Ngai, also called enkai, engai, mwiai, and mweai is a monolithic Supreme God in the Kemba and kikuyu’s spirituality, Kenya. He cannot be seen, but he is manifest. In the sun, the moon, the stars, comets, and meteors. Thunders and lightning, in rainbows and the great fig trees.
Ngai is regarded and known as the mighty God, the creator, and the omnipotent God. Ngai often referred to as ‘mwene nyaga,’ which means; the owner of the dazzling light. It was noted that in prayers and sacrifices, Ngai is addressed by the Gikuyu as ‘mwene nyaga,’ which means; possessor of brightness. This name is associated with kiriNyaga, which is the name for Mount Kenya. Which then altogether means; the mountain of brightness.
The Gikuyu worshipped Ngai, facing mount Kenya. The mount Kenya, although, straddles the equator, it’s usually capped with ice and snow. In Africa, the second-highest mountain. It’s considered Ngai earthly home, and it’s said that God instructed Gikuyu that if he was going to say prayers to him when he is in need. He should say prayers, make sacrifices, face his hands towards the mountain, and come to his aids.
Prayers and sacrifices were made under a tree called mugumo, a fig tree; also occasions which may warrant libations and sacrifices are Also performed here. Sacrifices were conducted by the members of the ruling generation. Each ruling generation appointed a special priest for any matter that arose.
According to the Gikuyu creation myth, Ngai created humanity first. He created man and called him Gikuyu and created a woman and called him mumbi. He then created a mountain, Mount Kenya, as his resting place. It’s also believed that Gikuyu gave birth to 9 daughters, which forms the nine clans of the Kikuyu people. The Acheera, The Airimu, The ambui, The Angari, The Anjiru, The Ethaga, The Agachiku, and The Aithirandu.
According to tales, it’s said that one day Ngai appeared to Gikuyu and allotted him the land at the southwest of Mount Kenya. He then built a homestead as instructed by Ngai, at a place called mukure WA Nyangathanga, a place that is considered sacred and is filled with mugumo trees. Mugumo trees are fig trees.
People often asked how the daughters were able to give birth since they were no men. It’s said that the daughters asked their father to pray to Ngai because it was time they’d start making families. The father offered sacrifices to Ngai under mugumo tree, and the next morning they woke up to nine men under the mugumo tree, and they married them, and they became ancestors of the nine tribes.