Madaraka; Google, NMK virtual exhibition showcases Kenya’s heritage

Kenya’s 58th Madaraka Day is being marked in the middle of a health pandemic that has quietly reduced outdoor fun and fair usually witnessed during independence celebrations.

With visits to some of Kenya’s historical sites limited due to COVID-19, Google and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) have collaborated to present an online exhibition dubbed Mashujaa Wetu: Meet Kenya’s Superheroes which is available on Google Art and Culture app.

The exhibition features stories of 61 remarkable Kenyan icons who fought for their communities’ land, freedom and spiritual well-being in pre- and post-independent Kenya.

Among items on Google Art and Culture app include 10,500 never-before seen high-resolution photographs, 130-expert curated exhibits, 4 expeditions, and 60 Google Street views of 16 sites.

Black Panther, Iron Man, Thor or Batman might be famous but have you seen the superheroes from each of the 44 communities?

On the app, you will meet comic representation of the superheroes among them, Among’in, the Magical Teso Diviner, Lwanda Magere, the Invisible Luo Warrior, Senteu the Great Maasai Warrior or Wangu wa Maakeri, the fiery Kikuyu Chieftess.

Search trends show that Mekatilili wa Menza, Luanda Magere, and Queen Amanirenas are the most searched superheroes via the Google Arts and Culture App.

“Restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit hard museums and art galleries all over the world as visitors stay home. However, digital technology is offering a solution through virtual tours,”

According Ooko, Google Arts and Culture has over 2,500 museums on the platform, including the Nairobi National Museum which was built in 1929 and is home to the oldest known human fossil, Turkana boy, who is estimated to be 1.6 million years old.

She went on, “The app also features some of Kenya’s famous archaeological discoveries and collections, East African birds and mammals, and a selection of contemporary art. As you celebrate this year’s Madaraka Day, you can explore Kenya’s cultural and natural heritage preserved by The National Museums of Kenya by touring the 10 Unforgettable Museums and Sites in Kenya including Nairobi Gallery from the comfort of your couch.”

If you are not sure where your community originated from or your language group, then Find your ukoo section will give you history of your community, cultural, social and economic activities, superheroes and the language group.

A virtual tour of Kenya’s birthplace, Uhuru Gardens, Kenya’s first courtroom Nyeri Museum and seven other UNESCO Heritage Sites are also available on the app.

Happy Madarak Day!


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