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People of Kenya: Njemps

The Njemps (Chamus) people speak the Samburu language and are often counted as Samburu people. They are about19046 in population. The Chamus (Njemps) lives in Baringo. Njemps are unique people who are the only pastoral, cattle herding, tribe who also fish. This is unlike the other pastoralist tribes where eating fish is a taboo. The Chamus are linguistically related to both the Maasai and the Samburu, and possibly genetically related to one, or both of these tribes .


The Chamus have many clear cultural associations to both groups, and there are several theories as to their actual origin. During the migration the Chamus developed a very different life style trying to maintain the Maasai and the Samburu nomads eschewing nomadic movement.

They became sedentary agriculturists although the soil around the lake was not particularly fertile, they developed an effective system of irrigation and grew crops on the shore of the lake. They are reported to be 12% Christian, while the Samburu are considered as 8-9% Christian.