Kenyans will be treated to a six day experience of the diverse South African culture which will also be in celebration of 25 years of democracy and freedom of the country.
Speaking on Monday at a media briefing in Nairobi, Ministry of Culture, Youths and Sports Permanent Secretary (PS), Josephta Mukobe said that Kenya and South African have a long history dating back to the struggle for freedom of both countries noting that politics and culture go hand in hand.
“It is an honour for us to host South Africa during this event and it shows the commitment of both countries in nurturing our friendship especially in culture and skill exchange,” said Mukobe.
“In the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), peace and integration which includes acceptance of diverse cultures is a tool for achieving peace. Culture is an opportunity for employment and economic growth and thus the achievement of goal number one of the SDG’s of poverty eradication,” added Mukobe.
She also said that the six day cultural week would culminate in signing of a bilateral agreement between Kenya and South Africa on matters art, culture and heritage exchange at a later date.
The Deputy Director – General of the Department of Arts and Culture, Republic of South Africa, Ms. Kelebogile Sethibelo said that for South African’s Kenya ‘is home away from home’ citing the selfless support Kenyans gave in their struggle against apartheid.
She said that apart from promoting regional integration and trade, it would be an opportunity to show how we treat the vulnerable people in our society by exposing them to opportunities to make them realise their potential.
Sethibelo said that the event would be open and free to all and would comprise of opening gala dinner and exhibition and official opening today at National Museum of Kenya, opening of South Africa film festival tomorrow and dance extravaganza on Thursday at the Kenya cultural center and the ultimate Music concert at Bomas of Kenya on Saturday 2nd March.
“Kenyans will have an opportunity to get training on filmmaking skills, get connections with various filmmakers from down south, taste South African foods and cuisines, meet our traditional dancers, music and mingle with our secular musicians,” added Sethibelo.
She said that this was a reciprocal event and welcomed Kenya to also visit South Africa for similar events.
A South African Artist Amanda Black (Amanda Benedicta Antony), who represented all artists at the briefing said that music transcends all cultures and that she supports the African Union cross border reach out cultural agenda.
By Simon Githogori/Joseph Ng’ang’a/Caren Gichana