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Culture

DR. SONIA NZILANI, THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRADE, INDUSTRY, MARKETING, CULTURE, AND TOURISM INTERACTS WITH TRADERS AT KIKIMA, WINZENI, TUVILANI, AND MUKAATINI MARKETS IN MBOONI SUB COUNTY.

Dr. Sonia Nzilani, the County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Industry, Marketing, Culture, and Tourism interacts with traders at Kikima, Winzeni, Tuvilani, and Mukaatini markets in Mbooni Sub County, Thursday, on trading services concerns.

Issues addressed included sanitation and trading space. Dr Sonia reassured the traders of the department’s dedication to enhance and entrepreneurship in the county. Dr. Sonia encouraged them to adopt greening to improve cultural attraction sites, community health and climate change resilience.

Additionally, she inspected the designated site for the Mbooni West dumping site.

MAKUENI COUNTY JOINS FORCES WITH NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF KENYA AND NATURAL PRODUCT INDUSTRY TO DRIVE CULTURAL INNOVATION

A dynamic collaboration between the Trade and Culture directorate, the National Museums of Kenya, and the Natural Product Industry recently unfolded during a three-day workshop at the Kilimani Breeze Hotel. The workshop’s central aim was to validate the Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Innovation Bank (InKiBank) while strategically identifying and prioritizing IK assets within Makueni County for cultural product development and eventual commercialization.

The workshop served as a melting pot of ideas, drawing together an eclectic mix of stakeholders. This included Makueni County’s energetic young culture champions, the esteemed Akamba Clans Governing Council of Elders, and key representatives from the County Assembly committees on Culture and Finance. Notably, various county departments, such as Finance, Trade, Tourism, and the County Attorney, played active roles, demonstrating a holistic approach to both cultural and economic advancement.

With robust participation from diverse sectors, the workshop emerged as a center for innovative thinking and strategic planning. Its overarching goal is to tap into the wealth of indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage embedded within Makueni County. By prioritizing IK assets, the initiative aims to unlock fresh opportunities for cultural product development and sustainable commercialization, promising both economic growth and the preservation of the region’s rich cultural identity.

96TH EDITION OF THE KENYA MUSIC AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL (KMCF) ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE

The 96th edition of the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) ended on a high note with the gala in which the creme de la creme of the festival entertained an audience eager to sample the best music and dance, elocution and drama teams from the festival.

Mr. Herman Shambi, Secretary Administration, State Department of Culture, the Arts and Heritage was the chief guest during the gala and closing ceremony of the 9 day festival that started on 1st December 2023 under the theme, ‘Our culture: towards national cohesion, healing and peace’.

The Chairperson of the KMCF, Prof. Emily Akuno, appreciated the generosity and hospitality extend to the festival by the Government of Makueni County. She noted that Makueni had set very high standards for other counties that will seek to host the festival.

Kakamega county emerged the top county in the festival followed by Uasin Gishu the second and Mombasa county in position three.

County First Ladies from Lamu, Nyamira and Wajir led by their host, H.E. Anita Mutula, attended the festival on 8th December 2023 and enjoyed Zilizopendwa tunes from the rest of Africa among other performances. The County First Ladies gave assurance of their support to the festival.

Vibrant Music and Cultural Festival Sets the Stage for Makueni’s Finest

Wote Green Park came alive on the 9th and 10th of November 2023, as the heart of Makueni County hosted a two-day music and cultural extravaganza. The festival, not only a celebration of artistic expression but was a crucial platform for selecting the best teams to represent the county in the upcoming Kenya Music and Cultural Festival.

The park buzzed with energy as talented performers showcased traditional dances, melodious tunes, and captivating cultural displays. Spectators were treated to a mixture of vibrant costumes, rhythmic beats, and heartwarming performances that reflected the rich cultural tapestry of Makueni.

The festival served as a rigorous selection ground, with various teams competing for the honor of representing Makueni County in the prestigious Kenya Music and Cultural Festival at Wote Technical Training Institute from 1st to 9th December.

After two days of intense competition, the winners were crowned and celebrated. The triumphant teams were not only awarded with medals but also received certificates of merit, recognizing their exceptional talent and commitment to preserving and showcasing Makueni’s cultural heritage.

The County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Industry, Marketing, Culture and Tourism Eng. Peter Mumo expressed the Departmental delight at the high level of talent on display and emphasized the importance of such events in fostering cultural pride and unity within the community. The winning teams are now gearing up to represent Makueni County on the national stage, where they will compete with teams from across Kenya in the spirit of friendship and cultural exchange.

SENSITIZATION AND ONBOARDING OF WOTE TOWN VENDORS TO SOKO MAKUENI.

In a recent online development, the County Directorates of Marketing and Trade Development and ICT conducted an intensive training program for traders in the use of Soko Makueni E-Portal platform. The purpose of this initiative was to equip participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate and utilize the platform effectively.

During the training sessions, participants were introduced to the various features and functionalities of the E-Portal platform, including user registration, account management, and how to access and utilize the available resources and services.


Speaking during the launch of the training, CECM Trade Eng. Peter Nyamai encouraged traders to embrace digital technology in vision of growing their businesses beyond their trading areas.


Special emphasis was placed on security measures to ensure the protection of user data and privacy. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing increased confidence in using the E-Portal for their daily tasks. The training is seen as a crucial step in promoting a seamless and efficient digital experience for all users. The Department of Trade and Marketing behind the E-Portal platform has plans to continue offering regular training sessions to ensure that users remain well-versed in its capabilities and to foster a digitally literate trading community.

