Erosion of cultures by David G Maillu

The Case for Woman to Woman Marriage in Africa

By David G Maillu

Erosion of cultures by David G MailluThere is not a country in traditional Africa where the iweto woman-to-woman marriage was never practised.

On the face value, iweto (Kikamba term for something ‘lightly-talked-about’) is a young woman  ‘married’ to an old woman not for sexual relations (lesbianism) but for survival of the family. What qualifies the old woman to look for an “iweto” marriage is that, first and foremost, she has no husband either through misfortunes such as death. Besides, she lives alone, either because her daughters, if she has any, are married and they live with their husbands. Secondly, she has no son through whom the family can have children, putting into consideration the fact that in her world children are crucial social insurance for the family.

Now, in order for her to have someone to take care of her and give her a family lease through offspring, she goes out looking for a young woman who would accept the term that she would not have a husband in that home other than men friends who could father her children for the home. The old woman pays up the full bride price for the girl just like any other fully married woman to a man. It is a benefit to the old woman if the girl is already a mother brings home a child or children.

The young woman takes full care of the old woman until her death All the children born to the young woman would bear the family name of the old woman. The young woman would be the only heiress to the property of the old woman whom she would always address as ‘Mother’ but not as ‘husband’.

The iweto marriage should be understood under the licence that there were no children for adoption in traditional Africa. The only option left for the adopter was to adopt a fertile woman to bear children for the adoption. Many polygamous marriages fall within the adoption scheme whereby, if a husband is married to a barren woman, he can only adopt children by adopting-cum-marrying a fertile woman with him to have children for the adoption.

The social situation has changed today because there are free children for adoption without their mother; hence, the “iweto” scheme is outdated in many ways by modern events. But while it lasted, it was a noble thing. However, what remains in fashion today is still for a man to engage in polygamy because he wants to keep his first childless wife but he must go for a second wife in order to bless the family with the needed children

Men Want Femininity, Not Masculinity, in Women

By David Maillu
Published July 9, 2017

We are going through a serious gender identity crisis in which women are trying every trick to look like men. Does this mean the value of female is diminishing as that of men appreciate? What is the cause of this trend? There are few men who attempt to look like women because men are more proud of their identity than women are. Why is this so?

However much a woman tries to look like a man, she cannot be a man other than abusing the law of nature; with consequences. What men want in a woman is the essence of femininity – a real woman. They get disappointed when they find that femininity watered down by attempts to look like men. The best woman is that one who is proud of being female. Why is it that a man would radiate with pride when he is told “You are a real man” while many women would cherish the compliment, “You act like a man”? Any sensible man would consider it an insult if someone were to tell them, “You act like a woman.”

In Africa to be a woman earns the person utmost pride where woman wants to be appreciated for her role in life and consequently what she is in that role in which she plays an equal partnership but not a complementary partnership. The game change has become the worship of materialism which men worship and make gods out of themselves. One can argue that the depreciation of the female is heavily influenced by materialism.

On the materialism market both men and women are now thrown in the game as competitors to see who outsmarts the other. Metaphorically speaking, it is a ridiculous competition of running race between a man and a pregnant woman where, of course, man must be winner. It is almost insanity to expect equality of material performance between man and woman. Woman is the mother of woman and, by nature, she is given more responsibility in servicing life than man. At home, she is burdened with being the conceiver, deliverer, breast-feeder and caretaker of the child, while the husband reads newspapers and goes to nightclubs. Industrially she cannot be measured with the same weighing balance and considered man’s competitor. In other words, woman cannot be equal to man because, naturally, woman has a bigger social responsibility baggage than man.

Why Mental Slavery Reigns in Kenya

By David Maillu
Published June 17, 2017

Bob Marley, a Jamaican Reggae maestro, urged the black race to deliver itself from mental slavery.I was talking to a friend the other day when I mentioned something important I had seen on a local television network the previous day and he was quick to reply, “These days I’m not a fan of local broadcasting. I stopped watching local stations and listening to radio ages ago. The only thing I watch is the daily news. After news I switch to international stations, such as BBC and Al Jazeera. Reason? The broadcast adds very little value to my mind unlike those overseas stations. Year-in-and-year-out local broadcasters play music and dancing only to run soap opera imported from South America or – you know where they get them, don’t you?”

Walk into any major bookshop in Nairobi and the books in the front display are written and published by foreigners. African books are given a secondary position and, in some cases, are tucked in the shelves somewhere. Walk into the leading five star hotels; the menu there is foreign.

I have just been talking to woman armed with a Master’s degree in food. We were talking in English about vanishing cultural values when she said, “You people of the old generation are better off. Our generation can hardly write and speak in their mother tongues which are disappearing.”

