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Bukusu leaders rescind decision to postpone male circumcision events

Saturday July 11 2020
INITIATES

Initiates carrying bells in Eldoret town in 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OJAMAA

This year’s Bukusu traditional circumcision exercises will start from August 1.

Bungoma chairman of circumcisers Sinino Wo Omukolongolo said the community has rescinded an earlier decision to postpone the exercise to 2022 following the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

“Bukusu traditional experts gave us the go ahead to prepare for the fete. We will follow all containment measures as advised by the government to stop spread of Covid-19," he said.

He added that only 15 people will be allowed to attend the event. “There will be no invitation of relatives as was the tradition,” he said. 

Mr Omukolongolo said that they decided to perform the rite of passage Bukusu way after many residents decided to take their boys to hospitals for the cut. 

“We realised that many people were circumcising their teenage boys in hospitals and this will eventually kill our tradition,” he said.

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Mr Omukolongolo said his team has reached out to Bungoma County CEC in charge of culture Ms Everlyne Kakai and that they are expecting a response from her.

The Bukusu circumcision is one of Kenya’s most-anticipated traditional ceremonies and attracts more than 40,000 tourists, both local and foreign.

The last circumcision took place in 2018. Generations or age-sets are named after every ceremony.

During the ritual, an initiate travels to his maternal uncle’s home, where a ceremony is held during which a bull is slaughtered.

He is given some of the meat to carry home.

The next day, he is taken to the river in the wee hours of the morning where his entire body is smeared with mud and on return he is circumcised at the gate facing west.

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