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FESTAC team on assessment mission

Plans to host the global Black African Arts and Cultural fete in Kisumu are in top gear following a three-day assessment by a high-powered delegation from The African Festival for Arts and Culture (FESTAC).

Grace Mumo, FESTAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that Kenya was set to make the seven-day event to be held between May 20-26, the biggest cultural celebrations of the year.

“We welcome everybody and everyone from every corner of the world to be here to enjoy a seven-day fully packed experience of Africa. We urge you all to come in large numbers and showcase your culture, and fashion and promote intra-african trade,’’ Mumo said.

Speaking when the delegation paid a courtesy call on Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o, Mumo said the festival would open up business opportunities for local residents besides offering a platform for people from across the world to network.

Other activities lined up include sports, an investment summit, and global culinary experience.

To ensure the promotion and integration of the black African cultures, Mumo stressed that they will continue to emphasise the narrative of, ‘The African We Want to See.’

This, however, is achievable through Sustainability, Tourism, Culture and all perspectives.

FESTAC Chairman Yinka Abioye said the organisation dates back to the early 1960s when Africans were fighting for liberation from colonialists.

“The first FESTAC was done in 1966 in Senegal and the second in Nigeria (1977). It died for 45 years and, we resuscitated it. Progressively, we have held it in Zanzibar (2022), Arusha (2023) and is now set to open in Kisumu (2024),’’ he clarified.

He further divulged that the festival will offer a platform for the unification of all Black Africans through arts and culture.

“But we will be taking it beyond by bringing in the big edition of East African through our partnership with the East African Community (EAC),’’ Abioye said.

Governor Nyong’o expressed his pleasure while stressing that as the host city for the 5th FESTAC, they are prepared to welcome a lot of people from all over the world.

“We have a good experience in holding such big festival events like the Africities Summit in which we hosted 13,000 guests. Owing to its success, we have been continuously getting very good accolades from the union of cities and local governments,’’ Prof Nyong’o said as he recounted that Kisumu City is a place for many cultural groups internationally.

The city, he said, continues to provide many facilities that are culturally diverse and unique. It is endowed with various tourist and cultural attraction sites like Impala Park, Kisumu Museum, Kit Mikayi, Ndere Island among others.

“By visiting these sites you will take back with you some cultural memories of Kisumu. With these manifestations, the kind of people who are coming to FESTAC are already loaded in a multiplicity of culture and language and experiences,’’ he said.

By Renny Esther and Rolex Omondi

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