Unfortunately, our government, which should be the custodian and promoter of our cultural values, is using foreign instruments in addressing those values. The worst form of colonialism is not physical but intellectual. We got rid of the physical one but we were left with the intellectual one. The blame shouldn’t be laid on the consumer but on the provider. If local broadcasting stations and media houses don’t offer anything appealing and one which add value to the consumer’s life, the consumer would listen and watch anything appealing, even if it be foreign. If the hotels don’t offer local and appealing menu, the consumer has the right to spend his money eating any tasty menu at whatever cultural consequences. If the government doesn’t take responsibility in promotion of writing and publishing appealing books, the consumer will survive on foreign reading materials.

What’s all this big talk about having thrown the colonialist away? It looks that after being thrown through the door the colonial returned through the window to stay. That is how African values are being permanently colonized. The consumer is ready to take anything which is appealing. The government is processing the citizen strategically not just for wearing imported secondhand clothes (mitumba) from Europe and Asia, but for the consumption of “intellectual mitumba.” Nature hates a vacuum. Whatever cultural vacuum we create regarding local values will instantly be filled in by foreign values to the destruction of local integrity.

Polygamy is a Choice

By David G Maillu

One of the most sensitive subjects in Africa is polygamy. Why? Different mind sets have different reasons for this, some of the reasons based religious interpretation. Most white people think that every African man is a polygamist. Furthermore to them, to a large extent, polygamy is associated with primitive people. That is why many people in Europe and in America got the shock of their lives when President Zuma – a civilized man and President – came out proudly in his full Zulu polygamous colours. In fact, Zuma gave polygamy the credit it deserves. President Zuma and President Obama have given the Black Race psychologically boost and they should be given the highest cultural prize which, unfortunately, cannot come from the Nobel Prize institution.

Polygamy is a deal that is strictly between man and woman. Neither man nor woman can blame it on one person. To do so would be as biased as blaming prostitution on one gender. Today polygamy and witchcraft are publicly despised but privately they are appreciated. The other day I had a chat with the former head of the Kenyan Civil Service, Professor Philip Mbithi, who revealed to me his experience in the Kenyan top civil service. Majority of them, he told me, believe and engage in witchcraft matters.

The big question is whether polygamy is relevant or irrelevant in the African social scene today. In my published book OUR KIND OF POLYGAMY by East African Educational Publishers I said: That one’s meat is another person’s poison explains the dimensions of human differences and personalities. It is nonsensical, of course, to advance the claim that polygamy is wrong. Good questions to ask are: To whom is it wrong? Or under what circumstances does it become wrong? Africa has practiced polygamy as far back as the records can take us. Nobody would dispute that majority of great men in Africa come from polygamous marriages. My father was a polygamist. A child growing up in a polygamous marriages is given a unique workshop among his brothers and sisters for social development unlike children from monogamous families.

In fact, polygamy or plural marriage as it is called sometimes is found throughout the world and in a variety of forms that are determined by the culture of the people. Among the western people – the whites – the familiar term is consecutive polygamy. That is, marrying and living with one wife at a time, and this amounts to no more than a serial monogamy in which one husband is engaged consecutively in discreet monogamous unions. If he is dissatisfied by his wife, he looks for a reason with which to throw her out in order to create room for a new wife. That is why in those communities divorces are as common as malaria attacks in Africa. A man may end up in marrying three, four, five or more wives at different times. In Africa, when a man is totally dissatisfied by his wife, he leaves her within his estate and goes for a second wife. In other words, African civilization protects “divorced” women by giving them both family and accommodation. Literally, a man may live a monogamous marriage when he is, by history, polygamous. This fine social order protects both the woman and the children. If by any chance “divorced” mother gets a child from another man, that child inherits the name of the ex-husband; whereas in the western divorce children are torn apart from their parents. Furthermore, if the divorced mother gets a child from another man, that child is described as bastard. In African civilization there are no bastards.

The claim against polygamy based on Christian religion is absolutely baseless. There is no clear verse in the Bible which says NO to polygamy. In fact, one should not forget that God’s biblical heavy weights were polygamous, spearheaded by King Solomon with his a thousand wives, hundreds of them being concubines. It is the same Bible in Malachi which says, “God does not change.” That is, the God of the Abrahams is still the one and the same God of today. If God appreciated polygamy in the old times, when did God change to start despising polygamy instead of blessing it?

