NEWS 2012


Kenya: Songs, drama, artifact exhibition colour Ogiek community cultural day

The Ogiek community in Kenya marked their cultural day, which has become an annual fixture, in celebratory pomp with 14 cultural groups performing songs, drama and exhibiting rare traditional artifacts.

The day, held towards the end of December at Nessuit Primary School in Nakuru County, saw Kipkurere youth group emerge the best, with Soget Ogiek Dancers and Kaplelach Women Group, the runners up.

According to the Ogiek Peoples Programme, a community based organization and the brain behind the annual event, participants were drawn from as far as Mt Elgon, Uashin Gishu, Nandi, Narok and Nakuru counties.
They exhibited traditional ways of wild game hunting, honey harvesting, wild fruit gathering, tubers, roots and the general lifestyle of the Ogiek people.

The event organized under the theme ‘Promoting peace, unity and good governance’ also saw good representation from the local community leadership. Daniel Kobei, the Ogiek Peoples Programme Executive Director said ‘the festival was a good mobilization and unifying force’.

In attendance was the area MP (Molo Consituency) Hon. Joseph Kiuna, Mr Paul Kinyanjui, a senior District Officer and the district Commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor.

Others were; the area civic leader Paul Gugo and Mr Julius Muchemi from Environmental Research Mapping and Information Systems in Africa (ERMIS), who used the occasion to hand over an Atlas that has designated the Ogiek community areas within the Mau East.

About 19 Ogiek elders were given the maps which ERMIS developed three years ago. The Atlas safeguards the Ogiek peoples ancestral territorial rights and interests.

Kobei said the event ‘will be used to attract tourists as well as a platform to help boost the fundraising drive for an Ogiek museum.