According to the 2009 Government Census Report, their population is 78,691. Okiek people have lineages, clans and social groups which are their main socio-political units. They are also governed by age-set systems which one becomes a member of depending on the time of circumcision. It is important to note that though women are also circumcised, they do not have a separate age-set system, they are associated to the male age-sets of their relatives. All the political and legal decisions of the community are done by the elders Majority of them are Christians with a certain percentage ascribing to traditional religion. Most of the christians are Pentecostals who mainly fellowship in the Full Gospel and Covenant Church International. Those who follow traditional religion believe in a god (Torooret or Asista) who can bring misfortune to the community if he is wronged or forgotten.
Conversations to have the Ogiek Bible began in the year 2011. Pastor Fredrick Lemama from the Ogiek community together with his friends, Rev Benson Rotiken and Rev. John Kileteng visited the BTL offices in Nairobi in a bid to have the Bible translated into the Ogiek Language. A month later from their visit, he made a follow up with BTL about their request. It was at this time that he was informed that there had been a team of the Ogiek community members from Nakuru who had also expressed interest to have the Scriptures translated into the Ogiek language. BTL connected him to the contact person in Nakuru and together with the other team members decided to pursue the translation of the Ogiek Bible. On January 25, 2014, a team of 14 church leaders met with the BTL National Director. During this meeting, the leaders requested BTL to assist in the translation of the Ogiek Bible.
From this meeting, other subsequent follow up meetings were held, survey and linguistic work carried out. In February 2017, the translation of the Ogiek Bible officially started following the recruitment of translators at the end of 2016. This work began with the drafting of the first three books of the New Testament, namely: Matthew, Mark and Luke and on February 20, 2021, the Gospel of Luke was dedicated. This is the first ever portion to be dedicated in the community. The translation team is currently working on the translation processes of the other books of the New Testament and we are praying that soon, the New Testament can be completed.
TOGETHER WE CAN SUPPORT THE OGIEK TRANSLATION
Bible Translation & Literacy is a Christian organization that was established in 1981 to facilitate Bible translation.