Preparations for the annual Mijikenda’s Chenda Chenda festival are in top gear with the celebrations set to be held this Saturday, September 9 in Kwale county.
Mijikenda Kaya Elders who are the organizers of the fete said all is set for the festival and all nine Mijikenda Kayas will converge in Kwale to mark the celebrations.
Speaking at the Magarini Cultural Centre the Coordinator of Mijikenda Kaya elders Tsuma Nzai called on Kenyans and the whole world to join the elders in Kwale for the celebrations which are meant to bring together all the communities of the Mijikenda.
He said Mijikenda Kaya elders have important issues which they will address during the celebrations and give way forward for the betterment of the region at large.
“The Theme of this year’s festival is Our Culture is our Pillar, we chose that theme because we found that without going back to our culture our communities will lose values, so far many youths are not conversant with their culture and through this festival, they will be able to learn more about their culture,” he said.
He said the Kaya elders had challenges as some leaders wanted to divide them by organizing a parallel festival.
Nzai said Kilifi has nine Kayas while Kwale has two and the Kaya elders chose this year’s festival to be held in Kwale as last year the festival was in Kilifi.
“We shall not allow few leaders to divide us the festival will be held in Kwale everyone is welcome to come and witness the rich culture of the Mijikenda,” he said.
He said this year they are keen to advocate for climate change as they had planned to plant 20 million trees but only managed to plant 10 million trees.
The coordinator said their aim is to enlighten the members of the public on the importance of conserving the environment.
Mwinyi Mwalimu the Chairman of Mijikenda Kaya elders said Chenda Chenda festival brings together all Mijikenda communities and called on all community members to visit Kwale and celebrate.
“This year we thought it wise to take it to Kwale because we had agreed to have a stand that’s why last year it was in Kilifi and now its time for Kwale,” he said.
Mwalimu said there are those trying to divide the Mijikenda by demanding the festival to be held in Kilifi as there are nine tribes which is not right, we do not want to be divided,” he said.
The Kaya elder said there were some brokers who were trying to create divisions for their personal gains which will not be accepted.
He called upon all, the Governors of the Coast Region, and President William Ruto to join the Kaya elders in the celebrations as it will be the biggest of all.
Hamisi Juma the vice secretary of Mijikenda Kaya elders from Kwale said this year they are the ones who will host the festival and called on all the Coast residents and leaders to join them in the celebrations.
“We appeal to our Governor Fatuma Achani of Kwale to invite fellow leaders, Governors, MPs, Senators and even our president William Ruto so as to join us in the celebrations,” he said.
Kapombe Kashuru an elder from Magarini Culture and Kadzo alias Mama Namba from Magarini who are renowned traditional Namba dancers said they have been using their music to preach for peace and also called on the Mijikenda to turn out in large numbers for the celebrations.