Follow Us on Social Media

A Very Kavonokya Way of Life

Kavonokya is a Christian sect that is widely spread in Kitui and Tharaka-Nithi counties. Majority of its followers are in Mwingi East around Mũtwangombe and parts of Tseikuru in Mwingi North.  Just like other Christians, this sect is centred around worshiping the God of Abraham, a Hebrew patriarch and the Father of Faith. The sect has its headquarters at Ĩrũndinĩ, Tharaka-Nithi County.
Members of the Kavonokya sect praying./FILE 

Until his death in September 2020, Gitonga M’Mupunguru was their leader.  The believers hold their prayers in some identified homesteads which are characterized by beating of the traditional drums while performing synchronized jumping and stomping of feet. Some men are known to jump as high as the Maasai Moran which is referred to as Kyũngũlũ.

Preachers are always men but there is no requirement to have prior ordination. So long as God has spoken to you the word, you are good to go. It is very rare to see a physical building or structure like a church built for the purpose of worshipping. 

To a non-member just a simple Hi is enough. However, when the brethren meet, they shake their hands for a period of between two to thirty minutes uttering words like Alleluia Amen Amen…some sort of testimonies and proclaiming the faith.

Sometimes this act not only hypnotizing to humans but also livestock. A friend once claimed that she found a group of believers greeting one another on the road so enthusiastically such that it made donkey she was walking along with to bray. 

Kavonokya women are the most conspicuous in every crowd. They cover the hair and ears with a head scarf and entomb themselves in long pleated dresses reaching the ankle. In some places women and girls are not supposed to trim their hair. It is also an abomination for a non-believer to touch the head or the scarf of a sister-in-Christ. Women are supposed to be very obedient and they should only wait to be directed.

This dress code is believed to prevent seduction and tempting of the brothers-in-Christ.

 When it comes to marriage, courtship is not entertained within the members. They believe that marriages are made in Heaven, and pairing must be left to God. God is supposed to speak through an elder to determine the bride and groom from within the flock. This is borrowed from the teachings on how Abraham send his lead servant to look for his son’s wife from the people who were not adulterous like Canaanites. That is how Isaac ended up marrying his cousin Rebekah.

Abraham had assured the servant that the Lord would send the Angel to guide him through the selection process. That notwithstanding, it is very easy for a malicious elder to purport to be speaking for God while advancing private agendum. 

Many church elders end up marrying very beautiful sisters-in-Christ while the youthful boy children sometimes are paired with those who have overstayed in the market for some reasons. 

It is very common for youths to backslide, go get married and lead an earthly life until the Holy Spirit speaks to them about going back to the altar.

Their strong faith in the Word of God does not allow them to seek medical services from human doctors or their hospitals. They believe the prayers are solution to every sickness. In case one dies, it is always termed as the Will of God who gave them the fallen soldier, it was His Will to take him/her back. 

Things to do with vaccinations is a no-go- zone. From children to adults, whether you are being vaccinated against measles or COVID-19, you better do it in private.

I remember most of my Kavonokya age-mates never used to have that vaccine scar on their left arm, evidence that they never got the jab during their childhood. For expectant mothers, you have to be ready to “work from home” when your turn comes. Just pray an experienced midwife from your flock will show up to guide you throughout the child delivery process.

Kavonokya members try to disassociate themselves with earthly deeds as much as possible. Getting an Identity card, Huduma number or voters card is not a priority. 

In fact, it can be associated with the infamous mark of the beast. So long as their names are written in the Book of Life, the terrestrial registers are insignificant to a staunch believer. Some parents do not find it wise to send children to school. They believe education is to serve earthly lord, the devil (Ngoma). Some do it out of pure ignorance while others hide under the sect to run away from the expenses that come with schooling such as pocket money, school fees as well as getting enough manpower from the idle children to run errands at home.

Many of Kavonokya families are large enough with an individual mother getting up to ten children. The burden that come with big families won’t go away because of prayers alone. Family planning is highly discouraged. For both genders. The mission is to multiply and fill the earth as mandated by the good book in Genesis 1:28. 

Male circumcision is done from home. Just like every surgery requires at least supervision by a medic, so should circumcision.

Two Kavonokya boys aged 5 and 7 years in 2020 lost their lives courtesy of botched circumcision from a local traditionalist in Lundi village, Mwingi East.

A Kavonokya priest or elder who is opposed to you going to school or taking certain jobs like being a policeman or KDF deems it right to benefit from whatever you have reaped from your “earthly indulgence.”   A man in Tseikuru Ward lost his sheep thanks to his father’s generosity who was out to appease fellow congregants who were having fellowship in his father's homestead that night. The sheep had to be slaughtered to appreciate the spiritual visitors. Despite their hard stand on earthly things, they make excuses to own a mobile phone, bicycle, boda bodas even trucks.

A Mwingi legend has it that there lived a very dedicated Kavonokya elder called Mwengei. He loved God so much and that he was yearning to see Him. After waiting for long without God showing any signs of visiting him, he convinced other congregants that he will be embarking on a journey to Heaven to visit his Maker. 

Plans were made to get God presents like traditional millet cake known as Ngalamba, Kĩnaa, Mbĩthĩ and some fermented millet porridge (ũsũũ mũghaatu). Those were the first yield delicacies especially after a good harvest. So after being presented with the God’s gifts and the message to deliver to our Creator and Angels, the local legend climbed a very tall Mũange (Delonix elata) tree so that he can ascend easily Heavenwards.

No sooner had he jumped from the branch than a loud bang was heard from his epic fail. From that day he has been living with disability on his buttocks.


No comments

Post a Comment

© all rights reserved
made with by Skitsoft