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Uhuru to pay dowry to the Maasai in grand traditional ceremony

During the First World War, the late Mzee Kenyatta was advised to hide in Narok to avoid being recruited into the British army after his elder brother, Kung’u, was conscripted in 1914

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Members of Giliisho family led by their spokesman John Giliisho (left) prepare to receive the bride price from the first family. Credit: KNA

Preparations to receive the bride price for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s great grandmother the late Susana Musana are ongoing at Ngoswani village in Lemek area, Narok West Sub County where she hailed from.

Giliisho’s family is pulling all stops as they prepare for the great day when they are set to receive visitors from the First Family, who will be coming to make amend after their great grandfather failed to comply with tradition by paying the bride price in the early 18th century.

The family’s spokesperson, Chief John Giliisho, said they are well prepared with special foods that according to the Maasai culture must be given to distinguished guests.

“We have a special bull for the visitors according to our culture. The cow is black and white in colour and it is already cleansed by the elders. The meat will be prepared on olive tree leaves. The visitors will eat only some special parts of the cow,” he said.

The olive tree, known as Oloirien in Maa or Mutamaiyu in Kikuyu, is preferred for the ceremony because the Maa community believe it is a divine tree. The community uses its charcoal to clean calabashes and sticks for smoking milk gourds. Its burning branches are used to flavour soup giving it a fragrant smell.

Though the specific day to deliver the bride price is yet to be set, the chief confirmed that special songs are being composed to entertain their guests, adding everyone will be required to dress in Maasai attire to reflect the importance of the day.

Special wine

“Respected elders in our society will dress our visitors with special Maasai attire and, thereafter, lead them to sit on an exceptional stool where they will dialogue and reconcile over the past wrongs before the two families are blessed by the elders,” he said.

Chief Giliisho says special wine to bless the visitors will prepared. According to the Maasai culture, only wine prepared locally by elders is used during the ceremony.

“Everyone is welcome to come and witness the big occasion but not everyone will be allowed in the distinct room where the First Family will be hosted or to taste the food set aside for them,” he says.

READ: Tough life at Safaricom without Bob Collymore

The long journey that started early this year has seen President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family hold discreet talks with Giliisho’s family on how to pay the bride price his great grandfather should have taken care of.

Those in the front line in the negotiations are Uhuru’s cousins Ngengi Muigai and Captain (Rtd) Kung’u Muigai, who during a recent youth meeting in Narok town reiterated that preparations to pay the bride price were in top gear.

Captain Muigai said that in the late 1890s, Gikuyu warriors raided a manyatta in Narosoora area in Narok and took a girl and a herd of cows. The girl, identified only as Musana, was later taken to Gatundu and given to the family of Kung’u Magana.

Magana, their great grandfather later on married Musana and renamed her Wanjiru. The two had a child named Muigai, who was the father of Kung’u Muigai, Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and James Muigai.

Captain Muigai and Ngengi are sons of James Muigai, hence Uhuru’s first cousins all who have Musana (Wanjiru) as their great grandmother.

READ: Kenyan men are the most faithful in Africa, new report says

He explained that because President Uhuru was named after his great grandfather, Muigai, the responsibility is on him to pay his bride price.

“Kung’u, the son of Musana went ahead to marry his wife without paying his mother’s bride price. Mzee Kenyatta also went ahead to marry before paying his grandmother’s bride price, but now, President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta wants to correct the wrong meted on the Maasai community by paying the price,” says Capt Muigai.

Captain-Kungu-Muigai-884x1024 Uhuru to pay dowry to the Maasai in grand traditional ceremony

Captain Kung’u Muigai, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cousin addressing hundreds of youths in a Narok Hotel where he reiterated the families concern to pay their great grandmother’s bride price. Credit: KNA

Musana, according to Capt Muigai, is the Kenyatta’s family matriarch and her home was traced to Narosoora in Narok after Uhuru ascended to power in 2013. “Musana is the mother of our family, we respect her and that is why we have taken time to trace her origin,” he says.

During the First World War, the late Mzee Kenyatta was advised by Musana to hide in Narok to avoid being recruited into the British army after his elder brother, Kung’u, was conscripted in 1914 and was never seen again.

