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Giriama name giving ceremony

07 February 2012, 16:43 Nzomo Kioko

A 55 years old man Italian national was on Monday initiated to Giriama community when he was given Giriama name in a name giving ceremony at Malindi District Cultural Association (MDICA).

Mr. Mauro Macario an Italian poet who visited the country for the first time had been interested with the traditionalism of the Giriama community.

The association then under his request organized a traditional name giving ceremony and called him Mukweha Lewa.

According to secretary general Mr. Joseph Karisa Mwarandu, the ceremony is usually presided over by elders who follow all rituals from the beginning to the end.

Mwarandu said at the beginning before the ceremony Mauro gave token of 1,500 to the elders who presided over the ceremony.


After he is initiated Mwarandu added that he is then blessed and allowed to take a traditional wine (Mnazi) with elders as a sign of blessings by forefathers.

“When name was given to him now elders welcomed him to wine with them as clear indication that forefathers have blessed him,” he noted as the ceremony went on.

It is after the ceremony when traditional dancers welcomed Mukweha Lewa and danced with him until to the climax marking the end of the ceremony.

In Malindi, Mwarandu told journalist the association had already initiated 13 foreigners by giving them Giriama names since 2010.

“Foreigners are interested with Giriama community and traditions. They have been requesting to join the community and giving them names is the only way of making the feel that they are part of us wherever they go,” he asserted.

He said by doing so the Giriama traditional beliefs are passed all over the world by such people as they act as ambassadors of the community to the rest of the world.

Mr. Mwakeha Lewa (Mauro Macario) said he had visited the country to explore and see how poetry industry is since he noted that in Europe it was almost dying.

“In Europe poetry is dead but I have seen in Africa it is still there and since I am a poet we are organizing with one of Giriama poet here to translate his Giriama poems to Italian and sell it there,” he added.

He said they have also plans to translate the poems to English here in Kenya and place them in markets.



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