A tour guide and charity worker has become the first British man to become an elder of an African tribe as a reward for his hard work setting up projects in the local area.
Tim Fox, originally from Harpenden in Hertfordshire, was welcomed into the tribe after working with the Luhya people in the village of Mundeka in the Western Province of Kenya, close to Lake Victoria.
Over the past decade the 49-year-old, who calls President Barack Obama’s grandmother and cousin his friends, has brought sustainable tourism to the tribe as well as set up a digital village and a commercial farm for the villagers.
Tim Fox, pictured here with President Obama’s grandmother, Sarah, and his cousin, Roy. The 49-year-old from Harpenden has become the first ever British man to become an African tribal elder
Mr Fox has been rewarded by the Luhya people in the village of Mundeka in the Western Province of Kenya for his charity and tourism work in the past decade
Mr Fox, who is the general manager of the homeless charity Emmaus in Harpenden, is believed to be one of the first white British citizens to be made a tribal elder, a position which is held in great prestige in Kenyan culture.
The honour also means that he is in charge of over 2,000 members of the Luhya tribe.
‘For someone from outside the village to be welcomed as an elder is a great honour,’ said a delighted Mr Fox.
‘Being immersed in the Kenyan culture with Kenyan people is incredible.
‘Our aim is ethical tourism; a trip which will open your eyes while making a hugely positive impact on the lives of the Kenyan villages.’
Mr Fox’s charity work forms a part of the company Kogelo Tours, which was set up to facilitate the travel of foreign tourists to what he describes as ‘the real parts of Kenya which are yet to be touched by tourism’.
Kogelo Tours is also designed to benefit the living standards and welfare of the villagers.
President Obama’s grandmother, Sarah, and cousin, Roy, are friends with Mr Fox – and handed him a Barack Obama badge when he was inaugrated in January 2009.
He can seen posing with them while wearing his beloved West Ham United baseball cap.