By Noor Khamis
As eastern Africa had uncharacteristically fallen silent, I decided to travel over 500 kilometres to western Kenya as schools had just closed and so month-long circumcision rituals had taken centre stage.
The rituals, which are observed in public, represent the annual rites of passage into adulthood for boys aged sixteen and below. The Bukusu community, a sub-tribe of the Luhya tribe, has strongly stuck to such traditions.
The ceremonies normally take place in August, to give the adolescents enough time to heal before school resumes.
I made several calls to local journalists based in those areas, presenting my interest in covering the ceremonies, and continued communicating with them once I had arrived, after an all-day journey.
I left early the next morning complete with a set of instructions from a local friend, and a driver, who doubled up as my guide. I used the drive from Bungoma, a town west of Nairobi, as an opportunity to gain as much information from him as possible.