County Kwale tops 94th National Music and Culture Festival


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County Kwale was crowned the champion of the 94th National Music and Culture Competitions held at the scenic Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa.

Coastal County took in a total of 253 Marks, followed closely by Kakamega County with 247 Marks.

Kwale came first in 56 categories, second in 34 categories and third in 17 categories in musical and cultural extravagance.

The county presented more than 130 cultural groups made up of traditional dancers artists, artisans and women under the banner “Utamaduni Team”.

County Kwale came 2nd in the 2019 National Music and Culture Competitions held in Siaya County and won over 40 trophies in different categories of music, poetry, dance and art.

In the 2019 competitions, Kwale, who also won the County’s Most Improved Trophy, finished ahead of Uasin Gishu County, who was the second runner-up. The host counties of Siaya and Mombasa were respectively positioned 4 and 5.

The weeklong competitions showcased huge 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. “

Speaking to the press, Kwale County Sports and Culture Director Ramadhan Bungale praised the teams for their achievements and the commitment they have shown in the competitions.

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

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

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

Bungale noted that music and cultural festivals were great pillars for the county’s growth.

The culture executive said the competitions help different communities in the county understand the culture of other communities and, in doing so, improve peaceful coexistence.

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

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

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

“As a decentralized unit, we plan how we can use our cultural artefacts to generate income. We have a lot of tourists in the county and this is an opportunity that the county government is considering exploiting. This too can create jobs for our people, ”he said.

County Kwale is a global tourist destination, a factor which is contributed by the presence of white sand 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 Kenya National Cultural Festival held at Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa.

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Darcy J. Skinner