The struggle for independence in Kenya gave birth to the Akurinu church that today has grown wide and far.
In 1920s three Aroti (prophets); Joseph Ng’ang’a, Samuel Muinami and John Mung’ara started what became the first indigenous church after missionaries started the African Inland Mission (AIM) church in Kijabe, Kiambu. It is believed their end was prophesied to be a cruel death.
Akurinu faithful believe the prophets were destined to die brutally once they were done with the mission.
“The prophets operated in secrecy and their work was to pray and pass the message from God. And as was prophesied they were killed when their mission ended”, says Joseph Kaboro, 86.
Kaboro is among few people alive and were there when these prophets prepared grounds for the birth of the church and Mau Mau fighters. The Kikuyu Central Association (KCA) leaders used the church as platform to strategise struggle for independence.
“The Aroti passed the prophecy to church and KCA leaders and then the church would spread the gospel across while the latter planned the struggle for independence” says Kaboro.
The seers congregated at Gathumuri in Kimende to pray but violence was meted on them by colonialists. They were beaten, forcibly shaved with blunt pangas, their long hair and beard plucked and turbans set on fire and the indigenous church was closed.
Beginning of 1930 the three led a group of seers across Kenya’s forests and mountains praying and fasting. This was to purify grounds for Mau Mau fighters. The mission concluded in beginning of 1934.
But for their work to come true they blessed Samuel Thuku wa Makumi and bid the people goodbye as they prepared their death. They camped at a river in Ndarugo forest, Thika where prayed until they were ambushed and shot dead by white men on February 2, 1934.
Thuku wa Makumi established the first Akurinu church at Kimende in late 1930s and in 1979 he too prophesied his death. He passed away on March 31, 1980.