Confusion reigns as circumcisers go ahead with ‘Khubhita Chingembe’

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Circumcisers at the cleansing ceremony

Confusion seems to be reigning as circumcisers prepare for the circumcision season starting next month, going against advice from Bukusu and Tachoni councils of elders, who said the season will be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The circumcisers have began the process of cleansing their knives, in what is termed as “Khubhita Chingembe.” The exercise brings together circumcisers, who slaughter a white male goat and a red chicken is roasted to appease the gods ahead of the circumcision season. After the goat is slaughtered, an elder circumciser carefully examines its intestines, who then reveals if it’s advisable to go on with the ceremony. If upon examining he sees something unpleasant, they sacrifice another animal to appease the unhappy gods.

Addressing the press at Makhele Village, Sitikho ward in Webuye West sub county, Mzee Simiyu Kwoma differed with the councils of elders saying the Coronavirus won’t affect them as they had appeased the gods and asked for their protection. He said only war can stop such an important exercise and that historically, it has happened only twice.

Kwoma also complained that their team of circumcisers wasn’t involved in the decision making, adding that their input would’ve led to a balanced consensus. During the ritual ceremony new initiates were ordained and given the go ahead to start circumcising for the first time after successfully undergoing training, coupled with the fact that they’ve assisted other circumcisers in the craft for a period of not less that 10 years.

During this season circumcisers aren’t supposed to engage in any sexual relations for a period of three months, this is believed to prevent incidences of over bleeding on the circumcised boys. Mr Peter Ngukuru says for one to attain the level of being a full circumciser and work on his own, he must have been under the care of another elderly circumciser for a period of not less than ten years and need to have a male child as his first born. He needs to get the required skills and go through a lot of orientation and after that he is supposed to be registered.

Laisikwa se Wekesa who is a Tachoni elder has asked the Tachoni community not to engage in the ceremony but across Bungoma County at night children, especially the candidates of the said ceremony, are heard practising ready for next month’s exercise and some talking to the press have said they are ready.