Sporting For Change: Stating the Nubian State of Statelessness in Kenya

The Nubians of Kenya came from the area surrounding the Nuba Mountains (Sudan) in the early 1900’s and subsequently have been part of the Kenyan community. Nonetheless, they have not been readily accepted by the different regimes that have been ruling Kenya since independence. As part of the Kings Armed Rifles they were guaranteed British protection in their status as detribalized natives. Upon independence they lost their standing as soldiers and could neither return to the Nuba Mountains nor claim native status in Kenya. My thesis addresses this struggle within the community and suggests a Sports intervention to act as an avenue for change. Olympism and SFD are relatively new concepts in academia and this is why they are related to more familiar areas of study such as Citizenship and Marginalization studies, where Sport serves as a bridge to communities that are underserved. Engaging a theory-based approach, various issues came up in the course of my research and this is what led to the proposition of The Julisha Jamii1 Initiative. This needs to be tried, tested and implemented to find out whether it can work as an intervention. It is nevertheless my intention to follow this through with a PhD so as to give it the solid ground and proper research such a project requires in order to be viable.

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The bulk of my initial research was done while I was in Europe in late 2014, then proceeded with groundwork in Kenya. My thesis writing coincided with the birth of my daughter. This was quite challenging because I knew I had to finish my paper and still had to be there for my family. I was however able to overcome this situation and I am thankful to the peace family and my partner who enabled me to complete my thesis. When writing a thesis, discipline is key in attaining end results. Only by setting aims and seeing them through can one be able to complete a thesis. I had to work long nights at times until 4 am to then wake up at 7 am in order to take care of my baby. And in the end it was worth it! I am now a Master of Peace.

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