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A picture of Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru leading elders in prayers raises a cultural storm

A picture of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru with raised hands leading elders in prayers has raised a cultural storm.

Traditionally among the Gīkūyū community, women do not lead prayers in presence of elders and do not raise hands.

Elders lead the prayers with hands raised facing Mt Kenya while women spread their hands with open palms to receive blessings.

In the case of Waiguru, she had her hands raised and appears infront of the elders as if leading the prayers.

The incident occurred when she hosted Kirinyaga Council of elders led by their chairman Rev Githaka at the governor’s residence in Kagio.

According to a senior elder, women no matter their leadership or station in life should step back and allow the elders to lead the prayers and should not raise their hands.

“I saw the picture and I can tell you it did not go well. The elders need to be told that so the mistake does not happen again,’ said the elder.

In her message Waiguru said she had the honor of hosting the Kirinyaga Council of Elders who called on her to discuss various issues of mutual interest in the county. 

“As we say in our culture; a wise person receives counsel. I am grateful for the wisdom shared and I  committed my support to their cause,” she said.

When contacted, Rev Githaka said he later on explained to Waiguru about the mistake but downplayed the incident.

He said the matter would have been different were the prayers being conducted at a shrine but it was at her residence.

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