February 17, 2024

Kamba’s In Kwale Want to be Enjoined in the Mijikenda Community

Parliamentary Service Commissioner Johnstone Mudhama (centre) takes to the floor at Shimba Hills Secondary school in Kwale. (Photo By Caro Katana)

By Caroline Katana

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com 

Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has challenged Mijikenda leaders to consider Kambas in coast region as one of their communities inorder to curb ethnic differences.

Speaking at Shimba Hills Secondary School in Kwale County after gracing Kamba Community Cultural Festival,  Muthama stated that for many decades, Kambas have lived with other communities in coast region in unity and harmony.

Muthama, who is currently a Commissioner in the Parliamentary Service Commission, said: “I understand Kambas are among the minorities here, but time has come for them to be among the Mijikenda community; we should have Mijikumi as of now.”

He urged Digo spokes person Chirau Ali Mwakwere to officially initiate the program of embracing Kambas as Mijikendas.

“I don’t see the reason for the minorities to be excluded on matters of leadership and job opportunities in this region, yet they have lived in coast region even before independence,”said former senator.

He said that the ceremony was not only for showcasing Kamba community cultures of food, dances and attires, but to strengthen their bond with other communities.

In regard to politics, commissioner Muthama urged Kenyans to be patient as the government is putting measures to stabilize the economy.

“Nobody denies that the country is facing economic challenges, but we should give our leaders time to look for amicable solutions,”he added.

At the same time, he warned opposition against threatening to remove the president from office by 2024.

During the same occasion, Mr William Ndeti, Chairman of Coast Region Kamba Cultural Festival called upon communities to invest more in culture as away of boosting tourism in coast region.

“We have learnt different cultures from other communities like Luhya, Digo, and Duruma. We make comparisons with our culture. Ours being a Kamba cultural festival we have invited our friends and if  communities will join hands and embrace cultural festivals, this can be a big boost to our tourism sector,” Mr Ndeti said.

Another speaker Ms Gladys Reuben Mwakisha said it’s very paramount for the young generation to learn and understand culture and traditions of Kamba community.

“We have observed that even cultural foods nowadays is not a priority; everyone is embracing new traditions. I guess it’s particularly good for the young generation to understand how our forefathers promoted and protected cultures,” Ms Mwakisha said.

Mr Muema Mutuku, Chairman of Kamba Community in Kwale County, affirmed culture to be the backbone of integrity in any community.

“We will be celebrating our cultures every year so as to continue sensitizing our youths on the importance of our cultures; we don’t want our culture to be a history in our communities because of the emerging new practices in the globe,” Mr Mutuku.

Digo spokesperson and former ambassador Chirau Ali Mwakwere called upon communities in coast region to use culture and traditions for unity.

“Let our culture  unite communities in this region.  Tribalism should be something of the past; let’s love one another. 

“Tribal differences may lead to discrimination of minorities something that is against human rights,” Mr Mwakwere said.

Addressing the same event, Mr Michael Mutua who is the County Executive Committee member in charge of tourism Kwale county, said county leadership has put measures in place to ensure culture is maintained.

Dating back centuries, the stories and traditions of the peoples of Kenya are some of the most fascinating in the world.

They have enriched the country through social, economic, political and cultural activities, each with their own unique stories.

Today, 44 communities are officially recognized by the government, and are classified into three linguistic groups: the Bantu, the Nilotic and the Cushitic speakers.

The National Museums of Kenya holds objects telling the stories of the communities, which represent the country’s ethnic diversity and vibrant culture.

In as much as some of these cultural practices are still embraced today, visitors, traders and missionaries who visited East Africa as from the 18th century, and formal education, have gradually influenced the culture and religion of the people of Kenya today.

This exhibit celebrates the country’s rich heritage through the Kamba community. 

The Kamba were also known for making and selling creative wood carvings and ornaments.

They sold medicinal products known to them as ‘miti’, meaning herbs, obtained from different plant species.

The Kamba were hunters, famed for their pursuit of elephant, as well as for their skills in arrow working and poison-making.

Muthokoi, local brew, and honey are the Kamba community traditional foods that attendants  explored during the celebrations.

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