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Elders rubbish night runners' recognition demands

20 June 2013, 16:10 Oduor Omondi

A section of elders from Muhoroni, Nyando and Nyakach districts have strongly opposed demands by night runners from Nyanza region to be fully recognized and be allowed to undertake it as a sport.

Tempted to emulate night runners as role models

The elders argued that night running activities if legalized will amount to allowing what is considered a taboo among communities in the Western region since many children could be tempted to emulate night runners as role models.

They wondered what the society had come to and whether the ‘sporting activity’ (night running) will be held during the night or at daytime considering that night runners do their thing while stark naked, a thing that no right thinking member of society would allow.

Elder Joseph Okal said it is a taboo for children to see the nakedness of their parents (night runners) and urged the government to dismiss such a ‘bizarre request’.

Okal stated that some night runners are said to use burning flames stuck in their mouth while others adopt animals like crocodiles, leopards, hippopotamuses and snakes usually at night when in the thick of their ordeal.

Nyando elder Ogonda Otieno said night runners cause a lot of disturbances at night as they are fond of kicking doors and throwing stones on roof tops just to ensure the victims keep them ‘company’.

“It is well known that if you encountered a night runner by coincidence you will be maimed for a period of time as they usually scare the hell out of anyone unless you have similar traits,” he argued.

He said such an unholy encounter leaves one speechless and shivering since they are believed to poses evil powers.

Such rebuke comes barely a week after a group of night runners sought public recognition by the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture to go public with the ‘sporting activity’.

Speaking in Kisumu, their Chairman Jack Songo asked the government to let them participate in sporting activities in the country and possibly reach the Olympics and World marathon status with their ‘sport’ not only for satisfaction but also to make quick bucks.

Songo argued that it is their right to be set free to conduct the ‘sport’ just like every other Kenyan pointing out that they have been demonized for far too long.

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