Coronavirus: Bukusu, Tachoni elders mull postponing circumcision rites for the first time in 36 years


Coronavirus: Bukusu, Tachoni elders mull postponing circumcision rites for the first time in 36 years

To circumcise or not to circumcise young men is now a raging debate among the Tachoni and Bukusu communities of Western Kenya.

The biennial circumcision ceremony which is to start in August may have to be pushed to 2022 for fear that it could heighten the spread of COVID-19.

If postponed, this will be the first time in 36 years that the traditional rite has been postponed.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 globally is enormous.

Countries and communities have had to adjust calendars of events including International events canceled.

Approach in conducting certain traditions has also been altered.

In the Western part of Kenya, the pandemic has thrown traditional rites of passage practiced by certain communities into limbo.

“Tuko tayari kutahirisha watoto lakini huu ugonjwa unaitwa corona umetuharibia mipango yetu,( we are ready for the rites, but Coronavirus has changed everything),”  Wangila Wanyonyi, a traditional healer told Citizen TV

Wangila Wanyonyi says the calendar has already been affected and preparations for the event that takes place every August of each even year has been hampered.

Bukusu and Tachoni people of the larger Luhya community circumcise their young boys as a way of ushering them into adulthood, a practice they have firmly held on to for ages.

Doctors are advicing the communities to embrace modern ways of initiation amidst the ravaging viral disease.

However, the community says they would rather postpone this year’s event than lose a practice that they value and cherish.

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Story By Enock Sikolia
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