There are many reasons why people engage in polygamy. One of the main reasons is trying to solve a marital problem between the couple, which may be caused by one thing or the other, sex included. Another reason is adoption. In traditional Africa there were no free children for adoption. If a childless marriage desires having a child, the man adopts a woman with or without children to give the family children and continuation. This adoption philosophy is vividly expressed by the so-called “woman-to-woman” marriage. It is from this premise of adoption that we should understand the polygamy exercise of the late “Danger” man. Obviously, he did not marry all those wives because of his sexual urge. He was ax extraordinary adoptee of women. All the children born to the wives, whether fathered by him or not, were given his name. All the women married to him for whatever reason, felt fully married. In traditional Africa, sex is not enough to hold a marriage. No man in his full sense would divorce his wife because she went to bed with another man and even got a child from him. The value of woman was above sexual gratifications.

Is Bride Price Still Relevant in Africa?

By David G Maillu

The family is the foundation of African values, where the philosophy behind life is in addressing the matter of being born, living, procreation and death. The best of life, for any human, is living happily or with minimum problems. The failure of life is inability to obtain instruments which make life worth living.

Your life is consummated primarily within the context of the people you live with. Your weight is measured by the scale of balance in other people’s hands. On the ground, the immediate people who affect your life positively or negatively are members of your family; and the success and failure of your life can be measured by how you relate to those people.

Life on earth is manufactured by the sexual interaction between man and woman. The sexual attraction between the two is given many interpretations. It is within this premise that love is contextualized and marriage is born and maintained.

African religion pays tribute to the relations between man and woman. It starts off with how man and woman acquire each other for lifetime companionship. To be born does not guarantee you acquisition of a spouse. In life everything is acquired at a cost. One has to spend some energy and material things in order to acquire the opposite sex.

In African philosophy it is a man who goes out hunting for a woman. But when he finds the suitable one, how does he go about convincing her that he means business? How does he convince her family that he is genuine responsible and they can trust him with a member of her family since words are not enough? Beyond words he must sacrifice something in order to convince them. This is the beginning of bride price or dowry. In Africa, unlike in India and other communities, it is the man who pays the dowry because it is acknowledged that in matters concerning family and marriage, woman’s value overweighs man’s value.

To pay something in order to have a wife is different from buying an animal in a market place. “You can’t buy a human being,” goes the philosophy underlining bride price. Brice price is simply a test of commitment.

In traditional society the bride price is not the property of the parents of the girl. It belongs to the family. This is why the father cannot translate it into money form and then take it straight into his bank account.

Traditionally, the bride price obtained from a daughter called Titi was further used by the family to pay for the bride price of getting the brothers of Titi wives, with a strict memorandum of understanding that if Titi’s marriage fails and she is forced to return to her parental home, the brothers will take full responsibility of maintaining Titi and her children. Furthermore, a fraction of the bride price was used on members of the extended family who, in turn, are expected in future to help supporting Titi in case of the failure of her marriage.

Payment of the bride price by the suitor was a pride to the girl. It was a confirmation that she was a full woman. She shared her pride with the extended family. She got married with a family social insurance policy.

Today’s sham regarding the meaning of bride price is that, in so many families, it has been given commercial interpretation in which the bride price becomes strictly the property of the parents. In traditional society the bride price was given a standard by the clan. But today a father can proudly say, “I want so many shillings for my daughter.” The figure gets inflated if the daughter is highly educated. What the parents get, in most cases, does not profit her brothers and lay foundation for an insurance policy for her future.

Today the father can use that money to buy private property. When he dies the daughter may not even inherit anything from that property. Her brothers do not any more feel responsible for her social insurance. She is nobody. Even is part of that money had been used to pay for the school fees of a brother, there is no written contract that she will get any support from that brother.

It is from this angle that bride price has lost its nobility and has become a liability to the daughter. On one hand she gets absolutely nothing from the marriage of her brothers; but on the other hand her brothers feel entitled to the share of the bride price from the man going to marry her.

From here where do we go? In that miserable case, the person to decide to put this to an end is the daughter. She should not expect her parents to do it for her. She stands adversely affected because the man who paid the bride sees her from commercial aspect as an object he bought and consequently she has little say in the marriage. The second responsible institution to address this is the government. The government is too busy talking about bringing genital mutilation to an end, yet it does not address this discriminatory out-of-fashion practice. In fact, today bride price is worse than genital mutilation.

It is the daughter’s life which is at stake. If any down has to be paid at all, she is the one who should demand legal document signed in her protection. Indeed, she should be given equal treatment with her brothers.

African Politicians Degrade African Nobility

By David G Maillu

For a man to have more than one wife is a credit in African traditional society. Having more than one wife increases his social status and household. He talks about his marital status proudly. Polygamy has always been a noble practice in Africa society until the arrival of Whiteman’s colonialism of monogamy sold to Africans.

But if polygamy is a social disease, the Whiteman suffers from the same disease only that the disease manifests itself in a different way. The Whiteman’s polygamy is called “Consecutive polygamy” in which, if a married man wants to have a different wife, he knocks up reasons for divorcing her in order to create room for the second wife. If he gets tired with the second wife, he throws her out of the matrimonial bed in order to bring his third wife, and that method continues.