Wote, 30th August 2023-Makueni’s indigenous knowledge patented for profits

Days after the National Museum of Kenya through the National Product Initiative (NPI) in partnership with the Government of Makueni County rolled out the Indigenous Knowledge Documentation and Digitization (IK DODI) pilot project, the team has today handed over the project report to H.E Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr during a courtesy call.
The one-month documentation exercise brought together the Akamba clans Governing Council of Elders, Young Champions of Culture and the community members who volunteered information as informants.
The project was successful and the Young Champions of Culture were able to collect assets that the County Government plans to package and valorise through taking them to the market and ensure the community benefits.
The governor was taken through the Makueni County Indigenous Knowledge Innovation Bank which will be the quiver from which the community shall store their cultural knowledge in two categories of Cultural Expression and Genetic Resource.

Makuenis’ Botanical Garden tops in the Exhibition Category at the KMCF

Kee Botanical Garden from Kaiti Sub- County has emerged position one in the Exhibitions Category in the National Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) taking place in Kitui County.
The exhibition curated by Mike Mwendwa, who is also the founder and director of the garden, scored 90% , one of the highest marks ever scored by an exhibitor at the festival.
The adjudicators commended the botanical garden for a well curated exhibition and presentation of a wide variety of live traditional medicinal plants and products.
The exhibition stand attracted many participants in the festival and other visitors were curious to learn about the live traditional medicinal plants and products.
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza and her Director of culture are among the prominent personalities who visited the exhibition and held long discussions with the exhibitor.

Makueni County Shines in the KMCF

Makueni County has made impressive performance at the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) held in Kitui County from 1st to 7th December 2022.
The County government presented five teams at the festival: Makueni County Choir; Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Makueni Campus; St. Jude Catholic Church Choir, Kwa Kotoe; Kee Botanical Garden and Akim Nginda Kithanse, the Crown Prince of the Angulya people.
The Makueni County Choir emerged position one in the following classes: Class 434 Own choice of a sacred accredited piece – ‘ Lift up your heads o-ye gates’; Class 435 Mixed voices adaptation and arrangement of African melodies – ‘ Ndivukye Mutivuko’; and Class 436 African American Spirituals – ‘Ain’t That Good News’. The choir garnered position two in Class 432B Mixed voices set piece for County choirs.
Making their debut in the festival, the KMTC Makueni Campus emerged position one in Class 913Z Dramatized contemporary dance, position two in Class 707Z Akamba Folksong and position three in Class 701Z Luhya Folksong.
St. Jude Catholic Church Choir, Kwa Kotoe emerged position five in Class 511 Mixed voices set piece for church choirs.
Kee Botanical Garden garnered position one in Class 1402 for its well curated exhibition of live traditional medicinal plants and products.
Akim Nginda Kithanse, the Crown Prince of the Angulya people, emerged position one in Class 1305C Folklore (storytelling of traditional stories) in English or Kiswahili and Class 1303D Dramatized monologue. He also garnered position three in Class 1007 Public speaking on climate change, position five in Class 1008 Spoken Word and position eight in Class 1305B Narrative (storytelling in contemporary style) in vernacular.
Out of its excellent performance, the Makueni County Choir has been selected to perform in the gala-the winners concert.
With 14 entries in the festival, Makueni County has won over four trophies, seven certificates for entries that emerged position one, two certificates for entries that emerged position two and two certificates for entries that emerged position three.
A delegation led by the CEC for Trade, Marketing, Industry, Culture and Tourism, Peter Mumo Nyamai, met with the Executive Committee of the KMCF and expressed the interest of Makueni County in hosting the festival in 2023.
Hon. Elizabeth Mutindi Kiio, the Chairperson of the Makueni County Assembly Committee in charge of Culture, has accompanied and cheered the county teams throughout the festival.

Makueni county choir shines at peers’ major music jamboree

The Makueni county choir was crowned  overall winners in the 92nd edition of the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival held in Meru after making its first appearance at the national level.

The county choir, which had registered  in two categories for presentation took the lead with the song “Ain’t That Good News,” of class 435 Negro Spiritual category, beating other several county choirs competing in the class.

According to the gender, children, culture and social services executive member Dr Godfrey Makau who had accompanied the team during the festivals, it was a big surprise for the choir to emerge winners owing to the fact that it had just made its first entry for the competitions.

“Amazingly, the choir appeared for the first time at the national level during the 2018 Music and cultural festival and emerged overall winners. It was a big surprise to all of us!” Dr Makau exclaimed.

However, the win didn’t come easy, according to Pius Mutinda who is the vice- secretary, Eastern Regional Music Festival and one of the choir trainers, adding that the members sacrificed their time to perfect the items for the competition.

He said: “The group, as young as it is, was able to register a superb performance. However, they sacrificed their time to polish and compete favorably, which they did.”

The 92nd edition of the national festival, which ran from November 23 to 29, attracted over 30,000 participants from across the country.

The group, established in July this year has 42 members comprising of county staff and members of the public drawn from various wards across the county.

The county director alcoholic drinks control, Joseph Katumo who is also the second trainer said that the team was formed to among others nurture talents in arts, sensitize the public about the government programs, create awareness on social issues within and without the county and promote national and county cohesion through diverse cultural practices, sentiments which were echoed by Dr Makau.

The choir has since received several invitations to perform in various events, and was applauded by the Country First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for its awesome presentation when she graced the official commissioning of the county Mother and Child Hospital in Wote.

The county government is set to officially commission the choir during the county prayer and thanksgiving ceremony to be held on 31st this month, an event which will be graced by governor Kivutha Kibwana.