Cardinal otunga

Servant of God




Otunga was born in Chebukwa, a village-homestead in the district of Bungoma, at the end of January 1923. He was the son of Wasike Lusweti Sudi, Paramount Chief of the Bakhone clan of the Bukusus, and Namisi, a traditional diviner and one of the chief’s many wives.

On giving birth to him, Namisi named her son Simiyu, which signifies “one who is born during the hot and dry season.” On coming to see his infant son, however, Chief Sudi was impressed by his face and chose to call him instead Otunga, which refers to a staff which supports the old or lame. It was a name that would prophetically point towards the infant’s future work. 

Peter Nabangi, one of his half-brothers, remembers the Servant of God’s childhood: “Otunga was not like us. When playing with other children, he never fought with any of them, but simply enjoyed being with his friends. Even if you beat or insulted him, he would never lay his hands on you.”