Written by Nandemu Barasa and Erick Lumbasi
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John Katii traditionally known as ‘Omukambisi’ performing Khuswala kumuse the third day after the burial of the late Wanyonyi Manguliech at his home in Miruri. [PHOTOS | Nandemu Barasa | West Fm]
Hundreds of relatives and friends turned out at the late Mzee Wanyonyi Manguliechi`s home to attend a traditional preaching ceremony that is normally conducted on the third day after his burial.
This is called the day of Lufu which will start by shaving family members beside the grave to signify a new beginning and Khuswala kumuse in which a traditional preacher will preach and advise the family accordingly. He will also urge clan members to strive to give birth to the deceased.
The disease which killed the late is also revealed at this point as life history is read a fresh.
The preaching is done in a very sacred way and nobody is allowed to stand or cause any unnecessary movements and disturbances.
Khuswala kumuse is done for those people who have initiated a grandson borne of his son but not daughter and not all clans among Bamasaba do it. Among Bamwalie the traditional preacher sits while preaching and in others it is done while walking.
A clear path for the preacher is always created between the bereaved and mourners during preaching and after the session the preacher will decide on what he should be paid.
The ceremony that was conducted at the late’s homestead during the wee hours of the morning was led by John Katii who is traditionally known as ‘Omukambisi’ who called upon the Luhyia community to embrace peace and unity that was forever fostered by the late sage.
Katii reiterated that the late was very paramount in the efforts of having political leaders from the region work together towards achieving the leadership of the country.
The property of the late that he normally used during his preaching. They were placed on the grave to symbolize that they too were mourning him.
This was evident during his burial when political heavy weights; New Ford Kenya Eugene Wamalwa and Ford Kenya’s party leader Moses Wetangula embraced in front of mourners and promised to join efforts ahead of the general election polls in order to be in a better position to clinch the top seat in the country.
Katii further called upon the Bukusu community to stop engaging in vices disliked by Manguliechi as a way of showing respect by heeding to his advice saying it will lead the community to the right direction and escape the wrath of curses that may befall upon their descendants.
However, he urged members of Manguliechi’s sub tribe of ‘bameme’ to bond in peace despite the loss of their late leader in order to inspire the future generation and also act as a role model to the rest of the Luhyia community at large.
The family members, relatives and friends of the late preacher at the his graveside.
Mean while a battle to succeed the late Manguliechi among the Bukusu spiritual leaders has ensued with several of them showing interest of being the best suited for the position.
Among those who might fill the position include Natembeya Khaoya from Kimilili, Yonah Namuli from Bungoma West, Mumali from Tongaren, and John Kati from Webuye Makhese.
Although the late Manguliechi had not been appointed officially as the leader of the Bukusu spiritual preachers, his experience and being well versed in culture and the preaching itself put him at the top automatically.
All the other traditional preachers respected him and on many occasions visited him for counseling and direction.
Bukusu community will be waiting eagerly to see how the late Manguliechi`s succession will be.
After Khuswala kumuse they move to Lufu session with the new chairmen where they will discuss on the deceased’s wealth from land, wives children, un- paid dowry and household equipment.
They also discuss the deceased’s debts and creditors.
The session also nominates a clan member who will be given the duty of looking after the home of the deceased person and that does not mean that he will inherit the wives.
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