The nobility of African polygamy is that his conscience demands that he should keep all his wives because he is concerned about the welfare of all his wives together with the welfare of his children.

During the reign of Mwai Kibaki , the third President of Kenya, he treated Kenyans to marital embarrassment over his marital status when he told a Press Conference that he had only one wife.

Like many top African political leaders, Kibaki has more than one wife but publicly recognizes only one, Lucy; he doesn’t want any one, especially his Roman Catholic Church, to know that he married Wambui, the second wife, through customary Kikuyu marriage.

It is wrong for a polygamous man to pretend he is monogamous. This is both an abuse and degradation of African nobility. Thank God that we have the most conspicuous man armed with marital nobility. This is President Jacob Zuma of South Africa who displays his wives openly and proudly to the embarrassment of pretenders like Mwai Kibaki, the retired President of Kenya.

Ignoring Culture Undermines Development

By David G Maillu

Dissertation-clutching David G Maillu argues that ignoring African culture retards 'development' in all its possible manifestations.I am afraid we are on course for ignoring our cultural library and threatening our our cultural development. Instead of going forwards we are going backwards. That library holds an incredible collection of millenniums of socially and scientifically tested and successful living paradigms.

For instance, let us borrow a leaf from what happens in the Maasai community. If you steal a cow and you are caught, you earn the punishment of paying seven cows for the crime. The same goes when you steal a goat, sheep or whatever. Of course, paying seven cows is not that cheap. So, the victim cries to his family to help him raise the fine. The family responds with the assistance but on strict a condition that he should never, never repeat that mistake again. If he repeats the mistake he earns being disowned and chased away from the location or, in some cases, he gets disposed of.

In the culture we have imported religiously, you stand, as it were; that you only belong to the state. When you steal a goat you are arrested charged and imprisoned. But if you are smart, virtually you can buy justice through corruption. These days you can easily make profession out of stealing and getting away with it. The equation of your family doesn’t come in and its contribution y to national security safeguarding doesn’t come.

That explains why traditionally your family has the duty of exercising control over your social behaviour. If your family cannot contain you, it cries to your clan to help it contain you. Within that perimeter, your family would interfere when, as a married man, you resort to beating up your wife. Yes, she is your wife, but she’s your family’s wife too. You are because the family is and the family is because you are.

Within that framework, your sex is not yours exclusively. You are bound to earn your family’s punishment if you attempt to misuse or monopolize your sex. You should bear yourself with the realization that your sex is an asset to the family. The family is also capable of moving to help you solve your sexual problem.

It is a commonplace in traditional family that, for example, if the family has a married son who is mentally weak and there is fear in the family that he will end up fathering weaklings and subsequently weaken the family’s strength for its survival, the family takes a secret move to break the chain of fathering weakling. The family identifies an outside strong man and arranges for the wife to get a “seed” from him. The question of infidelity is overruled by survival necessities. This is religiously unquestionable. The outcome would benefit the family and, indirectly, benefit the survival the nuclear family. This is because a strong person within the family is good for the progress of the family. This arrangement is also applicable, going by the judgment of the family, if the husband is unable to father children with his wife.

The culture and religion we have proudly imported says that the sex of the couple belong exclusively to each other. Any deviation from that, whether for survival or for whatever reason, is a sin. It is also punishable by law. You are judged by the thermometer of your inclusive family. Your nuclear family is an engine put in place to run the collective welfare of the extended family on behalf of yourself, your extended family and community.

In other words your family is the watchdog of your nation. It is obvious what responsible role a solid family plays to the contribution of national security. This explains why in traditional settings crimes and jails do not exist. Now, what happens when you break away from the family hold in order to uphold the western concept of nuclear family where you pay tax only to the gods of individualism?

In spite of the many university graduates we are producing, in spite of the big multitudes of church worshippers flocking into churches and the big churches and mosques we are building, I am afraid, unless our social effort is founded on our cultural roots; the state is fighting a war that it will never win. Unfortunately, we are engaged in creating a culture of inhumanity and criminality in the name of civilization that, indeed, should be referred to as moral syphilisation.

The Case of English versus African Languages

By David G Maillu

We use language, any language, to communicate with others.I was in England, the motherland of the English language. Accompanied by an African friend, I had gone to pay a visit to an editor working for my British publisher, Macmillan. For a moment we discussed the problems of Africans writing in foreign languages over a cup of tea served by the editor’s wife. The editor did most of the listening as I did most of the talking, stressing on frustrations of Africans communicating in English, which is a foreign language.

