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African cultural night set for Nairobi

By | March 7th 2009 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By standard on Saturday reporter

Nairobi will on March 29 play host to a unique event to showcase African culture.

The event, ‘The African Heritage Night’, was first held in 1972, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.

Organised by African Heritage Design Company, the show will include performances by the country’s finest singers, dancers and designers.

This will be followed by the unveiling of Murumbi Peace Memorial at Nairobi City Park, in honour of the event co-founders and Africa’s leading art collectors — Kenya’s second Vice President Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila.

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Their artifacts, textiles and books can be found at the Murumbi Gallery, Kenya National Archives.

Fashion writer Margaretta wa Gacheru, in her review of African Heritage Nights, wrote: "It was one of those rare occasions when one feels just slightly smug having been in attendance to witness history…for the fortunate few who could fit into the Hotel Intercontinental ballroom… It was a grand sumptuous elegant and ultra-glamorous event...It was more than a mere fashion show… a medley of music, continental magic and theatrical majesty."

Owing to its success, the show moved to continental level and eventually to Europe.

A review by Le Soir in Brussels, Belgium, of the cultural nights was ecstatic: "It was a long time ago that something of this kind and quality was offered to us…Kenya has now shown us something completely different! And it is not only a rethinking of the whole of black Africa, the very personal art which has remained undying and which brings us joy and bedazzlement. Let us salute this young team of Kenyan creators as masters."

The festival eventually added a second part to the show —fashion designs by leading Kenyan designers.

In l998, during the ‘The African Renaissance Show’ held at the First Telekoms Conference, Kenya African Heritage Festival was nominated the best cultural show in the continent.

The show will later move to US in honour of President Barack Obama.