MG

THE BEADS OF BONDAGE

Published 05/24/2020 by MG

2 months ago - 519 Views - 3 minute read
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Our daughters are young and will grow into beautiful women. If we are not careful they will become wayward and promiscuous. Oh wait I have an idea, Let's rape our daughters while they are young so that they won't go astray.

The Samburu are a Nilotic people (people indigenous to the Nile valley who speak Nilotic languages) of north-central Kenya. Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists (a form of animal husbandry) who herd mainly cattle but also keep sheep, goats and camels. 
Location of Samburu, Kenya.

Location of Samburu, Kenya.


The Samburu people practice a kind of culture which in other African communities will be considered a taboo and may evidently lead to an angry mob beating the crap out of perpetrators. This tradition is referred to as BEADING. Beaded necklaces are a symbol of national pride for Kenyans. Surprisingly, the act of giving a beaded necklace to a young child is far more sinister. Girls as young as six (6) are given beaded necklaces by old men which lets them RAPE these young girls as many times as they like.

Beaded Necklaces. Photo by Eric Laffogue

Beaded Necklaces. Photo by Eric Laffogue


It’s the fate of many Samburu young girls. A close relative will meet with the girl’s parents and offer a necklace woven with beads. Once accepted, the chain is worn on the girl and offered to the man, like a sheep being led to the slaughter house. Her family will build a small house or hut, not far from their compound where the old man can visit to rape her as many times as he wishes. This form of giving beads is considered like “engagement for sexual purposes only”.  Although it is temporal, it could last for a good number of years. These men don’t use condoms or any sort of protection and the girls are FORBIDDEN to get pregnant. If the girl indeed gets pregnant, she will be unable to keep the child. Most times the child is aborted using crude methods and if she gives birth, the child is killed and sometimes abandoned by rivers where lions can feed on them. A girl who is that stubborn and finally keeps the child will be prohibited from getting married and is considered as a shame on the family. 
Young girls of the Samburu Tribe.

Young girls of the Samburu Tribe.


This rape tradition is upheld by many elders of the community and going against it is considered going against the people’s tradition. They do this as a way of preventing the girls from being promiscuous and wayward. They rape their daughters for the good of the community. “If you dare go against it, various superstitions will affect you in life”….so said a horny old man.

“I was told that I might have terminated both pregnancies with the use of strong herbs, and so I can’t give birth again. I am now an outcast, and everyone ridicules me. I can’t talk to other women since I have no child. I’m now living alone without a child and no one wants to marry me. I can’t bear a child again because of the abortions I’ve had”. Said Joyce Lenatilia, a girl who had undergone two abortions by the age of 12.


Can you imagine how scared, physically, emotionally and mentally traumatized these young girls are? Beads are generally considered as an artifact of beauty. In this case it's a totem of bondage, hence my title for this article, "THE BEADS OF BONDAGE".


Below is a link to an organization waging a war against this horrific tradition. You can read more about their work and hopefully support their endeavors. Together let’s fight these beads of bondage.


Samburu Girls Foundation - https://samburugirls.foundation/



What are your thoughts about this tradition? What will you do if you were in that community and that was your sister or daughter? Will you uphold this tradition if you were a leader in that community? If not, what actions will to take to educate people on a new way of life? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and Please share this article so we can educate a lot of people.


Muluh MG Godson.

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