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Gideon urges initiates to cling to Kalenjin culture

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Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi (centre) Soy Mp Caleb Kositany (right) and Franklin Bett (Left), during a Kalenjin rite of passage Ceremony for boys on January 6, 2023 at Karen, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo Standard]

There is a need to gradually preserve culture and make it suitable for the current generation to help instill discipline and respect among the youth.

This was the key message during the graduation ceremony of Kalenjin young men who were undergoing rites of passage in Karen, Nairobi.

The 91 boys have been away from their families for one month in tradition known as Tumndo to be taught some life lessons by elders.

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi who was the chief guest in the event said he was elated that despite the changing times the culture was still being preserved.

He urged the young men to remain disciplined and be dutiful as they have been taught during the one-month period in the hands of experienced elders.

"Since the time is not static, what we underwent during our times is not what these young men will face. But what they have been taught fits in the current environment and will help them face the future with confidence," Gideon stated.

At the same time, he urged them to be united and retain their unity and dignity even after partying ways. Other dignitaries who graced the colourful ceremony were former Soy MP Caleb Kositany and former Roads minister Franklin Bett.

Kositany said the boys have been undergoing various traditional training not only on how to behave as men, but men from the Kalenjin community.

They were also taught how to relate with their parents, siblings, the elderly and even pregnant women in society.

"We also had a naming ceremony where the fathers give their sons a name as one way of building the Kalenjin tree," Kositany explained.

The naming ceremony will also help to identify the young men who have undergone the rite of passage. On his part Bett said cultural matters have been crafted to suit the present generation.

"These young men are exposed to the current world like computers and other innovations. This is why everything has been crafted to fit the present situation," Bett explained.

"We have picked parts of the culture that can be absorbed, because they are good and can advance our community," he added.

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