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Kikuyu Traditions Observed As Banana Stem Planted In Juja Tycoon’s New Grave Site

Late Juja tycoon Christopher Mbote.

Late Juja tycoon Christopher Mbote

The family of late Juja business tycoon, Christopher Mbote, has agreed to bury him in a new grave on a section of land ceded by his two widows, who were feuding over rights and the location of his burial site.

The decision followed a court ruling by the Thika chief magistrate, Stella Atambo, after Mbote’s first widow, Margaret Waithera, started burial preparations in her compound without involving her co-widow, Anne Njeri.

Before his burial, Kikuyu elders from Juja sub-county performed traditional rituals, including the planting of a banana stem with its roots in the grave.

Elder Nyotu Njogu explained that according to the Agikuyu culture, a grave cannot be left unfilled, as an open grave may bring adversities to the family and even more death.

The banana stem was laid in the grave as the elders made prayers facing Mt Kenya.

What is the significance of planting a banana in a deceased person’s grave, you wonder?

Well, the Agikuyu community believe that a banana supports life and is mostly used to feed children as they grow up.

“We plant a banana with its roots because it will surely sprout again and give life,” Wanarua said.

Mbote, who was known for strictly following and observing his culture, will be interred in the new grave on Friday.

The official ceremony to refill the grave and plant a banana will be conducted by the elders once Mbote is laid to rest.

The court intervention brought closure to the feud between the two families, and the traditional rituals will ensure that the deceased’s spirit is appeased and no more adversities befall the family.

Mbote’s legacy will live on as the banana stem, symbolizing life, is buried with him.

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