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Nature Versus Culture

By Rev. Timothy Murere Njoya, PHD, DD. Executive Director of Men For the Equality of Men and Women (MEW)

All cultures are modifications of nature to suit human needs. Circumcision to modify the clitoris meets men’s supposed needs to own, dominate and control women. This harms the nature of the woman’s body and defiles the divinity of the clitoris. Ms Kaltum D. Guyo uses African culture to justify the unnatural and unholy act of amputating the clitoris without offering any biological or physiological facts to support her arguments. Guyo simply blames Western cultures, NGOs and donor funds for fighting clitoridectomy at a faster pace than the readiness of the concerned communities. It is good that she blames the prevalence of FGM in “Samburu, Turkana, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Tana River, Kajiado and Narok” on illiteracy and ignorance. She prefers educational to legal intervention.

Her arguments do not show how clitoridectomy helps African women but cannot help Western or other women in the world. According to nature, the clitoris is the same; it knows no white or black, east or west. When the clitoris is cut the scar constricts the birth canal, ruins it elasticity, causes fistula and increases maternal and child mortality by 10%.

After a 1915 research conducted by Africans under the guidance of two gynaecologists, Dr. Horace Philip of Tumutumu Hospital and Dr. John Arthur of Kikuyu Hospital, it was discovered that besides scarring the birth canal, cutting the clitoris, labia majore and labia minore destroys almost 90% of the 2200 nerve-endings on the clitoris which turns women almost eunuch. It seems Ms. Guyo does not mind the bedtime inequality of men and women. She thinks Western racism mitigates for the fight against FGM to become a “sprint” instead of a “marathon.” Yet, so far, when another child loses her clitoris there is no remedy.

To convince African men that female circumcision was horrific, Dr. Phillip invited four men, Simon Karechu, Meshack Murage, Paul Kahuho and Solomon Ndambi into the Tumutumu Operation Theater to participate in the “operations on the clitoris of three girls[1].” Karechu vomited and Kahuho almost fainted. Dr. Philip asked Murage to “Undress and lie on the operation table.”  He told him “I want to cut your penis.”  While Murage had been circumcised his penis was still intact. Murage jumped out of the theatre and ran away. He did not return to school until after a week.

For purely gynecological reasons, in 1915, the African staff of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) banned CLITORIDECTOMY. This is 87 years ahead of the Kenya Parliament that outlawed FGM by the 2002 Children Act and the 2011 Anti-FGM Act; and 97 years ahead of the United Nations that followed suit in 2012.

Based on findings that clitoridectomy mutilates the human body and increased maternal and child mortality two circumcisers  were charged “In the Kiambu Criminal Case No.1/1929/,” for performing a “Brutal form” of circumcsion on three girls.  The Judge “Fined the Two Circumcisers 30 Shillings each[2].”

In 1924, the Kikuyu Councils of Elders decreed that all boys and girls of Riika-Rĩa-Mũthetha (Muthetha age group) shall be circumcised on 5th January 1925. A girl called Wandia defied the decree and escaped to Tumutumu Advanced School (Membere) in search of education and excellence. She became the first African woman to obtain a P4 Teacher Certificate. This emboldened girls to form the Council of the Shield, which evolved into the Woman’s Guild, as a women’s guerrilla army, to fight against FGM. This marked the beginning of the end of FGM in Presbyterian areas of Kenya. Her escape sparked her uncle, Kariango, who was the head of her Ngima-ini clan elders, to commit suicide. This was what actually sparked the rise of the Kikuyu Central Association (KCA) and the formation of Independent Churches. This triggered the struggle for independence and Kenyatta left the PCEA to become KCA’s “master tactician and International point-man[3].”

An eyewitness wrote:

Late in 1925, this suspicion reached Tumutumu in the shape of a rumor that the missionaries were confederate with the government in a plot to deprive the African of his land. Demands were made that gardens of the outstations used for agricultural training, should be given back to native cultivation. This was the beginning of a politically inspired antagonism to mission which came to a head in 1929[4].

Subsequently, one evening, KCA zealots went to the African Inland Mission (AIM) at Kijabe, broke into the house of an American Missionary called Hulda. They circumcised her with pangas. She died of trauma and bleeding[5]. The KCA militia kidnapped Wacũ[6] and treated her exactly like Hulda. This provoked Governor Gregg to proscribe the KCA[37] in 1931.

