This snake, so goes Syokimau’s prophesy, would have its tail in the Indian Ocean and its head in Lake Victoria, then known as Nam Lolwe.
She had further warned that some of the foreigners will arrive riding on water (ship) and would be carrying fire in their pockets (matchboxes). These prophecies are retold in the oral traditions of the Akamba, throughout Kamba land.
She unfortunately died without any children, as nobody could marry such a powerful woman. Mzee Muli says Syokimau died and was buried on Iveti Hills.
Her grave is now an ithembo (shrine) that has been reclaimed by nature and is colonised by indigenous trees and is a guarded community resource where sacrifices to the ancestors are still offered.
The Ministry of Lands surveyed the shrine and a title deed in the name of the community around Kitunduni issued to ensure this heritage will never be privatised.
A large Muumo (Mugumo) tree, of indeterminable age now stands strategically in the middle of the ithembo that is frequented by witches who wish to renew their power and make promises to their gods.
And for someone to visit it, certain rituals must be performed. Anyone who attempts to cut a tree in the shrine or desecrates the shrine in any manner dies mysteriously, it is believed.
Two years ago, a young woman reportedly went to the ithembo to offer a sacrifice to her ancestors, an act perceived as sacrilegious because according to the customs of the Akamba, a woman of child bearing age is not supposed to go anywhere near an ithembo.
Locals say she committed suicide two months later allegedly for entering the shrine against established Akamba traditions, says Mzee Muli.