Usenge beach is located at Usenge town, the hands of Siaya County. Hands because the place feeds the county- where the food is brought to the table and taken to the mouth. The place is known for its massive production of fish, some consumed locally and the surplus sold to the nearby counties and beyond- meaning it is a very significant place for the entire county and Kenya in general.

It is at the usenge beach where you meet a real-Luo lady. She will identify you at the beach taking pictures, and immediately know that you are not among them- natives, and also not a Luo man, and offer to take you around.
She will tell you her name is Atieno. And she has just alighted from Mageta water bus that has just docked from Mageta Island. She has a load on her head which she says is raw Omena and it seems like it’s oozing blood- that is running down her cheeks- Or could it be it’s her sweat?

On her head beneath the load, there is a leso wriggled and intertwined around making a circular shape and on top of which there is a certain depth in which the load rest comfortably. The leso cushions her skin from the weight of the lifeless Omena.

She is in a very short brown skirt that looks like it was originally white and a yellow top. She has another leso wrapped around her whole body and tied tightly behind her neck. She looks like a young boy whose penis has been robbed of its foreskin by the rage of a knife, who cannot put on his shorts because it will make his wound raw again.

Atieno is very black and beautiful, of medium height, plump, with ‘downloads’ big enough to render a matatu sambaza useless- they can be seen from behind the leso, make-up free, short hair and uncombed, with ears without a single hole and no studs. She has small boobs equal to the size of a Sodom Apple but she will tell you not to mind about how small they appear, that they are huge inside, and that they have been suckled by Odhiambo and Achieng and their fathers too. She will also not forget to remind you that her children are still alive and are now 7&6 years respectively.
And if she sees you are still uncomfortable with their size, she will tell you not to concentrate on her chest but her posterior and offer to lead the way.

“Follow me, ” she says, “I know you will enjoy.” She takes you to where you can get a well-cooked fresh tilapia and a hot short-put-ball-shaped ugali.

It’s just delicious.

It’s not far from the lakeshore. And as I force fish into my stomach, as it runs down my gullet, I can see Mageta Island- my final destination. it appears very small like just a single Masai-manyatta built in the middle of the lake.

“How far is from here to there and how much?” I ask pointing at the island.

“One fifty. And it’s about mmmh…(she pauses to swallow)…one hour in the bowels of Mageta water bus,” she tells me.

“A whole hour!”

“Yes,” she answers laughingly, ” are you afraid of water?”

I can’t say yes which is true. Of course, how do you show your weaknesses to a Luo lady you meet at the Usenge beach?


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