Burji Online


By Tego Wolasa

On 9th January 1981, the late Abdi Bando Nawe wrote a letter to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The then Assistant Chief for Manyatta Burji Sub-location was requesting for the introduction of Burji Language at the Voice of Kenya, now Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

A positive response to the letter signaling the birth of Burji Service came on 26th February of the same year.

The above exchanges would later put the name of Mr. GUYO CHUDE RALE on the scrolls of Burji History.



Born in 1952, the 68-year-old hero identifies himself with Kons Saley of Yabbi Clan and traces his ancestral roots to the Burji Kilicho area of the Burji District in Southern Ethiopia.

Guyo Chude completed his elementary education at Marsabit primary school in 1971. He then joined and completed his O level education at Marsabit Boys secondary school in 1975.



After high school, in 1976, Guyo started teaching at Moyale (township) primary school as an untrained teacher. He was the following year transferred to Uran primary school in Sololo.

It was common to see students equipped only with Secondary or Primary school Certificates get into the job market back then.

Two years later, in 1979, Guyo was employed by the World Vision as an adult education teacher. He was deployed to Bubisa where he helped Launch Adult and Nursery Education as the pioneer teacher.

Coincidentally, the project director for the World Vision project in Bubisa was then Daina Woche Gache, another Burji veteran.



He left Bubisa shortly after to run for Member of Parliament for Marsabit North constituency during the 1979 election.

However, he sacrificed the ambition after Burji elders prevailed upon him to shelve the plans.

It is worth noting that at the time, the sitting MP for Marsabit North was Hon. Elisha Daniel Godana, a Burji.

Alex Issacko Umuro won the 1979 election to represent the Marsabit North constituency. In 1988, Marsasabit North was split into Saku and North Horr constituencies.

Marsabit County - Wikipedia



The exchanges between the late Abdi Bando and the PS brought forth Burji Language Radio service in 1981.

Albeit without formal training in journalism, Guyo was hired as the first-ever employee of the VOK Burji Services. With him was Dube Sago, who later left for further education.

Guyo recounts that because of lacking training in journalism, he could only be employed on a contract basis as a part-time artist on a salary of kes. 600 per month.

Against all the odds, Guyo grew through the ranks during his 26-year stint. He retired in 2006 at the age of 54 as the head of KBC Eastern services.

KBC Eastern services then included vernacular languages of Borana, Rendile, Turkana, Burji, and Somali.

After Dube’s exit, Guyo worked for some years alone before being joined by the late Zahra Tore and then by the late Chonde Masqo.

Christened KBC Dekomeng hool, the station is today under the stewardship of Bitanach Oge Siko and Dawe Galcha

Guyo opines that the opening of Burji Language Services under VOK enhanced the sense of belonging among the marginalized minority.

He fondly narrates how listeners used to communicate with the studio through a letter. Telephones were the preserve of the wealthy back then.

In 1987, Guyo was admitted to the government-owned Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).

At the KIMC  in 1987. Back row from left: Topli ambila, zainab Musa, John Obongo Junior and Guyo Chude Front row from left: Omuga Kabisae, Billi Omala, Ahmed Tajir and Otiti Christopher George.

He later joined The Training Institute for African Broadcasters in Cairo, Egypt.

The training he says sharpened his skills and would later help catapult him to the position of the head of eastern services at KBC.

Voice of Kenya (VoK) was later renamed Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)



Upon retirement in 2006, Mr Guyo tried his hand on a construction business. The business he says changed his financial, spiritual, and social fortunes for the best.

Our unsung hero is blessed with ten children: four daughters and six sons from his wives Khadija Tadese and Sadia Boru.

Today, Mr. Guyo resides in Ole Kasasi area of Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.



Logo by Galchumeng Hassawa showing Burji Unity

His advice to the Burji Nation is that we should at all cost avoid internal conflict and instead work together as one Burji Family to make the world a better place.

‘Jooruh buuda Nak’anon ifaku Illana Dara inningo’. He added as his parting shot.


14 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing the hero of own history not only his Burji community wonto nik chemeysh abuya lubbo arch’isoni.

  2. Thank you for your advice to the burji community. You are really a Hero, I remember your advice you gave me in baitulmal it was back in1998 you are forever in our prayer.

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