Questioning Religion

According to Desmond Tutu: “When the missionaries first came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. when we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land!” Was he right?

I don’t know where to start with this one. Normally i usually have a clue of what i actually want to say. With this shit, i dunno. It is strange and weird to question what i have always known. It is weird to think along those lines and i feel like i am wrong. Yet I can’t stop.

Religion; Opium of masses…. What we turn to. Where we go. Every human got this innate desire to look for a supreme power. For me, it has been Christ and God. I have never questioned that until when i was in my teens. My mum said something about wishing we always followed the old ways. She is a good Christian. When i questioned her, she said she only believed in Christ because he shed blood.

‘Blood has always been powerful. When our fathers wanted rains, they shed blood. When they sought out forgiveness, they shed blood. When they were breaking curses, they shed blood. So there is definite power in the blood. Those people born naturally with destructive powers for something they admire, they wre cheated into looking at blood and they lost that power for a while. Then it was repeated until they would learn to control it. Blood is really powerful.’

‘Why would you doubt the religion then?’ I ask.
She looks at me at shakes her head.

‘They came with the Bible. When we were busy learning about their religion, they took our land. They tortured our people.. They raped, they mutilated, they oppressed.. There is nothing they did not do. They turned us against each other. Yet, their religion is supposed to be about love.” This i hear from one of my friends who is in pursuit of our traditional ways.

I open my whatsapp messenger and am met by a song that is played currently but was composed by the freedom fighters as a prayer.. It is so close to our day in day out prayers, yet those who fought hadn’t embraced the religion..
As i look into it, one of my other friends sends me verses from the Bible that encourage slavery. I am going crazy trying to explain, just like my mum, I believe in the power of the blood. But, I can’t help question everything..

Well, here is the song in my local language, i will try my best to translate it and would love to hear any comments or thoughts..

Ngai Mwega we mûtangîri wa ita {Good God who minds the army]
Mwamûkîri magongona ma andû airû [Who accepts black people’s sacrifices]
Ngai ûrî mbere tûtingîhotwo nî thûû [God if you are before us, our enemies can defeat us]
Mwene Nyaga;Twakûhoya [owner of the dazzling light, we pray unto you]

Tûhoyaga wendani na gîtîo [We pray for love and respect]
Na thaa nyingî cia wendo wa rûûrîrî [Lots of mercy for the love of the tribe]
ûiguano wa Gîkûyû na Mûmbi [For good relations between Gikuyu and Mumbi]
Mwene Nyaga;Twakûhoya [Owner of Dazzling Light we pray unto you]

Twakûhoya tûkonana twî ithuothe [ We pray that we shall all see each other]
Kuuma Ngong’u nginya karîma tûra [ From Ngong’ to Tura mountains]
Hîndî îyo kîeha nîgîgathira [Then our sadness will end]
Njamba cia ita,na aciari aitû [Army warriors, and our parents]

Î kamatimù mûrûagîra ûkombo [Kamatimu fights slavery]
Njamba cia ita ikîrûîra bûrûri [Amy warriors fighting for the country]
Twatigîirwo nî Gîkûyû na Mûmbi [Left to us by Gikuyu and Mumbi]
Mwene Nyaga, Twakûhoya [Owner of Dazzling Light we pray unto you]

Ngai Mwega we mûtangîri wa ita
Mwamûkîri magongona ma andû airû
Ngai ûrî mbere tûtingîhotwo nî thûû
Mwene Nyaga;Twakûhoya

Tûhoyaga wendani na gîtîo
Na thaa nyingî cia wendo wa rûûrîrî
ûiguano wa Gîkûyû na Mûmbi
Mwene Nyaga;Twakûhoya

Î we Ngai, î we Ngai [Oh God, Oh God]
Ngai wa maithe maitû Nowe Ngai, [ God of our forefathers you the only God]
Nîwe Ngai ;Mwene Nyaga Ngai ,nowe Ngai [You are God, Owner of Dazzling light, the only God]
We no we Ngai [You are the only God]
We watoranîirie njamba cia ita [You won battles for the army warriors]

As I look at this prayer which makes more sense untranslated, i can’t help wonder what would have happened if they did not come all this way to teach us their ways?

