Wanyonyi, a middle-aged man from Marakaru in Bungoma County, made headlines for his incredible feat of eating 20 Chapatis and 5 kilograms of beans in just 10 minutes. The annual eating contest takes place during the tea plantation season in an open field, with spectators watching as competitors participate. Wanyonyi was declared the champion and awarded free fertilizer and tree seeds for planting. He expressed his love for participating in eating contests and said that his ability to eat well was the reason for his success.
Wanyonyi’s achievement was remarkable since consuming such a large amount of food requires a lot of effort. In contrast, Wamalwa has a natural talent for eating and enjoys participating in these events. The Luhya community forbids women from eating ‘Ingokho’ traditionally, and this has been a custom that has been followed for many years. Recently, two Bukusu elders, John Sunguti and Amos Wanjala, explained the reasons behind the custom.
Although traditionally women were not allowed to eat chicken, in modern times, they are allowed to eat it, but some parts are still considered “no-go zones for women,” such as the gizzard. In some households, men cannot eat chicken if the gizzard is missing. Eating such a part could earn a woman a divorce, and the matter could be settled in court. The reason behind the custom, according to Derrick Makhanu, is the fear that women may eat all the eggs, leaving none to hatch.
However, some people believe that this custom was created by men to enjoy chicken delicacies alone. They refute the fallacious notion that eggs have health implications for women. While some women believe that such customs were meant to oppress them, others argue that they are no longer relevant and should be done away with. Modern women may scoff at the idea of such customs, but it is still essential to understand cultural beliefs and their significance in our communities.
In conclusion, some customs, such as eating contests, are fun and enjoyable, but others, such as forbidding women from eating chicken or certain parts of it, are discriminatory and should be abolished. While it is crucial to preserve our cultural beliefs, it is equally important to re-evaluate them and discard those that are oppressive and no longer relevant.