While many cultures carry out circumcision when boys are babies, we have some cultures which do it when boys come of age. This article is solely about Bugisu (a tribe on the East part of Uganda and crosses into Kenya).
The culture of circumcision in Bugisu has usually been during the even years.
This year 2016 will see many young boys turn into men by facing the knife.
Frankly, if you are born from that tribe and you have a son, no matter where you are or where you had the son, you must by some cultural norm circumcision him.
The culture has changed over the last few decades that now most parents will get their boys circumcised when they are just babies.
Unfortunately, Uganda is not a country one can easily convince to not do it when their sons are older. To this day, imbalu is the maker of manhood and it reigns.
Most of the world and human rights have campaigned and made a lot of progress for the world to ignore what many call a “barbaric” act.
Perhaps the Jewish and Muslim groups knew better to do it when a boy was only weeks old.
For some reason, Uganda does it to boys when they are teens and with no medication at all. Apparently that is when the boys prove that they are men and soon stand up against their parents and elders and then marry.
Imbalu is a very powerful passing into adulthood for the tribes which are Bugisu and many from the area of Mt. Elgon.
Some tribes also have the same for girls but we are on Bugisu.
During this ceremony, and it is usually carried out during holidays during the even year, there is a lot of dancing.
A boy who is facing the knife will be bestowed with chicken, goats or a cow (from rich relatives) and will usually get a lot of money.
That same boy will also dance in front of many people. Malwa is the drink which will be served and in fact will be brewed by the parents, uncles, aunties and all the relatives from the mother’s side and father’s side.
The women will dance Kadodi while they accompany their relative (small boy) wherever he goes.
Imbalu and Kadodi is when people can dance like Caribana in North America. Meaning that they can wear skimpy clothes and the women can shake their booties.
Bugisu has a running joke. If you show up and talk to some people, they might ask you if you faced the knife.
One thing that has happened during president Yoweri Museveni’s reign is health issues.
All the traditional circumcisers now must have a separate knife for each boy. Obviously for health reasons. In the past, the traditional circumciser used a knife on one kid and jumped to use it on the next kid.