Kwale County tops 94th national music and cultural festival

KWALE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Kwale County has been crowned the champions of 94th edition of the National Music and Cultural Competitions held at the scenic Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa.

The coastal county garnered a total of 253 marks followed closely by Kakamega County with 247 marks.

Kwale emerged top in 56 categories, second in 34 categories, and third in 17 categories in the music and cultural extravaganza.

The county presented over 130 cultural groups composed of traditional dancers’ artists, craftsmen and women under the banner ‘Utamaduni Team’.

Kwale County emerged 2nd in the 2019 National Music and Cultural Competitions held in Siaya County and scooped over 40 trophies in different categories of music, poetry, dances, and art.

In the 2019 competitions, Kwale which also lifted the most improved county trophy finished ahead of Uasin Gishu County that was the 2nd runners up. Hosts Siaya and Mombasa counties were positioned 4 and 5 respectively.

The weeklong competitions showcased massive talent from various regions and counties across the country as well as government institutions.

The theme of this year’s festival was, “Celebrating the Resilience of Kenyans in safeguarding the health of our nation.’’

Addressing the press, Kwale County Executive for Sports and Culture Ramadhan Bungale hailed the teams for their exploits and commitment they showed during the competitions.

“Kwale was number two in the 2019 competitions and we have now won the national title and that means our county is rich in music and culture,” he said.

Bungale added that the county government will support the winning groups to ensure that the culture of the people of Kwale was preserved for posterity.

“As a county, we have set up a modern audiovisual recording studio to help us archive our dances and songs. We shall come up with other strategies to ensure our culture is not diluted by modernity,” Bungale said.

Bungale noted that music and cultural festivals were big pillars for the growth of the county.

The Culture Executive said the competitions help different communities in the county to understand the culture of other communities and by doing so enhance peaceful coexistence.

“People might think that this is a scheme by the county government to waste money, but cultural festivals are very important in promoting cohesion and peace in the entire nation,” noted Bungale.

Kwale County enjoys different cultures from the Duruma, Digo, Makonde, Wazaramo, and Kamba communities.

Bungale noted that the county was planning to establish an exhibition center for the cultural artifacts so that they can generate revenue from tourists.

“As a devolved unit we are planning on how we can use our cultural artifacts to generate revenues. We have many tourists in the county and it’s an opportunity the county government is planning to exploit. That too can create employment for our people,” he said.

Kwale County is a world tourist destination, a factor that is contributed by the presence of white sandy beaches, warm temperatures, and abundant wildlife in national parks.

A local man dressed in traditional costumes playing a flute during the closing ceremony of the 94th edition of the Kenya National Cultural Festival held at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa.
  

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