Kikuyu goat ritual held for Mukuru founder before Lang'ata burial - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Kikuyu goat ritual held for Mukuru founder before Lang'ata burial


Mzee Njenga Kariuki, the founder of Mukuru kwa Njenga, was Wednesday laid to rest at the Lang’ata Cemetery.

Mzee Njenga died on February 8 aged 89. He had founded Mukuru kwa Njenga, where he lived for 65 years.

Yesterday, a ceremony that began with traditional rites before a requiem mass was held to celebrate his life.

Mzee Njenga was given a Mtongoria Njamba’s (leader's) sendoff, buried adorned in traditional Gikuyu tarboosh hat.

Njenga’s final journey started at Chiromo Mortuary where two of his sons put honey on his lips to "make him smile", before putting his remains in a blue casket.

“This is a ritual performed to ask the dead for forgiveness. My father died before making peace with the two who had wronged him,” another son explained.

Earlier, the sons brought a castrated goat and sheep to their Mukuru kwa Njenga home. As part of the rite, the skins of the animals were pierced to allow blood to flow to the ground. Their backs were then split open before they were slaughtered.

“The spinal cord and intestines are then removed from the back as part of the rite. After that, we prayed facing Mt Kenya,” the son explained.

The two animals were sacrificed to appease the deceased. All the meat was then roasted and consumed at Njenga's home. Bones burnt.

“To mark the end of the rite, traditional brew, muratina, was consumed. This ritual is performed by men only,” the son said.

From Chiromo, the body was ferried to Lang'ata Cemetary. Residents, politicians, friends and relatives attended the burial. Mzee Njenga was remembered as a father figure and a great leader.

“Mzee was a great leader. He led the community selflessly and devoted his time to his people. Growing up, he was such a great father and was also a father figure to many in the community,” said Alphonse Njenga, his lastborn son.

He added: "All the leaders made it a norm to pass through the hands of Mzee, as he was considered a visionary man."

Politicians concurred, affirming that Njenga only had eyes for good leaders, not those pursuing their selfish agenda.

“Mr Njenga was a father and a friend to me. He loved his people and always sought ways to protect Mukuru kwa Njenga when cartels wanted to take over. I often took him for medical checkups when his health began to fail him,” former Embakasi South MP Irshadal Sumra said.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko also eulogised him on the phone from his hospital bed. The call was amplified for mourners at the graveside.

“I wish to condole with the Njengas. I also request your prayers, people of Mukuru Kwa Njenga,” Sonko said.

Kware MCA Rose Kulla praised the late Njenga for his generosity. She said that growing up, she would go visit him whenever she was hungry and there she would not miss something to eat.

Njenga was also remembered for helping the needy in the slum, especially students who needed school fees to continue their education.

Mzee Njenga had been nursing chest complications since 2011. He is survived by 13 children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom were present to pay their last respects before his body was interred.

"Now that the time has come for you to rest, may you go in peace knowing that you have left behind one strong united family," they said. 


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