By ORDIA Akelo
The foreskin has been a matter of debate since time immemorial with the point of contention being whether to cut it or keep it. One of the main reasons for circumcision in Kenya was as a cultural rite of passage. Men moved from being mere boys to men, this meant they could take wives for themselves, own property and maintain a household. It meant they were wise enough and that they could stand on their own. According to these communities, a man who did not go through the procedure was still a boy even if they were well advanced in age.
To show the magnitude of the problem, last week a man beheaded his wife in front of his two children, after she called him uncircumcised during a quarrel. After this heinous act, he sat undisturbed in the living room they once shared like nothing happened. He killed his wife, the mother of his two children and the woman he once loved to protect his manhood. This shows how it is degrading to those who have not become men in the eyes of their community.
Not only is circumcision used to hit below the belt in the family scene, but politicians have been known to use the topic to sling mud at their opponents. From Moses Kuria and the latest being Governor William Kabogo circumcision is the go to topic they use to intimidate the opposition. On Sunday Kabogo called the former Premier Hon. Raila Odinga stupid and attributed his stupidity to uncircumcision. We all know how sensitive the male manhood is, and publicly airing sentiments that point that the opposition is uncircumcised directly equates them to boys, boys who are not fit to speak in front of their apparently circumcised counterparts.
But let us take a close look, truth be told not every man from the lakeside is uncircumcised and the same applies to every other community that practices circumcision. Who knows, it may be possible that those who shout circumcision from the highest mountain tops are uncircumcised themselves. Besides, there is no scientific study that gives a direct relationship between the foreskin and one’s mental capabilities. And honestly if his wife or girlfriend has no problem with him being uncircumcised we should not make a debacle out of it. I see no reason why men should be judged by their foreskin or their lack of it.
As a heterogeneous society should open our eyes to the different cultures present and if possible come up with a culture of our own. A culture that defines men by the value they bring to the table. The culture we swear by today is but a shell of what it used to be. Let us focus on more important issues. The problems we have today, ballooning wage bill, poor planning, public wastage and biting inflation were not brought upon us by someone’s foreskin. They will certainly not miraculously disappear if we circumcise every man in Kenya. We should find actual people to blame for our woes and stop judging the quality of men by their foreskin.