Kikuyu Traditional Stories
Mútumia Múkorokú (The selfish/greedy woman)
Mútumia úmwe níarugaga Nyama na ngúkú. Akíigua mígambo ya andú magíúka gwake. Akírorera karima-iní kanini rúthingo-iní akiona mwarí na úría wamúragia nígetha amúhikíre magíúka.
Orímwe agííciria akíúria,”Ona akorúo ní arahikia múirítu wakwa rí, níngúmúhe Nyama íno?”. Mútumia úcio agíícokeria ihenya. Akíoya nyungú agíkíra kíondo-iní kíarí rúthingo-iní igúrú ría mwaki. Akíoya thuburia agíkíra maí akíhagira riiko. Ríría mwarí a múririe kíría arugaga, amwírire ati ní maí ma gwíthaba magúrú ahiúhagia.
O kahinda kanini makíaria, mútumia níainamírire akomanie mwaki. Githí nyúngú íría yarí na Nyama níhíhirie kíondo!
Nyúngú íkímúgúíra múgongo ígíatúka, Nyama ikímúchinaníria na nguo. Ríría mwanake úcio warí múrata wa mwarí onire úguo, akíoya indo ciake agíthie na ndachokire.
The literal translation of the story of the selfish woman (Mútumia Múkoroku)
One day in one of the many villages in Kikuyuland, there was a woman who was cooking meat and chicken. As she was cooking, she heard voices of people on their way to her house (Nyumba). She looked through a crack/small hole on the wall of her house and saw her daughter and the young man who was requesting1 to marry her approaching.
In a short moment, she thought and asked,” Even if she is marrying my daughter, am I going to serve him this Meat?”. She answered herself and decided to hide the cooking pot in a bag which was placed on a wall shelf above the fireplace. Then she poured some water in a sufuria and placed it on the fireplace.
On arrival, her daughter asked her what she was cooking. The woman told her that she was heating water to wash/clean her legs.
A short moment while they were talking, the selfish woman bend a bit to fuel the fire. And lo! The cooking pot had burned the bag!
The cooking pot fell on her back, broke into pieces and the hot Meat burned her body. When the young man saw what had happened, he took his belongings, left the place and never went back.
The Lesson learned from the story of the selfish woman (Mútumia Múkoroku)
Being greedy and selfish does not pay.
The woman burned her body and ruined2 her daughter’s marriage/relationship just because of meat and chicken.
Footnotes and references
- 1In the Kikuyu tradition, a young woman was free to choose who she wanted for a husband. For this reason, young men had to make sure they were the best suitors.
“A girl’s betrothal is entirely her own affair. The leading wife of the chief Munge was asked, “What I should tell the white women on my return to England about the women of Kikuyu?” “Tell them,” she said, “two things. One is that we never marry anyone we do not want to …… ”
~ Routledge, 1910: With a prehistoric people
- 2 The young man never returned which means he most likely didn’t marry the woman’s daughter.
- meat: could have been mutton, goat meat or beef.
- Meat: Used here to represent the meat and chicken
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Source of the story: Gikúyú Kiega Ibuku ria Gatatú by Mary Múito and Mary Karúe – Macmillan Kenya
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