Nyeri — Dr. Thuo Mathenge, the Nyeri 2022 gubernatorial candidate, has pledged to champion the implementation of the decisions made during the inaugural Kikuyu Men’s Conference held on October 7 in Murang’a County. As the newly appointed patron of the group, Mathenge is set to take steps that he believes will address the core issues of the Kikuyu community.
According to Kenya News Agency, the conference, which saw the attendance of hundreds of men from the central region, concluded with resolutions focusing on the revitalization of men’s roles in society, preservation of cultural heritage, combating illicit brewing, and fostering economic empowerment. He asserted the importance of these matters, which he says are integral to the community’s identity.
The aspirant revealed that a letter has been sent to Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, proposing the reintroduction of vernacular language instruction in early primary education. This initiative aims to protect the cultural heritage of the country. Dr. Mathenge communicated this action plan on the Inooro TV Ruciini talk show, aligning it with the need to reinforce traditional values amidst the influence of Western cultures.
Highlighting the challenges faced by indigenous languages due to globalization, Dr. Mathenge cited the words of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o on language and identity. He pointed to the trend of code-switching and the diminishing use of native dialects in Nyeri, despite its majority of local residents. The shift to other languages and the adoption of sheng among those not fluent in English have become prevalent, reflecting a broader cultural transformation.
Dr. Mathenge also addressed the alarming decline in birth rates within the Mount Kenya region, calling for a return to larger family structures to prevent what he terms a demographic ‘extinction’. He challenged prevailing attitudes towards family size, attributing a 20 percent decrease in the Kikuyu population to modern family planning practices.
Furthermore, Dr. Mathenge, founder of BradeGate Foods Industries, emphasized the collective decision at the conference to work alongside the government to eliminate the circulation of illegal brews. He attributed the spread of these substances to the declining socio-economic conditions in the region.
The conference resolutions also included encouraging men to father at least five children, teaching the Kikuyu language to their offspring, and creating local community units named ‘village 12’. The attendees adopted the motto “Unite, Cooperate, and Prosper” as their guiding principle for a non-political mission.