Recent DG visit to RC Meru, RC Nkubu, RC Nithi and RC Embu

ROTARY CLUB OF MERU

CHARTERED IN 2006, DISTRICT 9212, MERU- KENYA

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 Meru is a town in the Eastern part of Kenya and headquarters of the Meru County. Meru town is located on the Kathita River, about 110 miles (180 km) northeast of Nairobi and lies midway between Mount Kenya to the west and Meru National Park to the east.


The name "Meru" refers to both the people and the location. For many years there was only one geo-political district for the Meru people which originated from the colonial land unit.

The Chuka and Tharaka are sometimes also included under Meru, but their oral histories and religions are markedly different, and are culturally much closer to the Embu. Meru Town a business and educational center is surrounded by agricultural farmlands. Wheat and horticulture plantations occupy the Timau region adjacent to Lewa Conservancy. For those interested in viewing wildlife and wonderful scenery, Meru is an excellent jumping-off place for Buffalo Springs National Park/Reserve, Samburu National Reserve, Shaba National Reserve, and also Meru National Park Other great places are Lewa Wildlife Conservancy , Olpejeta conservancy as well as the IL Ngwesi Group Ranch. Meru is also best known for farming miraa (Khat), a stimulant plant. Many farmers prefer miraa since it is financially lucrative to produce.


History of the Meru People.

The predominant oral tradition concerning the Meru's early history is a fantastic fable that seems to combine elements of both truth and fiction. Taken as a whole, the Meru have one of the most detailed and potentially confusing oral histories of any people in Kenya. It is also one of the most deeply intriguing, at least from a Western point of view, since the details of the tradition are parallel to the Exodus story in the Old Testament, and also contain references to events described in the New Testament. This has led many to speculate that the Meru are perhaps the descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, or that they were once Jewish, or had been in profound cultural contact with a people that certainly were (such as the Falashim of Ethiopia) In brief, tradition recounts that the Meru were once enslaved by the "Red People". They eventually escaped, and in their exodus came across a large body of water called Mbwaa or Mbwa, which they crossed by magical means. Read More


Culture and Lifestyle

The Meru tribe is a fairly homogeneous group composed of nine sub-tribes, each of which speaks its own dialect of the Kimeru language. Differences in the dialects reflect their varied Bantu origins and influences from the Cushites and Nilotes, as well as their Kikuyu and Kamba Bantu neighbors. Although society has changed enormously since colonization, a number of important social and cultural traditions remain, either in their original form, or in a shape adapted to modern-day realities. Notable among these is their system of government by a council of elders (Njuri-Ncheke) which is still legally recognized in modern Kenya. Also remarkable is the Njuri Ncheke Supreme Council of Elders declaration that demonized FGM. It has since been replaced with 'Ntanira na Mugambo' or 'Circumcision Through Words'. The 'Circumcision through Words' , reaves is a passage rite that resembles the traditional rituals (with the exception that the physical action of cutting) and is supported not only by various women's groups and NGOs, but by the ultra-conservative Njuri-Ncheke themselves. 'Circumcision through Words' brings the young candidates together for a week of seclusion during which they learn traditional teachings about their coming roles as women, parents, and adults in the community, as well as more modern messages about personal health, reproductive issues, hygiene, communications skills, self-esteem, and dealing with peer pressure.

Meru town and Meru People

Nthenge inkuru ititiyaga utheri

An old he-goat does not sneeze for nothing (old men speak the truth with a lot of experience and deep reasoning).

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E-mail: info@rotarymeru.org