A lot has been said about Kit Mikayi, that it is a huge rock, a shrine, you will find it in Kisumu and blah blah. I want to go with the shrine and nobody in his right mind visits a sacred place in a shaggy hair, so on this Friday, I step into the barber’s shop. You see Michael (my barber) cuts my hair short at a paltry fee. He helps me keep my pocket in check. While in here I notice a lady, her beauty is so conspicuous that only a blind man would not notice. I am an introvert and so my eyes will always do more work than my mouth.
The lady happens to have escorted her guy; a tall, dark, well built, deep-pocketed handsome man to the barbershop. Maybe women should not go with their men to a barber’s place. These days they have lasses in there that will wash your hair, massage your head and give you a pedicure. It’s in such a manner that your woman would most likely not withstand. This woman watched her man go through all these procedures and they still left holding onto each other’s hands! In my head, “this man must be in great trouble, most probably she is only waiting to launch her missiles in the house.”
The trip to Kit Mikayi
With my hair done I wake up the following day to visit this shrine to know more about it. I jumped onto a boda-boda and on reaching the National petrol station, I give him 50 shilling. The guy returns 10 shillings instead of 20 shillings. This is Kisumu and you just don’t rob people of their hard earned money in the broad daylight. On reminding him of what he deserves to take, 30 shillings, he fumbles to justify the 40 shillings. I cut him short by asking him, “you think I won’t get hold of you tomorrow?” on hearing this the guy hurriedly gets into his pocket and gives me another ten shillings coin.
Peacefully I walk towards the matatus at the farthest end of the petrol station, the ones heading to Bondo. A tout refers me to one that would drop me at Yago. She further says it will cost me 200 shillings on letting her know that I’m heading to Kit Mikayi. I get into the matatu that in no time gets full, thanks to Matiangi, the vehicles no longer carry excess passengers. In 45 minutes time, the matatu has already covered the 29 km and I alight at Yago stage. A boda-boda guy then gives me a ride up to the gate at a cost of 50 shillings.
At the gate
One of the attendants welcomes me, he then briefs me on what Kit Mikayi is all about including the entrance fee of 150 bob for adults and that the place is currently being managed by Kit Mikayi Rock Tourist Cooperative Society Limited.
Before heading into the caves and up the rock formation, my guide Leonard takes me on a nature walk. As we walk along the pathway circumnavigating the tor, I notice porous borders, the place has been enclosed and is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. I’m made to understand that it’s the pilgrims from Legio Maria sect who often leave the place through such exits. You see, God will always make a way whenever you are in between a rock and a hard place, but the ones I’m staring at have been made by men. ”Why would someone leave a shrine via such unholy exits?” is the question that kept lingering in my mind until we got to the real shrine.
Leonard then takes me back to the olden days where there was a man going by the name Ngeso. His search for a place to settle landed him in this village. He loved to camp here and so he would spend most of his time at the caves found here. His wife would then bring him food at this place and whenever visitors came calling on him at his homestead, the wife had to refer them to his first wife. In a polygamous home, the first wife is known as Mikayi in the local dialect. Ngeso’s visitors had no choice but to come and see him at the rock that in Luo dialect is referred to as kidi. And because the rock signifies the first wife. His wife referred to it as Kit Mikayi and so the name came about.
Whenever troubles such as drought visited the village, the elders consulted Ajuoga (traditional doctor). The medicine man would then advise them to offer sacrifices to their god, Obongo were nyakalaga, at the foot of the rock. The sacrifice comprised of a white he-goat and two chicken. The chicken was never to be slaughtered. In full glare of the elders, he would swing the chicken back and forth hitting the rock at the end of every oscillation to death. The heavens then opened up in the days after. Showers of rain would wet the land allowing the people till their shambas in preparation for bumper harvests.
It is cleaved to have an underground link to Lake Victoria and the elders blocked it by rocks. This was necessitated by the need to prevent deaths, as in whenever people slipped into the ditch they ended up dying in the lake. Couples who visited Kit Mikayi would pass by this place and the wife would drop a ring here, it is believed that a divorce would never come knocking at such a couples’ door.
Those on pilgrimage often refer to this place as Kamama. From here one gets a breathtakingly beautiful view of the village, landscape, cool breeze from Lake Victoria and its a perfect location to view the sunsets and sunrises for the early risers.
As you descend, traditional dancers entertain you though at a tip. You are also able to view the traditional artefacts such as Ohigla, dakuon kuon showing you the Luo culture. For instance, you would learn how sorghum was ground, fish and ugali cooked and served at the table.
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