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Turkana tourism and cultural festival to kick off Thursday

By Joan Letting | Published Wed, April 18th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 17th 2018 at 23:49 GMT +3
Performers during the 10th edition of the annual Marsabit Lake Turkana Cultural Festival which was held at Loiyangalani. [Photo by Allan Mungai/Standard]

Visitors from across the country have started arriving in Lodwar, the county headquarters, ahead of the annual tourism and cultural festival that begins tomorrow.

The festival dubbed 'Tobong’u Lore' - meaning 'Welcome back home' in the Turkana language - features the rich cultures of the Turkana and other communities including from Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

This year's theme is 'Bringing the world home; celebrating our rich culture and heritage.'

Speaking to journalists yesterday, County Tourism Executive Jennipher Longór said the event would promote the rich Turkana culture.

Celebrate origins

“We are bringing people from all over the world to come and celebrate their origins because this is the cradle of mankind. This culture is the origin of all cultures of the world,” she said.

She noted that originally, the event was meant to promote peace among communities living around Turkana.

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“There are generational gaps between the young and the old. The young generation needs to learn about culture from the older generation," said Ms Longór.

"Our children in town, for example, do not speak the language well and do not understand the culture. This event will give them that opportunity."

Traditional dances

She said the event was currently incorporated in the national calendar of events under the Ministry of Tourism.

The festival, which began in 2014, features traditional dances, traditional regalia, songs, foods, lifestyle and the generosity of the Turkana people to promote the county as a tourist destination.

Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga are among thousands of high profile guests expected to attend the festival.

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