Shrines where politicians and believers alike go to seek answers

The cave is believed to be the home to the gods of fortune. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Ngoro ya Mwaga is shaped like a kettle's snout, its walls are lined with pumice rock that has turned green as a result of moss growing on it.

Next to it is a cave which is believed to be the original shelter of Mogusii, the great ancestor of all Gusii people. Mogusii, with his six children, is believed to have settled at Manga about five centuries ago.

The cave is still intact and is situated on a stiff cliff overlooking Kitutu Chache South constituency and part of Homa Bay and Kisumu counties.

The cliff is about 500 metres high and it forms a wide stretch called Emanga that starts from Mote-Momwamu, about 10 kilometres from Kisii Town on your way to Nyamira to its Southern end of the common border of Kisii, Nyamira and Homa Bay counties.

Rituals to exorcise bad omens are conducted at the shrine. It is believed that politicians who want to exorcise bad omens associated with election campaigns visit the shrine.

The cave is believed to be the home to the gods of fortune.

According to residents, high-end vehicles have been spotted near the shrine at night.

According to elders, anyone visiting the shrine has to do the following: collect twigs, throw them into the hole while uttering their wish, bend or kneel and make a knot using grass naturally growing around the place.

The grass is never uprooted while making the knot and it should be left to flourish with the knot.

The many knots doting the area is a testament to the many people visiting the shrine.

The Standard counted about 150 knots tied around the area.

105-year-old granddaughter-in-law of Gor Mahia Magdalina Nyacharo (with a walking stick) at the legend's grave site on Sigama hill. [James Omoro, Standard]

Ogada said they are planning as a family to fence the shrine so as to build a mausoleum.

At the Abindu caves and Kit Mikayi in Kisumu, several Legio Maria sect members have been holding prayers every weekend. The sect members claim that some of the people they offer prayers to include politicians.

Legend has it that Kit Mikayi shrine is associated with good fortunes.

A number of worshippers who go there regularly told The Standard that they fast and pray in the caves for days and afterwards miracles happen in their lives.

"I usually come to this place whenever I need some alone time with my God, and I come here to fast and pray for at least three days. For the last three years since I started coming here I have never been disappointed," said Flegona Anyim.

In Migori County, the Kuria community considers their shrines sacred and serious vetting must be done before someone can be allowed into the shrines. Some elders claimed that visits to the shrines increase during political seasons.

The Kuria revere their shrines and those picked as elders to lead the community visit the shrines from time to time.

The Kuria community is divided into four clans; Nyabasi and Bwiregi clans found Kuria East and Bugumbe and Bwakira clans in Kuria West.

For Nyabasi clan, its 26 elders visit two mountains; Nyakihomo in Nyabasi East and Kebongoyo in Nyabasi West once in a while.

While visiting the shrines, the elders who clad in traditional regalia sit on the ground with their heads bent.

At the shrines, the elders discuss matters affecting their clans, solve disputes and perform rituals to avert calamities and drive away diseases.

[Anne Atieno, James Omoro, Stanley Ongwae and Sharon Owino]