Wote, Makueni – In an initiative to uphold national integration and peace, the Kenyan government is dedicating resources to aid counties in the preservation and showcasing of cultural and heritage sites. Ms. Ummi Bashir, Principal Secretary at the State Department for Culture, Arts and Heritage, emphasized the significance of Kenya’s rich cultural heritage during the opening of the 96th Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) held at Wote Technical Institute in Wote, Makueni.
According to Kenya News Agency, “The State Department is eager to collaborate more closely with counties to not only showcase our diverse arts and culture but also to protect and promote our heritage sites,” stated Ms. Bashir. She highlighted the vital role of Kenya’s cultural expressions – including music, dance, literature, theater, cuisine, language dialects, films, and visual arts – in enhancing the country’s global reputation as a peaceful and resilient travel destination.
The festival, witnessing participation from at least 30 counties, with 14 already registered, offers a vibrant platform to celebrate Kenya’s diverse cultural tapestry. Ms. Bashir encouraged other counties to follow Makueni’s example in partnering for such cultural initiatives.
In her speech, Ms. Bashir also addressed Kenya’s ongoing collaboration with UNESCO in repatriating lost artifacts and skulls, including the renowned Tsavo forest man-eater lions’ skulls. “Kenya’s membership in the World Heritage Committee is a step forward in accelerating the return of our artifacts and increasing our UNESCO natural and cultural sites beyond the current seven,” she explained.
Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior of Makueni County lauded the festival’s role in fostering national unity. “Hosting this event in Makueni allows people from across Kenya to converge, interact, and immerse themselves in different cultural practices, reinforcing our unity in diversity,” he remarked.
This concerted effort by the Kenyan government and counties demonstrates a strong commitment to preserving and celebrating the nation’s rich cultural and historical heritage for future generations.