Mzee Kenyatta is said to have taken refuge in Narok for five years. When he returned to Gatundu, he spoke fluent Maasai and wore a beaded belt called ‘Inyatta’ in Gikuyu.

“Kenyatta stayed in Naroosura during the entire duration of the First World War. He even opened a shop in the area. This is where he learnt to speak fluent Maa language,” he said.

Mzee adopted the name Kenyatta when he went back to Gatundu because of the belt that he loved most. He had it from the time he got into politics until he became president.

One of the most important practices in Kenya and indeed in most of Africa is the custom of paying bride price to the family of a prospective wife. A couple in love cannot just take off, get married and establish a home. There are detailed steps and procedures that are to be followed before a couple can marry.

When a young man finds a girl that he fancies and he desires to marry, he has to declare his intentions to her family. In some Kenyan cultures such as the Maasai’s, this was done by the man planting a spear outside the home of the young girl.

Captain-Kungu-Muigai-884x1024 Uhuru to pay dowry to the Maasai in grand traditional ceremony

Members of Giliisho family in Ngoswani Village, Narok West Sub County cannot hide their joy as they prepare to receive bride price from the Kenyatta family. Credit: KNA

After this, the young man gathers a number of his friends for a casual visit to the family of the girl. During this visit, nothing serious is discussed but the man makes his intentions clear from the word go. Of course, you can never show up for any visit empty handed. One must carry gifts for the family to show his appreciation. This usually includes every day household items such groceries as well as money and some specific gifts for the parents and immediate family.

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Another visit is arranged where the young man comes along with his family members and elders from his clan. This is a crucial visit as this is when the actual bride price is discussed.

Reasonable down payment

The young couple is usually not allowed to attend the negotiations. If the two families agree, bride price is set. Usually, bride price is in form of cows and goats. This is then converted into money and the family is required to make a reasonable down payment.

At this point, if the parties agree, a wedding is granted and the young couple can either move in together or hold a wedding ceremony in a church or at the Attorney General’s chambers.

In most Kenyan cultures, bride price is not paid at once. The man is expected to show appreciation to the family of the bride for the rest of his life by supporting them financially even after clearing the stated bride price.

Many Kenyans have, however, been influenced by western culture and are dropping their cultural practices. Still, many cultures are holding onto their practices. The cultural practice of paying bride price in Kenya is expected to continue for a long time.

SEE: Why businesses started in Nakuru always prosper

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Nutrition

Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all

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Whether or not to drink alcohol, especially for “medicinal purposes,” requires careful balancing of these benefits and risks.

Alcohol intake in moderate amounts have been linked to health benefit but it gets addictive and highly toxic when we drink too much of it. Ethanol is the active ingredient in alcohol and it affects the body in many different ways.

It directly influences the stomach, brain, heart, gallbladder, and liver. It affects levels of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation. It also alters mood, concentration, and coordination. The more you drink and especially above the recommended limits, the greater the risk of developing serious problems.

Does your drinking pattern really matter? One of my clients asked me this question and I thought of sharing with you my answer. Having seven drinks on a Friday or Saturday night and then not drinking the rest of the week is not the equivalent of having one drink a day.

What you drink (beer or wine) is not as important as how you drink. The recommended weekly total may be the same, but the health implications are not. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to accumulation of fat in the liver which causes inflammation then eventually liver failure.

Your liver processes alcohol and it cannot cope with so much at a time. Drinking more alcohol than the liver can cope with can damage liver cells and produce toxic by-product chemicals. Moderate intake of alcohol means, having one drink a day for ladies and two drinks a day of men.

So how can alcohol affect your health?

1. Chronic alcohol abuse can impair brain function permanently however moderate intake may have benefits for brain health.

2. Alcohol abuse and depression are linked. People may start abusing alcohol due to depression or become depressed from abusing alcohol.

3. Evidence on alcohol and weight gain is mixed. Heavy drinking and beer are linked to weight gain while moderate drinking and wine are linked to reduce weight gain.

4. Moderate alcohol consumption is linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease but heavy drinking appears to increase the risk.

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Because each of us has unique personal and family histories, alcohol offers each person a different spectrum of benefits and risks. Whether or not to drink alcohol, especially for “medicinal purposes,” requires careful balancing of these benefits and risks.

