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.
BY Prof Dr Halim Shauri
History is a very interesting subject, akin to science in that it has a clear cause and effect captured in time period. Why do I say so you may be wondering? Yes, we can easily understand today by reflecting on yesterday and we may even predict tomorrow from today’s events, where today becomes the history of yesterday. The method of historicism can help us understand the events surrounding MigunaMiguna in the current dual citizenship misinterpretations of the constitution 2010. Because am not a constitutional expert, I leave this to the legal minds but I cut my niche by looking at historicism as a sociological method to understand the MigunaMigunadiscomfiture. Allow me at this juncture to call him double M or MM, I know even himself would have allowed me because of space. But why do I invoke history you may be wondering? Yes, once upon time I was a student of history and in my studies of Sociology, historicism was a method I was taught to understand social reality, such as the one unfolding for double M.
Accordingly, history has shown us the way heroesare made in many countries of the world. Martin Luther King and his idea of having a dream, was made by the spur of the moment and the million man mach. Closer home, in Africa, we have witnessed interesting ways of people ascending to power. History has taught us that to be a leader in the continent you must either come from a majority tribe to ascend to power or you must be wealthy or use violence. In fact, the concept of democracy has just been and is a lip service in many African countries. It is forced to the majority of us that African countries are democratic, while the real picture is disguised from the conscience of the majority. From my earlier Article, in my series of newspaper write ups, I called Democracy, aka, Demon-crazy (government of friends for friends possessed by the demon of power and wealth) because of its misrepresentation in the continent. From West Africa to the South and Eastern Africa, the situation of ascending to power has been associated with wealth, ethnic advantage or violence. Indeed, the masses have been socialized by the elites for a long time on the methodologies of grabbing power. This has led to the normalization of these methodologies and have been the norm in many African countries.
The tribal majority take over power, use it to create wealth among kin and folk, aka it’s our time to eat. The latter has been shown through history to be the motivation among those who decide to ascend to power and not public interests. They simply seek to loot public coffers and the benefit of a small click of people, the elites and tribesmen. How does this happen, I know you are asking yourself? This is evident in terms of the way they allocate themselves government plum jobs and their kin and folk fat government contracts. What is sad is for the majority poor and desperados supporting one of their own on the premise that they will benefit by osmosis or diffusion. Sooner or later they realize that those who benefit from such power are only a click of kinfolk and friends and the rest of the tribesmen join the pool of the other poor and desperados from other minority communities. In fact, it’s difficult to understand why people favour their tribal inclination in the choice of leadership over their common poor trajectories! The fact that one comes from the majority tribe does not therefore mean that they will join the state dining table and enjoy the state power feast. Indeed, many become hyenas waiting curiously for the remnants of bones after the elites have eaten the juicy part of the state feast, while others don’t even get the remnants but salivate from the smell or sight of the feast. Why then do we want to die to support our own tribesman to get power? This can only be attributed to ethnic psychosis, a mental sickness of identity we inherited from our early tribal kinship communities, especially in Africa.
Where do you want to arrive at? Yes, when Kenya’s election 2018 went hey way, there was clamor for electoral justice. History reminds us that this struggle started in the Supreme Court, then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) then to the open public space. What was the outcome, you may have forgotten? The opposition coalition, aka, NASA metamorphosed into a movement, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The movement led demonstrations and confrontations with security agencies turning into ugly violent scenes in parts of the country, where many innocent lives were lost and business worth billions of shillings stopped or destroyed. So what is the point, I know you are asking? In any resistance movement there is role assignment, where in our case some NASA leaders became the summit, others joined the operational wingand others such as double M declared himself “The General”. You may be asking what is your point? The point is MigunaMiguna became the self-anointed general for the NRM. His decision supports leadership theory where in the absence of a leader and in a situation of crisis in particular, a leader by crisis emerge, and this is double M.
