I am actually not too shocked. But shout out to SDE for this gem of a tall tale to be told. Why aren’t I shocked? Well, he was an African who grew up in the era when though colonialists and colonists had introduced their religion of slavery, most still stubbornly clung to their heritage, culture and more importantly, their ancestors.
At this juncture, allow me to introduce Margaret Njambi, a mganga who inspired awe and fear in equal measure thus giving her a fame and reknown in her Muthiga village in Kiambu County. Although she died in 2017 aged over 120 years, Kenyans learnt about her in 2011 when Citizen Television tried filming her secretly -their camera’s jammed 4 times. FOUR TIMES!
And her’s was an interesting tale from beginning to its end -and a lengthy, storied tale at that. She was said to have gone blind in the 1950s after declining to inherit the wizardly powers from her father, Karige wa Muui.
According to The Nairobian that founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta once harboured designs of wifing up Njambi after her husband, Samuel Ngugi, kicked her out following the death of their first two children under a cloud of unexplained circumstances.
“Njambi had settled in marriage and from 1922, sired two children but they died while young prompting, her husband to take her back to the in-laws. She had refused to inherit the occupation from her father, triggering some misfortunes,” explained the family member.
Njambi was not only treated as a traditional healer but a seer as well and was in high demand from tribal leaders who consulted her during calamities and to ward off evil spirits.
Njambi was said to have helped the Mau Mau top brass during the freedom struggle and that was how her fame spread and came to the attention of Jomo Kenyatta, who headed the Githunguri Teachers Training College, Kenya’s first indigenous college.
You can check out the rest of this interesting story here.