If you are thin, physically active, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and have no family history of heart disease, drinking alcohol won’t add much to decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.If you already drink alcohol or plan to begin, keep it moderate—no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women.

So don’t feel pressured to drink alcohol. However, if you do drink alcohol and you’re healthy, there’s probably no need to stop as long as you drink responsibly and in moderation.

READ: 10 ways to manage high blood pressure without drugs

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Entertainment

Justice League fans treated to prescreening ahead of release

Over 200 movie enthusiasts watched the film that features five of the biggest super hero names of all time at Century Cinemax at Junction Mall two days before the November 17 premier

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Multichoice Corporate Affairs Manager Philip Wahome (R) with Big Ted and Amina Abdi Rabar.

As the world awaits the big screen debut of the long awaited new block buster film ‘Justice League’ set for worldwide release November 17, 2017, DStv subscribers in Kenya already got in in all the action!

DStv partners, subscribers and movie buffs had an exclusive super hero action experience during the pre-screening of “Justice League” that was held at Century Cinemax at Junction Mall two days before the official premier. Over 200 movie enthusiasts watched the film that features five of the biggest super hero names of all time.

Speaking during the movie premier, Philip Wahome, MultiChoice Kenya Corporate Communications Manager said: “The movie Justice League is one of the most anticipated block busters of the year and it is a great delight for DStv to be able to give our subscribers the first opportunity to watch the movie ahead of the worldwide release. DStv is proud to continue to bring you the latest content first in partnership with M-Net. Today’s pre-screening is part of our mission to deliver value to our customers by making great entertainment more accessible. We will continue to work to deliver the shows that people love into their handsthrough such screenings and also to their living rooms through our DStv platforms.”

READ: Understanding the Buzz around Black Friday

In the movie, Justice League, five of the world’s most watched and admired super heroes come together in an attempt to restore faith in humanity. Batman, Wonder Woman, Cybord, Aquaman and Flash come together in the movie to stand against a newly awakened threat of catastrophic proportions.

Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller star in the action adventure “Justice League” that has received numerous positive reviews from movie analysts and comic fans from which the super hero characters are derived.

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Business News

Jumia is on its way to become Africa’s Alibaba

Started in Lagos, Nigeria in 2012, Jumia, as of 2016, had 126 operations across 23 African countries, thus covering 90% of African GDP and three million customers

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Popular comedian, Teacher Wanjiku, prepares to unveil Jumia Black Friday 2017 festival on Sunday night.

Kenyans on Monday woke up to the news that Alibaba, the Chinese online shopping platform, sold stuff worth Ksh 2.6 trillion (US$25 billion)  during the annual Singles Day shopping festival on November 11 or 11/11.

According to a statement released on Sunday, the sales generated via Alipay were an increase of 39% from last year. Singles’ Day is touted as the biggest online shopping extravaganza worldwide, dwarfing international equivalents like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Acccording to online sources, the day, chosen for the collection of ones in its name, started out as a kind of “anti-Valentine’s Day” where China’s lonely hearts revel in their singlehood. It was popularised by Alibaba as an annual online shopping spree in 2009, where participating companies offered discounts to shoppers for a 24-hour period.

On these shores, Africans are are more familiar with Valentine’s Day, which falls on February 14, when lovers exchange gifts and share romantic moments. However, in Kenya, a study conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa (Tifa) research firm, indicates that many people are not as enthusiastic as they were previously due to worsening economic times.

But there is a new enthusiasm over the emergence of online shopping platforms, which annually give out unbelievable offers on a wide-range of products during occassions such as Black Friday.

This year, Jumia  has lined up various offers that would last one month, providing an opportunity for customers to take part in daily treasure hunts in which they stand a chance of clinching coveted gadgets and other goods at heavily discounted prices. The treasure hunt went live on Sunday night.

And if statistics from shopping trends since the hunt kicked on at 11.59 pm in comparison to olx and kilimall (its other online competitors in that order) in the country, is anything to go by, then Jumia is truly on its way to becoming Kenya’s and Africa’s Alibaba.

Jumia-Black-Friday-graph-1-1024x379 Jumia is on its way to become Africa's Alibaba

Started in Lagos, Nigeria in 2012, Jumia, as of 2016, had 126 operations across 23 African countries, thus covering 90% of African GDP and three million customers. In the same year, it became the continent’s first unicorn being valued over US$1 billion.

