Posted in Faith, Features

Searching for Jesus, finding Krishna

It is Wednesday evening, at around 6:30 pm, and I am sitting on a small mat, my legs crossed into a tight knot. The large doors, the high ceiling and the artwork on the walls evoke a sacred, reverent feeling in me. I am caressing a set of beads between my fingers as I chant and sing just low enough not to disturb the woman seated next to me. She is also singing.

My story today begins where it will end: Inside the Hare Krishna Temple at Ngara, Nairobi.

My name is Jayne Adhiambo Opondo. I am 22, and I am a follower of Krishna. I know “Opondo” and “Krishna” in the same sentence sounds strange, because there is this strong stereotype that some religions belong to certain people.

In the same way people assume every Arab or Somali is a Muslim, the name Adhiambo Opondo is likely to have Christian, rather than Krishna, associations. So how did I end up here? Perhaps the best picture to illustrate the beginning of my journey is that of a box.

Read the full story here.

Posted in Features, The 4th Dimension

Forced to go through circumcision at childbirth

“Don’t leave me! I’m begging you, please don’t leave!” The young woman screamed amidst gasps for air as the waves of pain around her womb grew worse and drifted closer to one another.

Florence Sinet, 24, had gone into labour a few hours earlier while at her house in Loodokilani, Kajiado. When her waters broke, she asked her husband to take her to hospital, but her husband, in his late 50s, insisted that she deliver the child at home, the traditional way.

He called the local traditional midwife who arrived within minutes and started attending to Sinet. The midwife examined the labouring woman and immediately realised that this was going to be a difficult birth. The baby had not descended properly and needed to be turned before it could be delivered.

Good thing that the sexagenarian already had dozens of home births under her belt, a good number of which had similar, if not worse, complications. She had only lost a few babies and even fewer mothers. However, when she examined Sinet, she suddenly rose to her feet and stumbled backwards, a horrified look on her face. She then turned and ran out of the room.


Read the full story here.