By The COAST Newspaper Reporter
Hoteliers have petitioned the National parliament to move a motion to create a Cultural Public Holiday so as to enable communities showcase their culture and traditions.
Either, the hoteliers also demand the Cultural day be enjoined in the National calendar and be celebrated across the country every year.
General Manager Ocean Beach Resort & SPA Malindi Maureen Awour said the country has different Cultural diversities that could stir up the Tourism sector once well packaged.
Speaking at the Multi Cultural festival in Malindi over the weekend, Maureen said the cultural sector is still un tapped urging the law makes to come up with a legislation once put in place could help rejuvenate the tourism sector.
‘Several tourist destinations have very clean beaches that we can no longer claim to be capitalizing on our beaches to attract tourists especially this time when competition is so rife. We need to come up with unique packages that will inspire tourists to visit our country in large numbers” Maureen said
“It’s only culture that we have at our disposal that no one can emulate us because every country has different communities with different cultures though ours are very rich” She added.
She singled out the Mijikenda culture which she said was unique and attractive adding that very little is said or known about it.
“This region especially the Mijikenda Culture is very rich I cannot tell why the government is giving the cultural sector a deaf ear, they mean a lot to tourists, I wish they would understand”
Maureen who is also a member of the Kilifi County marketing team that aims at positioning the county as a tourist destination wants county government to own up the cultural events and formulate policies of how they should be conducted.
She said though the events are economically viable they are poorly conducted because they are left to individual organizations to undertake the activities.
“These cultural festivals should not be left to only one organization to conduct them because they are quite huge for them. County government should be at the fore front and create budget for the same if we really need to reap from them” she said.
Currently Mseto Africa in Malindi has been conducting annual cultural events with an aim of promoting coexistence amongst different communities as well as showcasing talents.
Mseto Africa coordinator Anthony Kadenge said the turnout has been overwhelming with attemdance from different communities across the country.
“We normally have different activities but if am to mention one but a few the Princess Hando contest which it’s a Mijikenda Cultural attire competition normally attracts competitors from different communities far away from the Mijikenda. Maureen Awour General Manager Ocean Beach Resort & SPA Malindi is from the Luo Community but she was among the contestants, so this is not a Mijikenda affair” Kadenge said.
This year’s annual festival being the ninth since the idea was mooted attracted thousands of people local and international visitors.
Kadenge claimed the county government has not sprung its muscles to the event and in most of the time they are forced to operate with very minimal budget.
“We don’t receive any funding from the county Government, we only operate under well wishers contributions and tokens” he said
His sentiments were echoed by the Team Leader of his organization Jacob Mulanda who said a little budget by the county government would go a long way to the organization of such festivals.
This year several activities were shelved away due to lack of facilitation. A handful of artists were willing to perform though without a single penny.
Some claimed that the organization received lots of donations but it was playing a hide and seek game that they would retain a large chunk of the donation for their up keep claims that were vehemently refuted by the Team leader Jacob Mulanda.
Trade, Tourism and Culture chief officer Patience Tsimba said the county donated sound system and Dias to this year’s event.
“We were still monitoring the whole thing because we could not just come in full force least we burn our feet but I assure you that next year it will be a different story” Chief Patience told the media.
The event was characterized by insecurity incidences that culminated to the loss of one person who was stubbed on the neck after a raw erupted over a woman.
“The man who stabbed the young man claimed his wife had been sexually harassed. He claimed she was touched her hips and he stabbed him several times on the neck” an eye witness told the COAST Reporter.
“We want the National as well as the County government to provide security to such functions because we are all Kenyans and it’s our constitutional right to be secured” he added.
The last day of the festival was ended prematurely after chaos started to erupt at the midst of the event.
Mean while Swahili Pot, a talent empowering hub in Mombasa County has officially launched the Pwani Innovation Week slated for early December 2018.
The event is aimed at stimulating the innovation ecosystem in Kenya’s coastal region including the six coastal counties.
Speaking during the official launch of the initiative in Mombasa on Wednesday, Simeon Oriko Board member at the Swahili Pot Hub disclosed that the program will provide youth with a vast opportunity to learn, showcase and experience innovation in action.
The official said the five day event will also provide a forum for discussions about the regions innovation strategy.
“Our agitation for a regional innovation strategy signals our attention to build an innovation ecosystem focused on creating and supporting new businesses said the official.
He indicated that Pwani Innovation Week will feature among others a variety of events in the week long program.
Oriko said vision Kenya’s vision 2030 development program underscores the importance of innovation in creating a strong base for enhanced efficiency, sustained growth and promotion of value addition goods and services.
He also explained that the event will include talks, pitching workshop, and entertainment while part of the program will feature family, art and cultural events.
“So many events will be showcased during the innovation week slated for December this year,” he exclaimed
He said the weeklong event will provide an opportunity to mainstream innovation across all sectors including the big four- manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.
Professor Said Mwaguni Technical University of Mombasa university don said the university has ever since produced several innovators in various fields of study who have impacted the society positively.
The professor indicated that institutions of higher learning have dozens of creative ideas which needs to be nurtured and hence transformed into useful products.
Swahili Pot Hub is an innovation hub for arts and technology in Mombasa County that supports members through training, mentor ship and co-working facilities.