Revisiting our Indigenous Shrines through Mungiki
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This article discusses the Mungiki movement's beliefs and practices as they relate to the traditional religion and cultural practice of the Gikuyu people. Mungiki is a Gikuyu word taken from the etymological root word, Muingi , to mean masses or people. The Mungiki is a fundamentalist movement with a religious, political and cultural agenda. It argues that, since African religion is discerned in terms of beliefs, ceremonies, rituals and religious officials, a conversion to other faiths is not practical. Its followers are therefore calling for re-conversion from foreign worship to indigenous beliefs. Although the Mungiki is largely a Gikuyu affair, the sect expects to embrace all other Kenyans. It calls for the teaching of African indigenous values before any change can take place. In practice, Mungiki followers have denounced the Christian faith. The movement has adopted Gikuyu religion as a weapon to challenge political and religious authority, and has raised an outcry from religious leaders and government officials. Mungiki followers affirm that theirs is a religious and not a political movement.