The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs are organizing the first ever International Maasai festival to be held in the Maasai Mara in August this year.
The festival which aims at boosting Kenya’s economy through tourism, celebrating culture and promoting cultural diplomacy will coincide with the annual wildebeest migration.
Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the initiative to lobby funds for the festival, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Ms. Peninah Malonza noted that it is beyond any doubt that culture unites people and it is through culture that people create meaning to life’s experiences.
“Kenya has a rich cultural diversity of close to 50 distinct and colorful cultures. The Maasai culture, however, is the most unique culture which sells our nation internationally and plays a huge role in the tourism sector,” said Malonza.
The CS noted that very few African cultures can claim the fame and universal appeal that the Maasai culture has earned both locally and internationally and it is no coincidence that UNESCO has classified three Maasai rites and ceremonies as a World Cultural Heritage.
The CS added that the upcoming festival will provide a platform for Public-Private partnerships to promote cultural entrepreneurship. During the festivals, the locals will have a chance to sell their products contributing positively to the economies of Narok, Kajiado, Baringo, Laikipia and Samburu counties.
The week-long festivities will also provide an opportunity for conservationists around the world to meet and discuss the conservation of the Maasai Mara game reserve.
The Maa Education Trust Chairperson Mr. Andrew Sunkuli who is the brains behind the event, urged well-wishers to support the event which will be held annually.
Present during the event was Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs Dr. Korir Sing’oei, Kajiado Governor Mr. Joseph ole Lenku, Members of the diplomatic corps, and Maasai Community representatives.
By Diana Meneto