After it was outlawed,  KCA went underground and resurfaced as a male guerrilla army, MauMau, to wage war against uncircumcised women.  By 1951-2 the MauMau executed 21 uncircumcised girls and women, namely, Mary Wambura (my aunt)  Penina Wanjiru wa Hazaron, Mariam Wanjeri wa Nderui of Muruguru, Debora Wanjiru wa  Kori of Kangaita, Julia Nyagicuhi wa Ndegwa of Kangaita, Susan Njeri wa Mbatia of Kangaita who was an Elder’s wife of Kihumbuini, Mariam Wanjiru wa Nderui,  Joyce Wanjeri wa Hazoron, Ruth Waceera wa Hazoron, Jennie Thuguri wa Ndiritu, Anna Njeri wa Rugoiyo,  Grace Wacoro   wa Gerishon, Rahel Nyambura wa Josan, Elizabeth wa Nehemiah, Susan Mũũmbi wa Arthur, Mũũmbi wa Githui, Ruth Wamaitha wa Joeli,  Rahel Wainoi wa Geoffrey, Isabella Muthoni wa Musa, Lea Wambugo and  Agnes Wanjiku. These women sacrificed their lives in order to die with their clitoris at the natural position where God had fixed it. 

I have verified my authority with on this issue with Professor Kihumbu Thairu, a renowned Physiologist, Dr. Aden, Dr. Kagia and Prof Jodesa. These authorities also concur with my research that PREPUCECTOMY (removal of the foreskin) may harm a few nerve-endings out of the 2000 of the penis (male clitoris), but have more health benefits.

Clitodectomy is not of African origin. It is a relic of cannibalism and human sacrifice. Jephthah who ruled Israel from 1087-1081 BC sacrificed his only begotten daughter to God in gratitude for his help to defeat the Amalekites (Judges11:29-40). As recently as in the 5th Century BC, the Israelites sacrificed both boys and girls. They “poured innocent blood- the blood of the sons and the blood of their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan .” According to a Greek Geographer Clitoridectomy in 2, 500 BC the Egyptians infibulated women as Pharaoh’s good fortune retainer sacrifice. To control prostitution, the Greek circumcised girls to stop the clitoris from growing too big to rub clothes and get erect.

In Medical Cannibalism, Richard Sugg says that human sacrifice persisted in Christendom until the 19th Century.  “Cardinals drunk the blood of the weak in the Vatican Square, to celebrate the coronation of Pope Gregory II (Giovanni Graziano 1045-6). “King Charles II paid 6,000 pounds for a recipe to distill human skull which entered the history of medicine as the “‘the king’s drops’.” In the 19th AD, the European Churches used the “human body parts as a substitute for the Eucharist or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion[8].” Women are by being cut the clitoris, the last and most vulnerable victims of human sacrifice.

In Genesis 1:26, God created Adam as one being, male and female. According to Necker’s Homologue of the Human Anatomy, before 5-8 weeks the babies’ Genitalia is neither penis nor clitoris. By the 10th week, the estrogen hormone triggers the gonad to grow ovary and the tubercle into the clitoris and testosterone hormone triggers the same to become testis and penis. Hence, the penis is an enlarged clitoris and ovary female testis. The male uterus (prostatic utricle or Utriculus Masculinus) remains undeveloped. Intersex people are normal human beings whose organs didn’t undergo complete differentiation at the 10th week. Saying women be circumcised is like cutting the penis and killing intersex. This is why I am completely opposed to both flawed masculinity for men to afflict women with FGM and flawed femininity for a woman like Guyo to conform to such affliction. The clitoris is a living organ, not an object. Let the clitoris stay alive on the human body where its Maker fixed it.

[1] MUITA, Isaiah Wahome. HEWN FROM THE QUARY. The Presbyterian Church of East Africa 100 Years and Beyond.


[3] The Agĩkũyũ  Central Association/Secretary Joseph Kan’gethe /1926) KENYA  NATIONS AL ARCHIVES.   

[4] Scott, H. E., A Saint in Kenya. CSM 1940 MEMORANDUM.

[5] NCCK Centennial Celebration, 2013. 

[6] Wacũ was not her real name. Rev. John Gatu committed himself to look for her real name.


[8] RICHARD SUGG, the author of Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires,


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