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UNWANTED CUT

Isiolo family wants justice for ‘forcefully’ circumcised son

Boy entered room where another recently-cut boy was secluded

In Summary

• Ameru customs  dictate that any uncircumcised boy who enters a room where other recently-circumcised boys are secluded must undergo the cut. 

• The two parents are now worried that their son’s education could also be interrupted once schools reopen. 

Initiates follow proceedings during a graduation ceremony at Othaya St Teresa Kanyange Academy in Othaya, Nyeri, last year.
WALKED IN ON CANDIDATE: Initiates follow proceedings during a graduation ceremony at Othaya St Teresa Kanyange Academy in Othaya, Nyeri, last year.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

A family from Kiwanjani village in Isiolo is seeking justice for their 11-year-old son who was forcefully circumcised in a traditional ritual without parental consent. 

His mother said the Grade 3 pupil allegedly entered a room where another boy had been secluded after undergoing the rite of passage. 

“He was hurriedly circumcised the following day despite appeals by the parents to be granted more time to prepare for the ceremony,” Kangai said. 

 

The ceremony was done according to Ameru customs which dictate that any uncircumcised boy who enters a room where other recently-circumcised boys are secluded, must also undergo the cut the same day or the following day. 

The mother said her appeals to be granted at least three more days to prepare for her son’s ceremony fell on deaf ears. 

 “I was forced to immediately borrow some money to pay the circumciser’s fee and then look for a different room where my son would be secluded since he could no longer share a room with the parents according to Ameru traditions."

The boy's father said the abrupt turn of events had placed his family in a very awkward situation, since it happened at a time when he was already struggling even to put food on the table.  

“The cost of carrying out the process of Ameru traditional circumcision is overwhelming, and I want stern disciplinary action on the people who allegedly lured my son to enter the prohibited room and forcefully circumcised him,” he said. 

He said his son was still a child and would not have a problem waiting for his turn once he completes primary school education. 

The two parents are now worried that their son’s education could also be interrupted once schools reopen, as there is a strict instruction to parents not to circumcise their boys before they complete primary school. 

 

The boy’s sponsor, an organisation known as Compassion, also has strict instructions that the boys need to first do their KCPE examinations before they undergo the cut. They appealed to Munene’s teachers and the organisation not to direct their wrath on the family since the events were not their wish. 

Elder Lintari Ntoitiama, 97, warned young boys against daring their own customs and traditions. 

“They will only end up punishing their parents due to costs that must be met,” Ntoitiama said. 

He also called upon those manning houses where circumcised boys are placed in seclusion to lock the houses using a padlock whenever they are not around to keep others out. 

Edited by R.Wamochie