By Oscar Pilipili
Kenya’s heritage is rich. It is so rich that one ethnic community can hold a cultural night every weekend and yet not exhaust the beauty that makes its people.
In recent years, cultural nights in urban centres have taken a life of their own: giving communities a forum to display what makes them who they are. They showcase their foods, clothes and traditions. Traditional songs and dances take centre stage.
The nights are named after the strongest aspect that identifies a particular community. For example, there are Mugithi, Mulembe, Kitwek, Kililimbi, Swahili and Maasai nights, among others.
After watching other communities showcase their tradition at organised forums, it was time for the Samburu to also come out and show Kenyans their culture.
The butterfly people
So last Saturday, they held the first ever Samburu Night, Ntemer, at the Carnivoire in Nairobi. Hundreds of people attended. But they were not just the Samburu; all of Kenya was represented.
Ntemer, which was organised by Samburu Professionals Association in support of the first university college in their county — Laikipia University College Maralal Campus.
The Samburu came in their unique outfits. Everyone everyone present either dressed in full colourful regalia or adorned special ornaments. Some covered themselves with the trademark red blankets, a wise decision for the Nairobi weather this July is dull.
The music was something else. There was no band like is often the case in such nights. Instead, the revellers sang and danced to traditional songs whose highlight was the occasional high jump by the morans.
The Samburus are referred to as the butterfly people because of their natural beauty and their love for bright colours.And indeed the Carnivore was rich in colour, especially colour red, which is the trademark and favourite colour of the colourful Samburu.
Kenyatta National Hospital boss Richard Lesiyampe said the night was important because it showcased the true culture of the Samburu.
“The night offered the people of Samburu a great opportunity to display the values of their culture through songs and story-telling,” he told The Standard after attending the colourful show that attracted people from all regions of Kenya.