What is worth thinking is whether this was by chance or clearly orchestrated. In my opinion, I think this is part of the opposition succession strategy. In fact, double M is the man to watch in the evolving Kenya’s opposition politics, especially in post Raila era. Why you be asking? Yes, double M stood by “baba” ceasing all the opportunity to succeed him by becoming a self-declared general, a hero, a freedom fighter reminiscent of many freedom fighters during the struggle for the first and second liberation in the country. Indeed, Raila himself was born out of the struggle for second liberation, where demonstrations, trials, detentions, confrontations characterized the scenes of the public space then. Look at the swearing in and where the general was! Go back to recent history and remember what happened after the swearing in; Raila gets sworn in but double M gets arrested. What happened when he was arrested? You remember from the events of the days that double M was held and tried secretly, then deported against his will. All these were happening in full knowledge of the government of the day that later emerged to refer to double M as an undocumented passenger on transit, this is where government(s) make mistakes. In my field of study, I was taught that what makes things or people popular is the degree of retaliation or reaction to what they do. The serious the reaction, the more popular they become and this is exactly what the Kenya government has done to uplift the popularity of double M as the defactohero, savior, courageous and probably freedom fighter for the third liberation in post Raila era.Allow me to summarize a popular lesson from the Holy Scriptures:
“…those who understand the dynamics of the journey to Canaan will agree with me that it has just started as opposed to many who believe that it was abandoned midstream….Moses never delivered the Israelites to the promised land, it was unfortunate that blood had to be shed for the completeness of the journey, but in the end Pharaoh was caught with his tattered pants down despite his emotional response to the Exodus”
What is not clear in the conscience of the top governors of this country is that double M’s endevours to re-enter the country or fight for his citizenship and continued deportation and the government acts of shame and desperation such as what was witnessed at JKIA recently is in fact making double M get more sympathizers and followers. Indeed, this maybe a strategy to endear himself as ‘baba’s’ successor now that Kalonzo, Wetangula and Mudavadi proved themselves as cowards by absenting themselves during the purported Raila's swearing in at Uhuru Park. Why am I saying so? I ask you another question, why do you think he is at the fore in the fight for justice than the co-principals? More controversially is why is it that “baba” shook hands with the president? Does it mean that “baba” and double M know something, aka opposition succession that the rest of Kenya is made ignorant to know or blind to see? What are you hypothesizing, you are wondering? Yes, be an ardent fighter for justice, while I join them to create social space for you to rise and ensure I protect you from grievous harm from the inside, go buddy! You are a genius.
Indeed, looking at the NASA co-principals, I see darkness in their quest for take over power or even opposition politics. In fact, inter alia, the swearing in fiasco was a strategy to get them out of the race in 2022 by painting them dishonesty and cowards to lead the masses out of a plethora of injustice and exclusion. The question I see you asking yourself is that, did “baba’ and double M had a plan in deciding to go on with the swearing in despite the risks involved? Probably, but the one billion question is whether the government knows what it is doing in its violent reaction to double M strategy of presenting himself as the savior of injustice when “baba” has crossed over to wine and feast with the best of the country. You may be wondering why am asking this question? Yes, when you are in power and not careful you may lose touch with social reality and act in a manner to make yourself unpopular in the eyes of the masses. They say in other circles power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Is here a political game that is being played that the masses and the government may not be aware? Yes, the government may be falling prey to ‘baba’s’ undeclared and over well schemed succession strategy orchestrated by yours truly, ‘baba’, aka his last bullet. The strategy is clear for double M to continue his struggles that the government reacts in embarrassing ways, raising his profile by day as a courageous man and the liberator of the voiceless. Indeed, double M profile and appeal to the poor and voiceless masses is very high now curtsey of government emotional outbursts and reactions on his dual citizenship. While the government thinks it’s frustrating and showing double M where he belongs, me think they are raising his popularity and branding him as the real hero, may be more than ‘baba’ at the moment. I see you are doubtful of my hypothesis! I agree you have thoughts as my reader but history will judge me wrong, but in the wisdom of my community, allow me to say that “undapigadiyaelaphananukanyamaipha” (you will beat the dog, but there is a smell of meat in the compound).