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Kikuyu elders dedicate new cultural centre in Nairobi

 The Agikuyu Kiama Kia Ma National Spiritual adviser (Maturanguru) -in white) officiating the Mathingira Gikuyu Cultural Centre consecration ceremony in Ruthimitu, Dagoretti South, Nairobi. [Courtesy]

The Agikuyu Kiama kia Ma has consecrated a planned new cultural centre in Dagoretti South, Nairobi.

The group's national spiritual leader - Maturanguru Njathi wa Mbatia officiated the consecration ceremony on Thursday, September 28.

"Culture is the foundation of a people. It's their way of life. People need to have their values in their existential foundation. Hard work and diligence, for example, are one of those values. This community centre is where the dispensation of these values will be implemented. It is a school of our way of life and a platform for generation transition," said Kiama kia Ma National chairman Ndung'u wa Gaithuma.

The centre is officially called 'Thingira wa Kiama kia Ma, Nairobi County, and is being constructed on land donated St. Paul Orthodox Church Kagira.

"There's a looming misconception that one cannot follow their religion and practice their culture," said Father Paul, the local Orthodox Church priest as well as a Kiama kia Ma local chairman.

Thingira is a platform where implementation of decisions concerning governance, wealth, economic sustainability, justice, cultural traditions, heritage and peace within the Gikuyu country and the clans happened. It is also where shared community values are entrenched.

The Thingira will consist of ten huts, representing all the Agikuyu clans, referred to as Mihiriga Kenda Muiyuru. The construction is set to be complete by the end of the year.

In the future, the Thingira will be hosting initiates of the boys who undergo the annual circumcision ceremony, an important rite of passage for all Gikuyu young men. Kiama kia Ma Nairobi County leaders have been hosting this ceremony at nearby schools for the past 19 years.

"It is finally a relief to have a place we can call home. The Thingira will be a home for all of us, men, women, and children," said Mugwe Wanjuhi, the Kiama kia Ma Nairobi County leader.

He proposes that Agikuyu women, also called Nyakinyua, will be hosting younger women at the site for traditional lessons like cooking, weaving baskets and making ornaments.

Further plans include running a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school.

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