For the first time in decades, the Bukusu community now risks missing out on their annual circumcision rituals.
Speaking in Bungoma County on Tuesday evening, Peter Wekesa was an angry man.
“These are our traditions; we can’t afford to miss out because of government directives on Corona virus. We were born in these culture, how can we just abandon our traditions at this hour?” the lead circumciser from Kanduyi village lamented.
As the Kenyan government battles out to fight the Corona virus pandemic in the country, the public at hand has done little to help.
Cabinet Secretary for health Mutahi Kagwe, issued out government orders on the ban of public gatherings. Also to note better has been the hygiene of the circumcisers and the tools they use.
In most areas, one knife is used to serve several adolescent boys. Some rituals within these annual practices are now causing alarms.
“Normally the lad is sent out in the cold by around 4am by the riverside. He is smeared with cold mud and also the river water is used to freeze him so that he won’t feel pain. By around 6am, the old men come and within a second the fore skin is cut and that’s it.” Said John Khasiali who now a student at Masinde Muliro Universtity and went through the same system.
However Mr. Richard Walukho, the chairperson Bukusu Council of elders has urged his community to be law abiding. Speaking from his home, he added that this season’s event might be postponed until the government gives more directives in regards to the corona virus pandemic situation.
But some residents from Bungoma County are adamant that such an event cannot be missed, lest the community is risking the wrath of the gods.
It is still a push and shove situation as the Kenyan government tries to implement directives that will ensure Kenyans are safe from Covid 19. Now all eyes are on this section of the luhya community as they try to find a solution that is engulfed between traditions and the laws of science.