Part I

Perhaps it is the most impressive and highly celebrated practise in Kalenjin Community that is one of the oldest, and one of the newest again.


This paradox explains the highly guarded secrets of Nandi, Tugen, Marakwet, Kipsigis and Terik that all share a bit similar rituals and doctrines of initiation passage. Traditional elders along with the families identifies groups of young men said to be ready to undergo the secret practice in a very guarded and secluded bush – A bush that is only accessible by authorized people – matireniikand after 30 to 50 days of life in the cold characterized with intense and sophisticated training, eating, singing, hunting and gathering, art and crafting,  everything is brought down to ashes leaving no single trace.

The private and confidential ritual is done after public gathering called Cheptileet, which is done few hours to dusk to bid bye to families, friends, and the community, so that the real hit takes centre-stage through the midnight, far in the bushy and hardly accessible areas – for close to 50 days!

Secrets: In The Darkness

In the darkest hour, step by step the circumcision practise commences. Within a blink of an eye, thunderous folks,  soft hyms and repetitive curse-like utterances covers the jinxed atmosphere of uncertainty.

I was there. Facing the heavens, I bit my teeth and closed my eyes as the most pain I’ve ever felt ran all over my central nervous system. Not even an “ouch!” sound I did made.

What Happened Today?

Today, several villages in Nandi Hills and across Kalenjin territories, are celebrating this momentous ceremony in their own style and to the best. Every month of November to December is our season.

As a qualified matiryot, I want to express my concerns over the deterioration of our culture.

What is fading away our strongest, hardest and strict culture?

I’m told of Kipsigis that they allow common women to access areas of secluded warriors of the land? Why?

I am surprised that the other counterparts, the Kipkanisa/Kapsipiress/Kapindiziin, are now told of what the REAL men and warriors of the land undergo, by the “reformed” loyalists! Why?

Furthermore, some influenced families have created myths out of the blue citing that the original culture – the real domain is mared by improper coaching and as a result, they take their boys to the less-cultured, immature and childish faction of kipkanisa.

Take It From Me

Mwacha mila ni mtumwa. Pretending to be reformed and so holy is a wrong move that later makes the boys slaves like the above proverb asserts. You find out that boys initiated through the holy-playing and sympathetic seperatists are the ones leading lifestyle that is not on the conformity of Kalenjin course of doctrines.

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They drink to stupor in our towns and cities, act so stupid and fail to manage their girlfriends or wives.

They are shy and afraid to join conversations of the real men warriors in daily life. This in turn affects inclusivity of the society, and also locks out ideas, critics  and opinions during policy and decision making.

Another shaming outcome is later when already circumcised “man” decides to buy the traditions and requests matireniik to take him through the highly guarded ritual for him to be a man enough in the society and take part in making such decisions in developmental issues.

Therefore, instead of going the other long, wrong and childish way of cowards, just decide to face it and embrace original practices of the tribe Nandi free of charge. Why go the cowards way then later buy the practice?

Classified – What You Don’t Know!
This goes to the kipkanisa! You absolutely know nothing… What you were told and taught about The Real Heroes is not true. Those who teach you are fake just as the information they give. Why so? Because, those who tries to reveal our highly guarded secrets are whisked away immediately by madnesses, or dumbness, or sticked necks – meaning the classified information is not released at all.

The only people who know the truth and how it feels are those who faced the heroism head-on and embraced the original traditions during their seclusion.

PHOTO: Dismas

Tumdonyo manei lem. Bo Chameet Karoon. KING ole KING!


Part Two Coming Soon