By Ogova Ondego
Published July 11, 2016
They are the ‘Naija’ nation–loud, proud, flamboyant–within the Republic of Kenya; it is a nation that does its things Big, very BIG.
And so it was with its third festival. A day-long activity that must be done well. Because, the nation says, one lives only once and so should live well.
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Hey, what is this about?
The third edition of the Luo Festival, of course.
The event went down at Nairobi’s Carnivore grounds on July 9/10, 2016. Did you not attend it?
No, you didn’t have to belong to Kenya’s fourth most populous community to participate as, the hosts said, “Luo is not a tribe but a calling”, a ‘software’ that can be installed into any hardware; anyone. In other words, everyone who feels called can be Luo and “live well”.
The LuoFest is promoted as a “celebration of Luo culture” and, accordingly, brings top musicians, comedians, actors, Deejays, MCs, fashion designers, and chefs from the (real!?) Luo community to showcase their creativity as part of doing things Big and doing them well.
Among the musicians who performed were Dola Kabary, Lady Moreen Queen of Ohangla, Emma Jalamo, Igwe Prezda Bandasson, Vimas Luo Dollar,
Madanje Perimiter, and Akothee.
And this wasn’t time for feasting on cheap, mass-produced urban fast foods–hamburgers and French fries–but having a taste of select, nutritious, traditional dishes like osuga, aluru, aliya, and athola.
It was also a godsend opportunity to preach unity in diversity and taking pride in our cultural roots. This is exactly what Raila Amollo Odinga, the Leader of Kenya’s Official Opposition, did.
Saying he was aware that the gathering didn’t consist of members of the Luo community only, Odinga said he takes pride in various cultures found within the borders of Kenya and appealed to the citizens and inhabitants of the East African nation-state to ‘never be ashamed or apologise for who you are; your roots.’
“We must promote unity in diversity in Kenya,” Odinga said.
Every Very Important Person (VIP) and Very Very Important Person (VVIP) parted with Sh1000 and Sh2000 (that’s what has been charged since the festival began three years ago when being ‘Luo’ was a ‘lifestyle’) to participate in the festival.