size of a boil, then a bowl, then a bull; finally, it grew so big that it burst and out walked hundreds of cattle followed by our ancestors. This is why all cattle belong to us, he said (and probably why we love walking aroundwith them, I thought to myself). But that left me wondering, what happened to the giant?

It turns out, the elder told me later, when the pimple started growing on the giant's knee, he wanted to get rid of it by burning it with a flaming bit of firewood. Kumbe Enkai was around at that exact same moment and he stopped him, saying, "Ero! That pimple will become a great nation. Leave it be. When the time comes,you will help them settle in a land which I will show you."

So he did.

And so, while the pimple grew, the giant started moving towards the land Enkai had shown him, the progress initially being rapid but slowing down as the pimple grew and grew and finally, the pimple became so large that he could not see where he was stepping. He decided to stop and scan his surroundings to see if he had got where he was sent by Enkai. He had.

While he was wondering what to do next, the pimple broke and out came the Maasai and their cattle, and they went out into the plains and started grazing the cattle as their women built the first manyatta.

The giant, tired, sat down to rest as he watched them go about their daily activities.

To do so, he had to set his left fist on the ground, supporting himself on a rock and gently lowered himself to the ground.

Before he could reach the ground, however, he felt a strong force pulling himself upwards and away. On looking up, he saw Enkai beckoning to him and calling him to his side. He went, but the grip he had held the rock with as he lowered himself to the ground was so strong that his left fist had fused itself with the rock. He had to break off his left fist and left it firmly attached to the rock.

The fist remains anchored to that rock and to this day, you can visit and even climb it right next to a tiny little town called Ngong after the knuckles of the giant who was pulled upwards after bringing forth one of the great races of men which grace the face of the earth.


This story is derived loosely from the Maasai origin story taught in 8-4-4 classes in Kenya.