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Madafu for everyone as cultural fete kicks off

By Philip Mwakio | Aug 17th 2015 | 2 min read
Mombasa youths in a procession that started on Moi Avenue on Friday evening during the launch of this year's Mombasa International Cultural Festival, which is meant to spur investment and revive the tourism sector. [PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMED/STANDARD]

If cultural dances and everything surrounding ethnic diversity is your kind of thing, then ‘Tukutane Mombasa’ (let’s meet in Mombasa).

Tukutane Mombasa was the rallying call for the second Mombasa International Cultural Festival, which was launched by Governor Hassan Joho at Fort Jesus Museum grounds on Friday.

The colourful event was characterised by massive fireworks, traditional dances from Kenyan and foreign troupes and madafu cocktails. There was no better way to end a week.

The much-hyped fete did not disappoint as the coastal city burst into life, with locals and visitors alike celebrating the rich coastal culture.

unique history

Mr Joho, MPs Abdulswamad Sharif (Mvita) Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Mishi Mboko (Mombasa Woman Rep) and Mombasa Tourism and Culture Executive Job Tumbo graced the event that made recent reports of insecurity in the area seem like malicious rumours.

Close to 20 other MPs from different parts of Kenya and political parties attended the festival, which was designed to showcase Mombasa’s unique history, ethnic and religious diversity. It was also meant to spur investment and revive the tourism sector, which has been battered by insecurity and Western travel advisories.

Joho said that the historic city was safe and open for business. The event was preceded by a colourful procession from a historical Mombasa landmark - the elephant tusks.

“This city is where civilization first started in present day Kenya. It has rich history and remains an attractive destination for all and sundry to sample,” the governor said.

Joho said the cultural extravaganza helps to confidently tell Mombasa and Kenya’s story.

opportune moment

“We have been telling our story for a very long time. This event presents an opportune moment for us to tell our own story,” he said.

Mr Tumbo said the event will run for 10 days and there will be a special event every day. Yesterday there were beach sports and a beach marathon at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach.

Today, Tumbo is scheduled to open the Cultural Expo at the Mama Ngina Drive with the highlight being Taita Taveta County and later Utamaduni Nite. Tomorrow there will see the Tourism and Counties expo with Kilifi County being the day’s highlight before the event ends with Zilizopendwa Nite. The counties expo will continue on Wednesday, with Tana River County being the highlight of the day.

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