Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa

Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa
I walked about five kilometers outside the village of Siaya searching for a Hotel called the Nam Sagali; I finally learned it was not outside Siaya, however really in the next village. I never understand why people pay for trekking….

On the way, I saw many people using hoes alongside the road, none of them had on shoes, I was curious, as 99 percent of people in Kenya have on some form of shoe.

Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Friday, April 24, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.

Later in the day, I walked on the road that leads towards Kisumu when I spied this rather attractive girl tilling the soil with a hoe. She was dressed nice, I was debating earlier in the day with myself that maybe the poorer people do the hoe farming. I did not try to ask earlier in the day because the other hoe farmers did not look educated enough to speak English.

I stopped and asked this girl,
“Why don’t you have on shoes?”
Before she could answer I added,
“People here in Kenya bug me to death is I do not wear the sandals in my Hotel and here you are walking around barefoot.”
She said,
“It is easier.”

She really could not be bothered with me, and maybe was shy, who knows, I did not get much of an answer. Then an older lady started telling me I should pay her to take a photo, she said,
“you must.”
I told her,
“You are nuts and greedy,”
The younger girl was polite.

Later, I was walking in another location and I spied a person planting corn. The person would walk along, drop the seeds and push them in with her toes.

It appears to be the custom of Kenya to work in the fields without shoes.


Ok, before you jump to conclusions about Kenya, Africa I want to show you a photo I took in Kilgoris, Kenya. There are five tractors all in one location; this is an amazing amount of tractors for Africa. I think in the whole country of Togo I saw maybe five tractors, there are tons of tractors in Kenya, I do not see this as a subsistence farming country, however yes they do have some small plots being farmed, however the vast majority is done with tractors.

Barefoot Hoe Farming in Kenya Africa


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I think that in some way the older woman was trying to say that since you may in some way profit by taking this picture, you should pay for it. Did you ask permission to take the picture of the young lady?

Lots of people like to farm barefoot to feel the moisture of the earth. It feels good in hot weather too. The only problems that I can think of is that there are some parasites that can get into you through the earth and there is always the possibility of glass or other sharp things in some areas.

The easier part is, unless you have boots, you are likely to get stones in your shoes. If you have trouble buying shoes, you would not want to ruin them just working in the yard.

I have listened to people say oh those poor children, running around without shoes... Hell, I NEVER wore shoes when I was young.

OK, that was off topic. But, I really love your real world examples of peoples lives. None of that flowery Oh these poor people or Oh wouldnt it be great to live the simple life like this or whatever. No SPIN.


Bob L

I am a Kenyan and I dont think it is odd to work in the farm without shoes. I work and in Nairobi but go to visit my folks regularly and help at the farm while I am there. We do not go to the farm with shoes because one, whats the point of spoiling the few pairs of shoes one has they are just a bother as you cant work as comfortably with shoes as without unless you are able to invest in boots then barefoot is the only choice.

But then again the cleaning up after a hard days work in the farm is the best feeling ever..

Just want to comment on Nam Sagali hotel. It is one the best hotels in SIAYA town. So I urge you that in your next visit, take time to visit Nam Sagali. You will enjoy it, I promise you.

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