When the editor thought I had said everything he wanted to hear, he cut me short by addressing both of us Africans, saying bluntly, “You people have given us a cultural technical knockout.”

“Why?” I asked and he replied, “To be frank with you, we’ve begun to I fear Africans awfully. If I now want to tell my wife a secret I will be forced to call her privately aside and tell her to make sure you’ll not hear it. Since you came I have caught you severally switching from English to your African language and talking exclusively while I watch and understand nothing. You’ve gone through the same educational curriculum as my wife and I have. Metaphorically speaking, you Africans know everything about us while we remain blind about your world and languages. Who is now superior to whom?”

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I am reacting to Professor Egara Kabaji’s article on Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s claim that the imposition of colonial master’s language on us colonized our minds. Ngugi has a point; but that point is insignificant.

To start with, Ngugi has earned his fortune and has been rocketed into to his present status through the use of the colonizer’s language. He has hardly earned much from his Kikuyu language as beautiful as it may be. ANgugi speaking English and Kikuyu is superior to a Ngugi speaking only Kikuyu. And in the international market English fetches extraordinary price compared to Kikuyu. Please, at one stage we should stop romanticizing our traditional values; a gecko can’t be a crocodile because they look alike.

Erosion of cultures by David G MailluFortunes can be hidden among rocks of misfortunes. It is colonialism that shook the foundation and imagination of the African into action to be what we are today. Everything comes at a cost; truly, we have bought the present cultural change with the currency of loosing some important cultural foundations. This is best expressed by the proverb that says he who hides his genitals does not get a child.

English language as a colonial tool shouldn’t be seen outside the cultural context of the cultural evolution of humanity. In this part of the world English is the language we use in addressing social issues, prospecting for business, international communication, interpreting foreign values and synthesizing them with our values. It is the language that tells us who we are today in the world. It is the most important commercial tool we have today. For millenniums those mother tongues have always been there and they never took us anywhere far. We have always been black and that blackness has had no material value. It is English language that has brought the magic. English has brought a cultural revolution; cultures are no static but changing. We needed a crisis in order to start moving. That crisis was being colonized and given another more language.

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English doesn’t belong any more to English people. It belong to us. It is our language and copyright. The British lost it with its cultural values to their enemies forever. If there is any lethal weapon the British gave to its enemies, that weapon is the English language, which is mightier than the atomic bomb. It can be used to undermine and destroy the British too.

But the iron is, on the other hand, if there is any invaluable contribution the British did to the human race, it is English language. Without English today the world would be a different place. Was the British colonialism, therefore, a design by fate to benefit the world? Can you imagine what Kenya would be if the British didn’t colonize it? By being colonized, did we lose more than we gained; or did we gain more than we lost? Indirectly, your enemy is the best motivator of your achievements. We love more when our love is threatened. He who doesn’t know pain doesn’t know happiness, and food is tastier to you when you are hungry.

I didn’t answer him because the answer was obvious. However, this is what has become of the once-upon-a-time slave to the once-upon-a-time master. The slave is now the master because he has mastered the ways of the master. The master has no hiding place.

Every blow given responds with equal impact, says a scientific expression. It is not any more a debatable matter that the colonized is now engaged in a systematic process of colonizing his former colonizer. The colonized has snatched the colonizers idiom, language and culture which, the colonized will use to synthesize his cultural values and, in given time, those values collectively will be greater than those of the colonizer. That is, down the road, the colonizer will eventually emerge as the loser and the colonized as the winner.

The parable of the colonizer’s loss is held by the adoption of his languages which will add another feather to the hat of the colonized. It is so because Nature is a good balance of compensation.

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The union of Europe today in having a common currency and parliament is the birth of the pains of the European Second World War. Once upon-a-time European criminals were sentenced by being thrown out of Europe and exported to America and Australia. America today is superior to European countries. While the chased learns more how to run faster, the chaser learns how soon he can get tired from chasing.

As we talk today, the most ambitious continent in seeking knowledge is Africa. Every single country in Africa has many learners in all Whiteman’s countries. They study and absorb everything good worth absorbing, at a time when citizens of the Whiteman’s world are lying on their laurels. The Blackman is multiplying his intellectual capacity by stealing and emptying for himself Whiteman’s secrets of success. It is a plus for the Blackman but a minus for the complacent Whiteman.

The eventual return of all the learners to Africa from every corner of the world bearing the harvest of all the secrets of the world obviously will, in given time, revolutionize the Blackman’s world and make it superior to the Whiteman’s. The victim uses the heat of the enemy to weld and shape his own weapons. This is a chapter of a lesson for writers.

The African and witchcraft

By David G Maillu

'Fellowship' by David G MailluWhen we say that there is no scientific explanation in witchcraft, what scientific barometer does the teacher use to make that claim? What is science? What are the dimensions of science? Which science? I put it to the teacher that a lot of what we call witchcraft is centrally scientific.

