Mambo vipi,

Are there any parables outside the gospels?

Have you ever heard of any African parable?

Why was the first baby hair shaved in African society?

Various cultures have a different approach towards the process of shaving the first hair of a newborn. In most, however, it is deemed a right of passage approached with high regard.

In some cases, it is handled as a family affair with all the members taking part in the snipping process, while in others, it is a religious celebration following strict rules.

Among Muslim communities, babies get their first haircut seven days after birth. This is to cleanse the baby and to show that it is ready to start life as a Muslim. The shaved hair is weighed, and the value is donated to charity, and if the hair weighs nothing worth monetary value, the parents still have to give to charity.

Among the Luhya, the babies were shaved for the first time by their aunties and grandmothers in events that doubled up as naming ceremonies. Women were believed to have a stronger connection with their ancestors compared to men.

Do you practice the baby shaving ceremony as a rite of passage in your culture? How is it done?

Omieri, the legendary python 🐍

In the quiet village of Pap onditi, Nyakach sub-county, Kisumu county lived a mysterious man by the name Omieri.

Shortly after he died, an enormous python (5.3 m in length and 74kg in weight) was sighted brooding over her eggs next to his Dala (homestead). The villagers started speculating that it was the man who had reincarnated as a python, and therefore, named it after him.

The Luo community from the Nyakach area traditionally valued Ng'ielo (pythons) as bearers of good luck. The mere appearance of a python signified that the doors of heaven would open and bring heavy downpour and consequently bountiful harvest.

So the appearance of Omieri was met with open arms and a lot of happiness. The villages took turns feeding it. They would strategically put chicken, goat and calves on its path.

The villagers believed that if Omieri ate your offering, then good luck was bound to come your way.

The news of Omieri spread like wildfire. Within a short time, visitors were trolling in from all corners of the world. Suddenly, the small village of Pap onditi had become a tourist hub.

On the 27th February 1987, local tour guides set a bush on fire in a bid to make Omieri come out for viewing by the tourists. However, the fire got out of control, and Omieri suffered serious burns. Despite the efforts by KWS(Kenya Wildlife Service) and NMK(National Museums of Kenya) to save it, Omieri eventually died in July 1987.

Omieri's death left Nyakach in a very sombre mood. The villagers held a three-day mourning ceremony for it.

Some villagers blamed the death of Omieri on its three months stay in Nairobi. According to them, the change in weather and the snake not being able to drink from River Asawo and Oduro stream (believed to have healing powers) contributed significantly to the death.

The body of Omieri is being preserved at Nairobi National Museum.

What is your community's perception of snakes?

Special Mentions

📌 How did Kenya become free without Kenyans getting freedom? - Until Everyone Is Free.

📌 How Traditional Kamba Men Shared Wives - Nash Narratives

📌 Nostalgia galore! - Kenyan classic ads

PROVERB 🧠

Étó í dáhá ìkpòñ ífòró ákài(Efik)
Translation: A single tree does not make a forest.
Meaning: The proverb teaches us that we can achieve so much when we come together and work as a community rather than doing things alone.

TONGUE TWISTER 👅

Ukochukwu Okechukwu kwulu okwu chukwu n'ulo chukwu di na Arochukwu.(Igbo)

DID YOU KNOW 🤯

The world’s biggest frog, The goliath frog, is found in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. The endangered animal can be 34 cm long and weigh over 3.2 kgs.
 
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Waaatu!! Today we are keeping it Kenyan. Enjoy this mix of songs by the legend, Juakali.

Special thanks to Stephanie for editing this issue.

Thanks for reading. Remember, it is time to tell our own stories.- Mike