Isiolo family cries foul after their 11-year-old son was forcibly circumcised for breaking a taboo


Isiolo family cries foul after their 11-year-old son was forcibly circumcised for breaking a taboo
A family in Isiolo now wants justice for their son after he was circumcised by force after straying into a house. Photo: Moses Mwenda

A family in Kiwanjani area of Isiolo has cried foul over the forced traditional circumcision of their 11-year-old son without parental consent.

According to his Mother Julieta Kangai, John Munene who is a grade three pupil at Ntulili Primary School allegedly entered a room where another boy had been secluded after undergoing the traditional rite of passage.

He was hurriedly circumcised the following day despite appeals by his parents to be granted more time to prepare for the same.

The act was done in line with Ameru customs and traditions which dictate that any uncircumcised boy who enters a room where other boys who were recently circumcised are secluded must also undergo the cut either the same day or the following day.

The distraught mother said that her appeal to be granted at least three more days so that she could prepare for her son’s inevitable cut fell on deaf ears, as she was forced to immediately borrow some money to pay the circumciser’s fee and then look for a different room where her son would be secluded since he could no longer share a room with his parents.

Stephen Lukaria, Munene’s father noted that Saturday’s abrupt turn of events had placed his family in a very awkward situation, since it happened at a time when he was already struggling even to put food on the table.

Lukaria said that the cost of carrying out the process of Ameru traditional circumcision was overwhelming, and called for stern disciplinary action on the people who allegedly lured his son to enter the prohibited room and forcefully circumcised him.

He said that his son was still a child and would  have waited for his turn once he completed his  primary school education.

The two parents are now worried that their son’s education could also be interrupted once schools reopen, as there is a strict instruction to parents not to circumcise their boys before they complete primary school education.

The boy’s sponsor, an organization known as ‘Compassion’ also has strict instructions that the boys need to first do their KCPE examinations before they undergo the cut.

They appealed to Munene’s teachers and the sponsoring organization to spare them their wrath on the family since the events were not their wish and were unplanned for.

Lintari Ntoitiama, a 97-year-old area elder has warned young boys against daring their own customs and traditions, adding that they will only end up punishing their parents due to un-budgeted costs that must be met.

He also called upon those manning houses where circumcised boys are placed in seclusion to consider locking the houses using a padlock whenever they are not around, adding that such a move will efficiently prevent the young uncircumcised boys from entering.

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Story By Moses Mwenda
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