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, saw Kipkurere youth group emerge the best, with Soget Ogiek Dancers and Kaplelach Women Group, the runners up. Participants were drawn from as far as Mt Elgon, Uashin Gishu, Nandi, Narok and Nakuru counties.
The event which was organized under the theme ‘Promoting peace, unity and good governance’ also saw good representation from the local community leadership. Daniel Kobei, the Ogiek Peoples Programme Executive Director said ‘the festival was a good mobilization and unifying force’.
In attendance was the area MP (Molo Consituency) Hon. Joseph Kiuna, Mr Paul Kinyanjui, a senior District Officer and the district Commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor. Others were; the area civic leader Paul Gugo and Mr Julius Muchemi from Environmental Research Mapping and Information Systems in Africa (ERMIS), who used the occasion to hand over an Atlas that has designated the Ogiek community areas within the Mau East.
They exhibited traditional ways of wild game hunting, honey harvesting, wild fruit gathering, tubers, roots and the general lifestyle of the Ogiek people.