Siaya to showcase its tourism potential at cultural festival

Sights, sounds and tastes of Got Ramogi Cultural Festival. [Isaiah Gwengi/Standard]
Siaya County is hosting the annual Ramogi Cultural Festival that begun on Tuesday.

Several activities, a pilgrimage to Got Ramogi and a boat race are lined up for the five-day festival.

Siaya Tourism Executive Elizabeth Odhiambo said the climax will be a gala dinner at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology grounds in Bondo town.

“Several artists such as Osito Kale, Musa Jakadala and Tony Nyadundo will perform at the event,” said Dr Odhiambo.

Scores of visitors started streaming into Bondo and Siaya town to book hotels and visit earmarked sites on Monday ahead of the festival.

Bus companies that offer daily services from Nairobi to Siaya reported full bookings in the week preceding the festival.

The third edition of the festival is themed ‘Waduog uru dala nyikwa Ramogi' Ajuang Waruak Welo (Let us come back home descendants of Ramogi Ajuang to welcome visitors).

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The festival gives members of the Luo community an opportunity to return to Got Ramogi to pay homage to their original settlement. Got Ramogi is considered "the cradle of Luo dispersion".

Speaking during the pre-launch ceremony, Odhiambo asked Luos in the diaspora to return home for the festival.

Cradle of mankind

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

The festival is an annual event incorporated in the county calendar of events under the Department of Tourism.

Tourism Chief Officer Elizabeth Oduor said many cultural groups had been invited to perform at the fete. 

She said the event will give Siaya an opportunity to showcase its tourism potential and culture.

Governor Cornel Rasanga said the initiative will provide Luos, especially those in the diaspora and their children, an opportunity to know, explore and protect "our culture and dignity as a people".

Other activities lined up for the festival include a cultural symposium at Got Ramogi grounds and fish-eating night at Siungu beach, providing an array of fish dishes.

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony will be the Chief Guest at the official opening ceremony with dignitaries of the Luo community expected to grace the event.

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Ramogi Cultural FestivalGot RamogiGovernor Cornel Rasanga