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September 23, 2018

Die cast as Kikuyu elders lay curses on S.K. Macharia over betrayal

Kikuyu elders during their meeting in Gatanga constituency, Murang'a county, where they placed curses on Royal Media Services chairman S.K. Macharia, saying he had betrayed his community, January 31, 2017. /JAMES WAINAINA
Kikuyu elders during their meeting in Gatanga constituency, Murang'a county, where they placed curses on Royal Media Services chairman S.K. Macharia, saying he had betrayed his community, January 31, 2017. /JAMES WAINAINA

About 100 Kikuyu elders gathered in Ndakaini village on Tuesday to place a curse on S.K. Macharia, saying he had betrayed his community.

The elders from across the country performed rituals including slaughtering a single-coloured he-goat and roasting it, during their meeting in Gatanga constituency, Murang'a county.

They muttered curses against the Royal Media Services chairman before piercing the meat with thorns, an indication of the wrath that awaits Macharia.

Kikuyu traditions say this is the worst case scenario for any person and can result in calamities within 90 days from when the curse is placed.

“This is real. It is no joke. We gave him the mandatory 14 days to apologise to the community for exposing them to attacks by other communities especially in this electioneering period,” said Kiarii Rugami wa Chumbuu, who is Murang’a county chairman.

Chumbuu said it was a bad omen for any member of the Kikuyu community to expose his people to enemies, with the intention of causing bloodshed.

“We have sent delegations to him but he has dismissed the call of the community, leaving us no choice but to go ahead with the rituals," he said.

"He has denied ever uttering words that could jeopardise the safety of the Agikuyu community. We curse his business. We curse his generations. He is not lucky if you may ask me. Curses do strike."

Read: 'Clear statistics' show Raila won 2007 poll - SK Macharia

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Ndichu Njuguna, the National Deputy Chairman of Kikuyu Council of Elders, said the exercise will serve as a lesson to the community and deter anyone with similar thoughts.

 The meeting place in Gatanga constituency, Murang'a county, where Kikuyu elders placed curses on Royal Media Services chairman S.K. Macharia, saying he had betrayed his community, January 31, 2017. /JAMES WAINAINA

“We have sacrificed a black goat to appease the spirits and save the community from possible bloodshed. Macharia’s case was that of pride and we cannot wait for bloodshed just to appease an individual. His case is closed,” he said.

Curses have been an occasional tool for Kenyan communities powerless to stop certain ills in society.

Details of such rituals are very hard to come by as only those who have undergone the traditional stages of the Kikuyu culture are allowed to attend. This is the reason journalists allowed to witness the process in this particular case.

In November 2012, a group of Kikuyu elders met at Uhuru Park in Nairobi to seek intervention from their ancestors on ICC cases.

Dressed in traditional regalia, they streamed to a corner at the park to plead for President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto who was then Eldoret North MP, former Public Service head Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua Sang.

Two elders led seven men who carried huge traditional calabash gourds, one with a polythene bag full of ash. One wore red, white and purple robes, similar to those worn by heads of the clergy, and on his head was a miter-a liturgical cap similar to those worn Catholic bishops.

The elders' faces were covered in ash while chicken feathers were stuck in their beards and hair. They walked in a straight line behind the old man brandishing a traditional fly-whisk as if giving directions and orders.

They formed a circle around the old men with the whisk and the traditional bishop and kept whispering as they encircled him performing other rituals.

And one by one the men carrying the gourds rushed to the centre and broke the gourds and returned to the circle, as they are sprinkled the ash.

Kuraga kwa inya (ceremony of calabash breaking), is a liturgical cleansing ritual. The first was done 100 ago to liberate the country from colonialists.

The one against Macharia was to seek ancestral and godly powers to water down the negative effects of evil schemes hatched by external forces and unnecessary foreign pressures on the country.

 

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