Capitalizing on our cultural diversities to foster harmonious co-existence among Kenyan communities was the key message in this year’s 3rd Annual Ogiek Cultural Day held at Nessuit Primary School on 22nd April.
The event attracted various peace stakeholders in the society including members from various communities residing in the Mau Forest region, local administrators, religious leaders and village opinion leaders.
The occasion officiated by Prof Gitile Naituli, Commissioner with National Cohesion and Integration (NCIC) was themed ‘Leveraging on Culture to Attain National Cohesion and Integration’
During the electioneering period, national cohesion and integration is most often put to test and the results are certainly destructive to the well-being of each and every Kenyan,young or old, rich or poor.
In this regard, Ogiek Peoples’ Rights Development Program (OPDP), will be holding a one-day Third Annual Ogiek Cultural Day on 22nd April at Nessuit Primary, Nessuit-Njoro Sub County from 8am to 5.30pm, to promote existence of cultural diversity, a key ingredient to maintaining harmonious co-existence of communities inevery corner of the Country.
It will be held under the theme: Leveraging on culture to attain national cohesion and integration. There will be exhibitions, performances of traditional songs and skits. Officials from National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), national and county governments and political leaders will also be in attendance.
All are welcome.
Anticipating rains, preparing land for growing maize and potatoes and finding a market for the produce is what defines the present means of survival for Zakayo Lesingo, a member of Ogiek Community.
Lesingo born in Logoman Forest within the Mau Forest Complex in 1971 considers it an alien economic aspect in the community. The forest was his home and the land where his parents gathered food for the family.
He had grown in an environment where his clansmen went out to the forest to hunt for wild meat and collect fruits and berries from indigenous trees inside the forest.
Honey was in plenty too.Log hives were erected on trees and the bees produced honey throughout the year because rain was never a scarcity and nectar-producing trees were rarely off-season.
One in 10 girls in the Sub-Saharan Africa miss school during their menstrual cycle according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
This statistic is likely to vary with girls from the indigenous minorities who are disadvantaged in several ways. There is a wide gap between sexual and reproductive health needs for girls and the services that they receive.
They are vulnerable to health challenges as manifested in the higher rates of school drop outs leading to early pregnancy, early marriages, gender based violence and the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. The cultural norms also do not provide girls safe spaces to express themselves, share and learn on a wide range of issues that affect their everyday life.
Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP) has established a Bio-cultural Community Protocol (BCP) for the Ogiek Community living in the Mau Forest Complex which provides a systematic framework for engagement of the community in natural resource management.
The protocol clearly communicates the community-determined values,procedures and priorities, and sets out community’s rights and responsibilities under customary, state and international law.
Ogiek has a historical cycle of oppression and alienation.
The indigenous minority ethnic community whose existence is traced to Mau Forest Complex, the environment in which they have known as home for their forefathers, present and future generation.
But it is also in this environment that this community whose numbers are yet to exceed 40,000 that they have faced human and land injustices coupled with underdevelopment.
The Ogiek community in Kenya marked their cultural day, which has become an annual fixture, in celebratory pomp with 14 cultural groups performing songs, drama and exhibiting rare traditional artefacts. The day held towards the end of December at Nessuit Primary School in Nakuru County,
The Ogiek are one of the last remaining forest-dwelling communities and one of the most marginalised indigenous peoples in Kenya. The Ogiek allege violation of their rights to life, property, natural resources, development, religion and culture by the Kenyan government under the African Charter