African scholars have failed us in addressing the witchcraft subject and taken refuge in the Whiteman’s cheap conclusion regarding the validity of witchcraft. I am talking about a subject I have taken interest in for many years. Not in order to be a witch but a researcher. I have my findings in a forthcoming book titled, Revelation of Traditional Witchcraft, focusing on the Akamba community.

In order to throw some light into my argument, let me present one of my documented examples obtained from members of my family. I will protect their identities by giving them different names. The case took place in the later time of 1950s, involving an old woman, Kalewa and a grandson boy, Musau. Kalewa was a traditionalist who had never gone to school. She could give long lectures about witchcraft. But the quest matter of her lecture is not the subject matter here.

The case took place when I was schooling in the old colonial Intermediate School. The family of Kalewa had one most feared bull. The bull had terrorized the village as it could kill anyone. The bull was called Masimba. Masimba particularly mocked women who it gave nightmares. The family lived with fears that one day Masimba bull would kill someone.

One day the family decided to get rid of the bull by selling it to butchers. Kalewa loved the bull in spite of its aggression. However, when Kalewa heard the decision on the fate of the bull, she didn’t buy the decision. The family turned against her demanding, “Will you afford to compensate anyone killed by the bull?” Her answer was quick, “I will not afford.” However, she requested that she should be given a few days to think about the matter. The family granted her the request.

Musau was her favourite grandson with whom she had shared many good things and family secrets. On the second day she called Musau privately and said, “I don’t want to have Masimba sold. Do me a favour. When in the evening the cows have been brought home, keep an eye on family members. When you will see nobody around the home, come running and tell me.” Musau didn’t ask why.

It took nearly a week before Musau caught that moment. When he rushed the report to his grandmother, she told him, “Give me a moment.” She went into a private place for a while then returned to him holding her genital covering, ithalu. It was a cloth belt with a six-inch square covering in the middle. It was traditionally worn by women. Kalewa hadn’t weaned to modernity to start wearing pants. It was common knowledge that women hardly washed the ithalu. They would wear it unwashed until it was worn out then throw it away for a new one. Kalewa must have been wearing hers for years.

Kalewa approached Musau by handing the ithalu over to him and instructing, “Now that Masimba is in the shed, take this thing with you and go until you get very close to him. You know he can’t attack you because he is locked in. When he gets charged coming to you, let him come closest to you, then hit him with on the head with this thing. That’s all. After doing that bring it back to me.” Musau remembered that his nose could smell the item from the distance as he carried it.

That was what Musau did when Masimba charged threatening to destroy Musau. After hitting the bull Musau noticed something instantly. The bull backed from him and appeared horrified. However, after finishing his business he returned the item to the grandmother who said readily, “Masimba is now castrated.” When Musau asked how Masimba had been castrated, she answered, “Masimba will start licking people when they come close to him. Please, never tell anyone what we have done.”

Musau didn’t know what that meant until the next day. Apparently, Masimba had radically changed and become as tame as a cat. In days to come children would walk under Masimba belly and women would touch Masimba then Masimba would appreciate their touch. Masimba became the most tame bull the village had never known. The family stopped the sale. What happened to Masimba to have forced him that radical change?

One does not need rocket knowledge to conclude that Kalewa’s genital covering carried extraordinarily charges capable of neutralizing and immobilizing Masimba’s aggression permanently. If you want to call it witchcraft, do so. The explanation is that the human body is capable of producing extraordinary electromagnetic charges. Those charges are particularly concentrated in certain zones of the body. The leading zones are the genitals, the breast, fingers, lips and so on. This should be taken with the understanding that particular people have more charges than others.

Women making pots in many parts of the country have had experiences that when a particular village woman (witch) passed by and looked at the newly made pots, the pots developed cracks and got destroyed. That is why when they sport her coming, they protect the pots by covering them and surely the pots remain intact. The stories about people with “evil” eye are commonplace in nearly every community. These are people (witches) who, for example, when they look at a handsome child and throw a comment on the child, the skin of the child starts developing rashes. Children are more sensitive to that. In my mother tongue that effect is called kita and the worst of it is kithemengu which is the same name among Kikuyus.

The electromagnetic charges that human beings produce are the ones which the super sense nose of the dog uses to trace people. The dog is charged by being given an item belonging to the victim. Thereafter the dog smells out the movements of the person up to his destination. If Kalewa’s cloth was dropped somewhere a dog would retrace the owner.

Back to Ken Ouko’s case with the old Luo woman. The curse may be potentially dangerous. Africa is flooded with stories about the effects of curses. The so-called curses are delivered in electromagnetic charges produced by molested person when the molestation reaches the highest degree.

