By Mugendi Kangichu
Kune is a small village located in the interior of semi-arid Mbeere North Constituency, Embu County boasts of a structure locals say was formed through supernatural powers.
The once sleepy but now popular village is situated barely 50 meters from Kune Day and Boarding Secondary School, but it is the mushroom-shaped structure that lies on unattended land which attracts large numbers of people daily.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has seen few visitors to the wonder feature, whose formation locals explain in various tales.
It is believed that in the late 50s a witchdoctor coming from Uvariri heading to an unknown destination towards the upper Embu got tired, and decided to rest on a stone that has been left intact on top of the structure to date.
Uvariri village is home to renowned practitioners of traditional medicine and magic and is a source of various tools of trade and power for witchdoctors from afar who still visit for more powerful charms.
“The mushroom-shaped structure sits on barely half an acre land. Initially, it was not as big as it is now. Soil erosion has contributed towards increment of the area covered by the site,” says 70-year-old Peter Utuku, a resident.
The witchdoctor had gone to Uvariri to obtain extra powers to empower the effectiveness of his work back home, residents said.
After getting what he had come for, they say, he was warned against a rest along the route until he reached his home—a warning he somehow failed to heed.
“He sat on this stone and immediately the soils eroded from the sides forming this structure. It has never been destroyed by anything to date,” says Nancy Ngungi, 65.
She said after the incident the stone was not rained on for a long time. The rains would only encircle the small rock as per its shape causing soil erosion.
Initially, the strange feature caused fears to locals until the late 1990s when some locals summoned courage and moved close to examine it. Of late, the alluring area has been attracting young lovebirds and musicians and other artists who do photo and video shoots.
Edita Kinyua says visitors who attended her wedding ceremony that took place at Kune secondary school were attracted by the beautiful scenery.
“They took pictures on the site. My wedding photo-shoot was done there and it was beautiful,” he says with a smile.
“I started seeing this structure in the mid-90s as I attended Kune primary school. After sitting KCPE we took pictures within this area and atop the structure. It is beautiful,” recalls Erastus Njuki.
Njuki said schools take learners to the site to learn about the formation of different structures through soil erosion and to learn its history.
Although many believe the myth of supernatural power, Utuku, a resident thinks the structure formed as a result of underground streams oozing from Kiang’ombe hills.
“There is a water spring at the top of Kiang’ombe hills which I believe has caused all this. The spring has several underground streams which have caused soil erosion within this area,” he reasoned.
Though the place that develops as time goes has never caused any death or fatal accidents, locals say many have slipped inside the formed vast hole.
“Many drunkards have slipped into this hole though no one has ever died as a result. They just suffer injuries! It is beautiful, but also dangerous not only to locals and visitors. Authorities need to act fast and fence this area,” notes Njuki.
They call upon the government to construct the road and have the area advanced as it can be turned into a cash spinning facility for the county government, thus creating job opportunities for locals. The land where the structure sits is owned by an individual.
Locals say the structure has never generated income for anyone since visitors are not charged.