The Kikuyu community are currently worried after another Mugumo (fig tree) fell in Karatina, Nyeri County. According to their beliefs, that means two things: It might be something positive or, bad news is on the way.
The community usually associates falling of the tree to a major shift, especially in politics. Case in point, in 1975, a Mugumo tree fell and the next day JM Kariuki was found dead.
In 1963, a huge Mugumo tree fell in Thika, and this led to the exit of colonialists, who were being fought by a local group, the Mau Mau. This had been prophesied by Kikuyu prophet Mugo wa Kibiru.
In 1978, another Mugumo tree fell in Chania and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died that year.
In 2013, during the run up to the General Election, a Mugumo tree fell at Ikumbo village in Giakanja area and elders from Kiama kia Ma promptly declared that it was a sign that there would be a generational change in the country’s leadership.
A political power shift from the old to the young was observed that year after Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto won the elections, succeeding Mwai Kibaki.
In March a 150-year-old Mugumo tree fell in Kiamigwi, Mathira constituency, Nyeri and many later connected the fall to Nyeri’s Governor Nderitu Gachagua who died in February.
In just three months, two Mugumo trees have gown down.
Another one aged 300 years old in Kiambu is about to fall and the Kikuyus are panicking that a catastrophe might be looming.
“God is angry and people need to seek forgiveness,” said a 70-year-old village elder, Peter Kamau in the area who spoke to The Star.
The Kikuyu council of elders promised to hold a prayer ceremony and rituals as part of traditions like they have done in the past.