Even the snake-like fish called, eel, hunts by touching its prey and producing electric charges above 400 watts which are fatal to prey. The reason that witches make use human bones, hair, genital parts and the others have a big scientific story to tell. Ken Ouko should know that the human hair, bones, sweat, saliva, breath and so on, have incredible genetic properties which, for millenniums African witches have exploited in manufacturing lethal dosages. It’s sheer biochemistry science.

Our scholars are barely intellectual-plants grown in pots of the western scholarship. Thank God, if African scholars will not research of this incredibly rich field which, by unknown and strange reasons, are attributes of the Blackrace, we, the stupid Africans, can rest assured that the Whiteman scholar will eventually discover the treasure and do thorough research for us. He will consequently colour the results to suit his purpose.

(Bwana Ngunjiri, this is the part you asked for. Make sure the forthcoming book on witchcraft is nicely mentioned}

The quest regarding whether it is true that there is witchcraft power capable of punishing a couple engaged in adultery by getting stuck into each other, must be viewed within the bigger context of the dimensions of witchcraft. There is a shopkeeper in my countryside, at Muumandumarket who has used witchcraft to protected his shop from shop robbers.

On two occasions his shop has been broken into. However, when the robbers got the loot, instead of taking it away, they took it to the shopkeeper’s home. In Ukambani there are uncountable witnessed stories of protected homes that, when the thief goes to steal, he looses his senses and stays there until the owner finds him.

When the famous theologian Professor John Mbiti was a boy he witnessed an astounding event in his village when the countryside was invaded by locusts that wiped out every green thing, only for the villagers to be told that one farm belonging to a person connected with witchcraft, had not been touched at all by the locusts. He went to witness it and he was astonished to see it with his own eyes that, indeed, the locusts had not touched anything in that farm. He has published the report in his book African Religions and Philosophy. What kind of power, magic, medicine or witchcraft was that which kept locusts from devouring the man’s farm?

When I was a boy I fell ill and a traditional healer man was invited to treat me. In order to prepare his herb the healer asked for a goat to be slaughtered. My father pointed at the goat and when he moved to slaughter it, the healer stopped him then he asked him, “What’s the name of the goat?” My father replied, “It’s called Kelu.” Then, from a distance the healer greeted the goat, “WakyaKelu?” The goat jumped into the air, fell down and kicked its way to total death. What powers did that healer have with which to kill a goat by merely greeting it?

Witnessed stories of adulterous couples getting stuck during their act are many in Ukambani and there are known specialists who are consulted to bring that act into effect. Anyone interested in them should pay visit to the lower part of Kitui, Nguni, to meet the specialists. It is a practice which has remained active mainly in parts of Ukambani which have not been heavily affected by westernization. However, he should be aware of quacks who capitalize on the hunger of men who want to protect their wives from infidelity.

The protection is delivered in two forms. The first one involves some material used to kill the erection of any man who attempts to have sex with the treated woman. This treatment is more common. It is also used to neutralize the power of highly sexed women. The getting-stuck-in-sex act has few specialists, but is it real.

These cases have no scientific explanations, but that does not disqualify their validity. When it comes to matters of metaphysics, science, as we have received it from western scholarship, becomes a primitive tool of explaining all dimensions of life. This is because it is founded on empirical approach. Empiricism says if a thing cannot be detected in the workshop of science, then it does not exist. Science cannot explain why, long before the Blackman ever saw a Whiteman, in nearly every part of Africa there was a prophet who foretold the coming of the Whiteman, the features of the Whiteman and what he will do to the natives.

Is Lack of Work Ethic in Mainstream Media to Blame?

By David G Maillu

“The media has failed Kenya and only God will save us?” That was the headline of Prof Kabaji’s article fighting with the media. But where has that God been until things became that bad? I don’t know whether he was responsible for authoring the heading or it was a creation of the editor (as they usually do) in order to attract public’s attention to read the article.

But honestly speaking is that statement really true and responsible? It falls within destructive criticism, or using a gun to kill a fly. Armed with the intellectual AK47 killing machine Kabaji says, “There’s a general but fallacious view that Kenya has a very strong and responsible media and that the lullabies we sing about the strength of our media have induced complacence of unimaginable proportions as the lords of mediocrity dance with joy and ecstasy.”

Gathered from his past published statements, Kabaji has fallen in love with the word “mediocrity” with which he views the socio-political and economic development of this country. It’s so easy to say, as President Nyerere used to curse, Kenya is a man-eat-man society.” This sweeping and crude criticism is the language commonly employed by politicians who, drugged by destructive power, would only see the bad side of their competitor and would never ever give any credit to anyone else outside himself.

