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Kiambu: Mysterious cult-like group founder speaks out

By Njange Maina
Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Gwata Ndai
In summary
    • Gwata Ndai cultural group that has been accused of cultism has reverted against the accusations terming them malicious.

Gwata Ndai cultural group that has been accused of cultism has reverted against the accusations terming them malicious.

John Njue, the Catholic Cardinal in Kenya said that Gwata Ndai bears characteristics of a cult and cautioned Catholics against the group.

The group, however, through the founders Michael Kimani Charagu and Kamau Kirige, says they have been grossly misunderstood by some church leaders.

Gwata Ndai is a Kikuyu dialect which loosely translates to 'take this riddle'.

"We are a registered Community Based Organisation (CBO) whose objective is to promote Kikuyu traditions through art," said Mr.Charagu.

The founders were speaking at an interview at Kameme Tv on Thursday morning.

Background

According to the founders, the group was founded to research and impart on the Kikuyu traditional life. They were registered in 2015 and their meetings have been gaining popularity among some populations in Central Kenya.

The group says that their aim is to solve the social ills affecting the Kikuyu community.

Mr. Charagu said that accusing them of cultism was wrong since they do not prohibit or discriminate members for confessing other faiths.

The founder said that he is a staunch Catholic who attends church service before attending Gwata Ndai gatherings.

"Seeing the problems that our society is facing like drunkenness among the youth, we embarked on ways of solving the problems," said Mr.Charagu.

Kimani Charagu, Gwata Ndai co-founder

Mr. Charagu said that the group is, however, opposed to drunkenness and adultery among the community.

Organised programs

The founders say that Gwata Ndai gatherings happen on the first and last Sundays on the month.

Before undertaking meetings, the group, however, worship the Kikuyu God 'Mwenenyaga' while facing Mr. Kenya

Kamau Kirige, Gwata Ndai co-founder

The group convene meetings at Ndumberi in Kiambu county with separate programs for adults and children. Attendees are encouraged told to bring their children.

"We have trained ECDE teachers who teach children mainly about Kikuyu language," said Kirige

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According to the Mr.Charagu, adults are taken through programs on parenting and children are taught Kikuyu language and development.

Claims of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM)

The group has been largely accused of introducing 'archaic practices' among them the almost- extinct female genital mutilation.

Responding to the claims of FGM, Mr. Kamau said that as men they could not speak about 'women matters'. His counterpart Mr.Charagu however said that they do not promote FGM which has been illegalised by the constitution.

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