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September 21, 2018

Parents opt for hospitals to cut cost of sons’ rites

A Bukusu boy undergoes the cut the traditional way. /BRIAN OJAMAA
A Bukusu boy undergoes the cut the traditional way. /BRIAN OJAMAA

 Today, many cultural activities associated with circumcision among the Bukusu are being discarded, as many parents think the ritual is becoming too expensive.

Most parents take their boys to a health centre that is slightly cheap, as it costs less than Sh300. Traditional circumcisers are usually given Sh1,000 per boy to perform the cut at home.

In the old days, a big bull was slaughtered unlike nowdays, where any cow can suffice. 

Ken Wekesa, a parent from Sitikho ward in Webuye West constituency, took his son to be cut at Webuye Subcounty Hospital. He says slaughtering two bulls for people to feast on is too expensive.

“I would rather take my son to hospital where he is cut properly and I return with him home to begin feeding him, unlike going through all the process of preparing alcohol and food for people; that is too costly,” he said.

He said once the boy is cut in hospital, a small party can be set later, mostly in December, where the boy’s uncles and a few elders come and give the boy elderly teachings.

Martin Were, Wekesa’s son who was cut in hospital, said he did not feel any pain and will receive the teachings from his uncles.

Religious leaders are also advocating the medical cut, saying parents shouldn’t spend their meagre resources on the cultural event.

Led by Father Pius Lukhale of Kimatuni sub-parish, the clerics have advised parents to value education more, rather than subjecting young boys to torture by making them run around half-naked with bells.

“Why should you slaughter two bulls and prepare food for people to feast on for free, and next term you have no school fees for the same child?” he asked.

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