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State partners with counties to preserve and safeguard cultural, heritage sites

The government is committed towards supporting counties in showcasing, preserving, and protecting cultural and heritage sites for national integration, cohesion and peace.

Principal Secretary, State Department for Culture, Arts and Heritage Ms. Ummi Bashir said Kenya’s rich history, culture, literature, cultural sites and heritage sites have an enormous global positive impact at regional and international levels hence earning foreign exchange.

The PS spoke during the official opening of the 96th edition of the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) at Wote Technical Institute in Wote, Makueni.

“We as the state department of culture, the arts and heritage, shall have more functions and events with counties showcasing arts, culture, protect, preserve and promote our heritage sites,” said Bashir.

“Our cultural expressions, crafts, music, dance, literature, theatre, cuisines, language dialects, films, Fashion Design, and Visual Arts-Carvings, shrines, caves, and circuit tourism demonstrate our country reputation as peaceful with hospital people, resilient nation and a great travel destination,” she explained.

At least 30 counties will participate in the festivals, with 14 counties already registered.

“We need to work together and ask other counties to emulate from Makueni on partnership,” noted Bashir.

She said Kenya in collaboration with UNESCO is working towards repatriating lost artifacts and skulls, including heads and skulls including “famous heads skulls of world notorious pair of male man eater’s lions of Tsavo forest”.

“As a country, we are headed in the right direction and acknowledging that Kenya passed and approved the 1972 UNESCO convention on repatriating of artifacts, illegal imports and exports of these objects,” noted Bashir.

She said currently, the Kenya seat at World Heritage Committee will enable the country to fastrack the repatriation of the country’s artifacts and add more of the number of natural and cultural sites from the current seven UNESCO sites.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior stated that the cultural festivals will immensely contribute to the integration of the country.

“We are glad that Makueni county has provided a platform for the country to come here and interact with the people of Makueni to learn, share and practice different cultures and diversities and know that we are one,” said Mutula.

The festival is set to end on December 9, 2023.

By Ronald Rono

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