Chief Ezekiel Kasuku Matunga        Photo Donated by Chief Kasuku Mutanga's Family through Omugambi Thomas Okanga Atsango.

Chief Ezekiel Kasuku Matunga was from Gwasi. He was engaged in the Colonial administration, accompanied police on safaris within Gwasi District. In 1908 he was appointed court interpreter to translate Dholuo into English at Kisii, the then district headquarters.He started as a Police Askari’s boy carrying his blankets in 1909 and ended up as a chief after distinguishing himself as a proficient interpreter.

He could speak Dholuo, Gusii, Kuria, Suba and Swahili. In 1913 he became chief government interpreter in South Nyanza District. Chief Kasuku was a wealthy man. By 1926 he had over 1,000 herds of cattle and was in control of South Kavirondo. Campbell relieved him of a large number of his cattle which were returned to those from whom he had obtained them. He had an advantage over other chiefs, appeared in public with the District and Provincial Commissioners whose speeches he translated and nothing could be done without his approval.

King George the 5th awarded Kasuku a certificate for his loyalty to the government. All chiefs were under his influence and they used to pay him some retaining fee. He was a chief recruiter for a recruitment company. Kasuku was gazetted as chief of Gwasi in 1930. In 1938 he was promoted to Senior Chief up to 1940 and in 1945 he was appointed Chairman, African Appeal Court (First African Appeal Court), where he worked until 1948 when he died.

 

Source: Economic Change in South Nyanza, Kenya, 1880 to 1945 by T. Ayieko Onduru, 2009