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UASIN GISHU

Secret things in Kalenjin community they will never let you know

Kiprono Nick
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Kalenjin women in their traditional attires. [Source/singingwells.com]

The existence of cultural values and norms in every community cannot be denied. 

Just like any other community, the Kalenjins are governed by laws which are transferable from one generation to another. 

In the Kalenjin community, there are several aspects which are practised but are rarely mentioned to other tribes. 

Here are some of the things that are practised but are unknown to many;

Financial need

When seeking financial help from a typical Kalenjin man, he will never let you know he has the money. He will instead tell you he has to borrow for you from someone else.

"We do not like showing other people that we have the money because of many reasons such as attacks by thugs but instead we tell the person that we have borrowed the money from somebody else," says Kiptarus, a 65-year-old man from Moiben in Uasin Gishu county.

Number of children

It is against the Kalenjin customs for parents to mention the exact number of children they have. When asked on the number of children, a typical Kalenjin man says they are several. 

"The modern culture is deteriorating of traditions as a Kalenjin community, nowadays, I hear people mentioning the exact number of children they have which is really against our values," said Grace, a resident of Moiben, adding that mentioning the exact number of children is like parading them to the evil-eyed people.

Use of words

The Kalenjin community observes etiquette. The poor are said to be 'light' (Terter) not to hurt them. Those who are not very conversant with the typical Kalenjin culture will never understand.

Use of terminologies.

The drunkards are also respected when it comes to the use of language. A person who is drunk is said to be 'full' (Kakobiyo).

Simeon Lagat, a farmer at Mlango in Uasin Gishu county said it is against their values to tell others a certain person is drunk as it might make his enemies to take advantage of his situation to harm him.

"We report the incident indirectly by saying he is either full or he is of many words. This will confuse the enemies who might be witch hunting him," said Lagat.

The use of parables and terminologies have been helpful in the community as it has prevented many strange incidences that could have occurred. This aspect has remained within the community over time as the Kalenjins embrace it.

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