Observer

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As I get to Chandarana Lavington, I feel like crap. Walking for a few minutes when you are going down with a flu isn’t a cup of tea. I could just give a pass, but I need the money.. I have to work.

I walk directly to my section; the toothpaste. I can feel consumers who are shopping stare at me as I hurriedly walk past them in my white clinging dress labelled SENSODYNE.

For some, it looks good. For the toothpaste users, they are waiting for me to take a breath so that they can pounce at me.. yet, it isn’t my fault 75ml of the paste is going for Five hundred Kenyan shillings equivalent to 5 dollars.. it isn’t.

I am in no mood to chat with anyone. I wish I could plug in earphones, but how am I going to talk to customers?

I am arranging the shelf to look better when Sally, the blueband girl passes by to say hi. She has one of the Supermarket tailing her.
He catches up with her and cleverly pins her against the wall a blind spot for the cameras..
She tries to push him but she can’t. Every other attendant is just staring at them. She pushes him and he is stronger than her. He rans his hands over her and I can’t stand it anymore..

‘What are you doing?’ I ask stepping towards them..

‘It’s none of your business’ he answers.
Well, am not amused. I am new and I have several enemies already. But I can afford a few others..

‘That’s sexual harassment’ I say
He lets her go and turns around me..
In the morning really??
‘Look Sensodyne, you are stupid and full of yourself. Just the other day you threw you pineapple at me and now you can’t mind your business’..

‘You are harassing her..’

‘She likes it..’
I glare at him. He eventually retreats but I can tell we will have trouble in the near future..

‘Sally.. you can report him. Or I can do it for you.. ‘ I turn to her.

‘He is just messing around. I think he is funny. ‘ She says

‘Wait, are you serious?? He calls you stupid girl all the time and says you kiss him whenever he wants.. he is insulting you’..

‘No. He isn’t. And about throwing that pineapple on his face. That was rude. It’s a taboo to do it in my culture’.. She says

I am so angry. I can’t control myself..

‘Well, it’s good we don’t share a culture or anything’..

‘Yo.. stupid girl, come here.. leave that Sensodyne….’

Everyone is quiet. The manager passes by.
‘Morning Sensodyne. Are you alright?’ –
‘Am okay Godwin. Can everyone stick to their lines please? I don’t want them over here’.
Sure..
‘Everyone stick to their lines please’. He says, gives me a smile and walks away.

Soon as he leaves, the Supermarket attendant with his drank friend are standing against Sally. One has his hand on her shoulder. The other one looks as if he is going to kiss her. For a moment she looks a bit scared. Her eyes dart and find mine..

I turn away. We need more customers in. If they don’t flow in, I have to keep observing those men take advantage of a 19 year old who needs beating to get sense in her head.

My day is gonna be long. I already have a headache

My tradition: girls pregnancy

I am feeling elated today because I most likely manage to skip training and will have time to learn a few things on either girls or traditions.
I am a Kikuyu of Kenya and my mum tells me the only reason that maybe kept her from getting pregnant before she got married is how such a case was handled.
Once a girl who wasn’t married showed signs of pregnancy, it was considered a shame to her family. Strict parents who won’t let it pass would have to go to the council of elders which was the court then to have it settled.
Before this though, an auntie was sent to ask the girl if she really was pregnant. Once she admitted, then she had to say who the father was. If the guy denied or said he had no interest, the case was taken to the council of elders who were old men and maybe one or two women. If the guy persisted that he didn’t want the kid or a wife, then the questions got really personal.
Was it forced? That was to the girl. If she said no, then both of them would be asked who undressed first. If it was the woman, then it is taken that she seduced the guy. If they undressed each other, then they would have give a vivid description of what happened.. like we met, took supper, went to his room, he touched me or she touched me… bla bla bla..

Am not that lucky to skip training today. Anyway, that is how a guy got to get an unwanted wife or got to get away with the act of impregnating a girl in my culture.

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