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US ambassador to Kenya Meg Whiteman crowned Luo queen, given local name

US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman has acquired a Luo name after visiting Homa Bay County.

Ms Whitman acquired the new name when she visited the county on November 8, 2023, to check on some of the gains the devolved unit has made over the years.

She will now be referred to as Anyango, which implies the one who is born at midday.

The envoy was also crowned as a Luo queen and given instruments of power including a black whisk.

Female leaders in the county who officiated this exercise put a ligisa (crown) made from bids on her head as she sat down on a chair.

During the coronation, Governor Gladys Wanga who hosted her said the county had been waiting for the moment when Ms Whitman visited them.

“I don’t remember the last time an American ambassador visited us in Homa Bay. So this is very significant for us,” she said.

The county chief officially welcomed the ambassador to be part of the Luo clan.

It was the first time Ms Whitman visited Homa Bay.

She said throughout her stay in the country, she has never had fun like she did in Homa Bay.

She was referring to dance sessions she had from the moment her plane touched down at Kabunde airstrip on Wednesday afternoon.

At the airstrip, she was welcomed by Kagan Kochia traditional dancers.

There, the ambassador danced alongside Ms Wanga and other county officials.

They later proceeded to a cotton farm in Arujo where Ms Whitman was taken through the cotton growing process.

Later at night, Ms Wanga hosted the ambassador at a dinner event at Genowa Park in Homa Bay town where they were being entertained by a live band.

It was at this place that the ambassador continued her dance.

She described the experience as the best since she started working in the country.

“This is the best fan I have had in Kenya since I got here. The whole dancing thing is great,” Ms Whitman said.

She described Homa Bay as a county of great potential and expressed willingness to help the devolved unit explore some of its plans.

During her speech, Ms Whitman said she met Governor Wanga during a meeting with female governors before she was invited to visit Homa Bay.

“I had a chance to meet her again at the devolution conference and we have quite a bit of time to get together. She took me through the Homa Bay exhibition and I said I’d like to come and visit you,” the ambassador said.

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