In order for me to show that Kabaji is charged like a bull shown red cloth, it is only fair to address the development of the media house within the context of the development of this country. Maybe Kabaji was still a greenhorn during President Kenyatta’s time when Attorney Njonjo underlined the media’s playing ground by ordering, “It is treasonable for anyone to mention or talk about the death of the President (Kenyatta).” The only radio station was the Voice of Kenya, and media houses knew too well it was in their peril to publish any unacceptable thing to the government. Critical censorship was the soup with which information filtered to the public. In that time, what media house would have dared even publish a cartoon of Kenyatta leave alone one on Njonjo? President Moi’s time? No way, even though a hybrid cartoon of Moi could be published. For example, today the media is characterized by Kenyatta’s cartoons depicting his big lips and you have to watch the YZ animated cartoon programme as a measure of how far Kenya has gone in growing a strong media.

The robust (less responsible) media expression we are enjoying today kicked off mainly with the coming to President Kibaki who bought their way to state house by promising the public “zero tolerance in corruption” and “freedom of the press.” A substantial fraction of the press freedom (which Kabaji doesn’t appear to give credit to) greeted the nation but the “zero tolerance in corruption” remained Kibaki’s political ghost. Unfortunately, soon Kibaki realized that he had created a monster in the freedom of the press, then he went in vain after its neck. After Uhuru picked up the political relay, the press monster has been giving him nightmares and he’s dreaming of killing it or critically crippling it one day.

Professor EgaraKabaji, is that true? From the participatory point of view, the standard under which the media is operating now, it can accommodate Kabaji’s challenges of lack of professionalism, where he articulates important points. I would add to his cry by adding the fact that the media boys and girls appear to wallow in mediocrity. However, let’s not forget that in matters of strong and responsible media, Kenya has very short history against the long history of the process of the death of gagged media. I can categorically say that, although we are not fully there, ultimate strong and responsible media is in sight. Germans have a saying that that which is better can be made even better. It is from here where the media is today that it should plan how to reach professionalism. Notwithstanding, that professionalism is brought into force by collective efforts, which should include government’s acceptance to swallow its pride on behalf of the civilized society it upholds. Governments survive on exploitation of the mass and misuse of powers and are usually killers of any democratic space threatening its sitting on the laurels.

The Kenyan media is symbolic of the structure of the Kenyan government and its capital city where by-laws are usually ignored in urban development and dangerous and illegal buildings are mushrooming from every corner of the city without consideration of security and health hazards. Quick, quick money is the cardinal law.

The media is not exempted from that culturally home-grown corruption. Politicians, business people, tycoon, goons and even religious leaders are corrupting media houses to be given space and plastic surgeries. Some of the top business people smiling before camera’s are the worst thieves the nation has. If you write a professional article exposing one drug trafficker or “mafuta-mingi” persons, guys in the media house capitalize on that by informing the victim who, in exchange, kills information by paying it off the press and, if necessary, write and publish one that cleans the victim. You have to be someone with big money to be published. There are hundreds of journalists who are almost professional hit-men for writing anything damaging about anybody. Journalistic prostitution is rampant in the media houses.

The Kenyan media houses have forsaken nationalistic reporting for urban reporting where most of what you read is sheer recycles information. For them its is too expensive to engage in serious research works in all walks of the nation. It is easy to walk down the street or appear at the political rally somewhere, take pictures and write just a story for the newspaper. Or create scandal by ridiculing a politician against another one in order to attract articles. Politicians who were appearing in the papers ages are still dominating the features although they say nothing worth publishing other than promoting political bankruptcy of ideas.

Worst of all, of course, media houses are owned by individual persons who, of course, have vested interests in what is being published. A common place interest is in using the media as a tool for fighting and promotion of ethnic political matters and, consequently, using the media to fight against their enemies and promote their tribe. FM radio stations have excelled in fueling hatred speeches and tribalism.

Publishing for the benefit of national consumption takes a secondary role. Hence, the published information is miserably void of ideology and nationalism, cultural and intellectual development. It is not foresighted information but for today; the future should take itself. The front-headline can almost tell you what the newspaper is principally carrying inside. The newspapers are not interested creating paths towards new ideas, new challenges, inventions, science, philosophy, art, name it and it is not there.

It is not because of lack of trained journalists but the lack of ethics in the media houses. That lack of ethics cuts across the society and Professor Kabaji can tell another story regarding lack of professionalism in some of his colleague in the teaching fraternity and in high institutions of learning. It’s a national problem rather than sectional. The government has “eaten” the money for school books; national hospitals are poorly run and some corpses are decomposing in mortuaries because the electricity is not there…

The government lacks operational ethics miserably; the media house is part and parcel of the culture of the nation.