Meru County Government is constructing a Sh60 million cultural centre at Njuri Ncheke shrine in Tigania West aimed at reviving the Ameru culture.
Speaking while inspecting the project which is expected to be complete by December this year, Governor Kiraitu Murungi and his Deputy, Titus Ntuchiu, said their administration was keen on promoting the Ameru history, language and culture of the local communities.
Kiriatu said the centre will also host recording studios and exhibition halls to enable artistes in the region to earn a living from their artistic expressions, including artworks.
He added that the 1, 500-capacity hall at the shrine will play host to local and national events, and enable the elders to earn some money to run the facility.
In his campaign manifesto, Kiraitu had promised to work in the promotion of Kimeru history, language and culture and that the project will play a key role in fulfilling the three roles.
“We said in the process of doing so, we are going to support the Njuri Ncheke system which has been here for many years, and we are also going to establish the Kimeru Cultural Institute,” Kiraitu said.
Being the second largest after the Bomas of Kenya, Kiriatu added that the centre will also be used to hold national events which will, in turn, play a key role in promoting local tourism.
To support the construction of the centre, the more than 3,000 elders drawn from Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties had also agreed to bring a building block each and any other help for those who are capable.
Ntuchiu noted that the completion of the centre will be a relief to local artists who were earlier forced to seek production studios in Nairobi.
Njuri Ncheke Chairman, Linus Kathera, and the two Secretary Generals, Josphat Murangiri (Operations) and Washington Muthamia (Programmes), welcomed the development adding that it will promote the Ameru culture as well as the creation of employment opportunities for the local talented youth.
Kathera said the Meru community distributed across Thuci in Tharaka Nithi County and Ntoniri, the farthest corner in Meru County, were endowed with a rich culture which the centre seeks to celebrate, promote and preserve.
By Dickson Mwiti