READ: Media queen Amina Abdi quits K24. Where next?

Just like Alibaba, Jumia seeks to ride on changing trends in e-commerce, entertainment, urbanisation and music, among others, and will leverage this with ultimate deals for those seeking to avoid the inconveniences that come with traditional shopping culture that is still in brick and mortar concepts.

Online shopping platforms ensure a 24-hour experience and, according to Jumia,  during Black Friday month, huge deals and discounts on various products, including home appliances, fashion items, smart phones and other electronic products, among others, will be on offer and one can only sleep at his own peril.

Jumia’s Black Friday 2017, its biggest annual sale, started on 13th November and will last until 13th December, covering 31 days.

READ: How to organise the best road trip

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Entertainment

Music band of mum, dad and kids

Samson Ng’ang’a Munyambo, his wife and children have already produced an album with 12 songs; with all instrumental arrangements and vocals done by the family members

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Samson Ng'ang'a Munyambo's family inside their home in Kairi village, Gatundu North doing what they do best, playing instruments. Credit: KNA

Making a living through talent is catching up in Kenyans as more and more campaigns are launched to urge parents to maximise their children’s gifts.

But even as the trend is catching up, a man from Kairi village, Gatundu North constituency has been championing this course earning a living through his musical talent which he is keen to pass on to his children.

Lyrical tunes linger in the air as you enter the family’s compound of evangelist Samson Ng’ang’a Munyambo and upon entry into the house, you are met by the sight of well arraigned guitars, two keyboards, saxophone and a violin all across the sitting room walls.

Located in Gakui village in Gatundu North, visitors are welcomed by splendidly arranged tunes with captivating, entertaining and educative gospel songs.

The family’s popularity in Gatundu North has earned them fame attracting newsmen to their backyard.

Each of his children and wife is able to play a guitar, violin, and keyboard and whistle trumpet. All he says, are musical instruments they use to entertain Kenyans in weddings, burial ceremonies and in churches.

Munyambo has formed a family band, which has produced an album with 12 songs; with all instrumental arrangements and vocals done by the family members.

He says that his wife, two sons and her daughter’s rhythmic talent has been the source of the family’s livelihood.

“I have managed to educate all my children to their current level by the help of music. I live, eat and drink music. My children have come to my aid and we are moving very fast in terms of development because upon their enjoinment in my passionate career, we are now able to go for more shows from which we make a living,” says Munyambo.

He reckons that he started his musical career in 1999 before commencement of training guitar lessons to willing locals. He furthered his keyboard know how in the year 2002 before introducing his family to instrumentals.

Churches fight to have him as their permanent instrumentalist but his firm principle to follow Seventh Day Adventist church doctrines pushes him back.

Although they enjoy enough sustenance from their musical endeavors, the Munyambos’ says that the journey has been full of challenges singling out low appreciation of talents, temptations to offer secular entertainment, which he says collides with their staunch Christian values and poor payment of royalties.

Music-band-in-Gatundu-300x200 Music band of mum, dad and kids

One of Samson Munyambo’s sons plays guitar inside their house. Credit: KNA

His youngest child Jeremiah Mwangi is a nine-year-old, whose love for music is irresistible points poor uptake of talents in Kenya. He challenges the government to establish talent hubs across the country to nurture such God given gifts.

“I urge the government to create talent hubs across the country to better the careers of those whose passion is to pursue certain gifts. It is with no doubt that if such centers are established, more youths will chase their dreams,” Mwangi advises.

READ: Soya beans farmers cut off middlemen to reap big returns

His daughter Mary Wacheke Ng’ang’a, a class 5 pupil at Kairi primary school advises youngsters to develop a habit of practicing their talents. She said that this will help more youth avoid being involved in the treasures of the world citing that idleness among children was the source of societal immoralities.

“The reason many youths are falling prey to illicit brews and outlawed drugs is because they lack someone to hold their hands. Although the formal education is important, parents must not invoke their children to go for certain professions if their dream and passion is in talents,” says Wacheke.

Munyambo wishes to transform the society by training more instrumentalists as he hopes to become an African choir star.

He challenges gospel musicians in Kenya to reestablish Christianity values which he says has eroded over the years accusing artists of concentrating on monetary gains forgetting their vocation to serve.

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