Government to introduce a national dress by October 2024

First Lady Rachel Ruto (left), Ummi Bashir , PS Culture, Arts Heritage during the Utamaduni Day celebrations on October 10, 2023 (Elvis Ogina Standard)

The government is set to introduce Kenya's national dress by October 2024, State Department for Culture, Arts and Heritage Principal Secretary Ummi Bashir now says.

Making the announcement at the inaugural Utamaduni Day celebrations in Nairobi on Tuesday, the PS said that the Ministry is working towards coming up with a national dress code before the next celebration.

"Kenya does not have a national dress...That is something we are working on and we promise by the next Utamaduni day, said Bashir.

Bashir, in her speech, urged Kenyans to embrace the opportunity to bridge gaps, build bridges, and foster a sense of pride in shared identity

She said that the celebrations are a sign of recognising the significance of safeguarding the cultural heritage of the country.

"On this inaugural nationwide celebration, we embrace the spirit of unity that our cultural diversity waves transcending time and reminding us of the strength found in our diversity," she said.

Bashir added that the choice of Bomas as today's venue was symbolic as it means a home or a village.

"Bomas is a beacon of cultural preservation. It stands as a testament to the rich richness of our cultural diversity, providing a space for the convergence of traditions from every corner of our great nation as you saw this morning," she explained.

Utamaduni Day formerly known as Moi Day - was named in honour of Kenya's second president Daniel Moi.

After the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, Moi Day was erased from the list of national holidays.

It was restored as a public holiday in November 2017, prompting then-Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to return it to the calendar. It was then renamed Huduma Day and later Utamadui Day in 2020.