By Ogova Ondego
Published September 21, 2015
A private centre for arts and culture shall open in Nairobi on October 31, 2015.
The grand opening of the centre, known as Karen Village and located some 14 kilometres from the Nairobi central business district on the border of Karen and Ngong Hills on Ngong Road, shall be presided over by Willy Mutunga, Kenya’s Chief Justice.
The opening comes 39 months after artists, policymakers, heritage managers and a host of other players in Kenya’s creative and cultural sector congregated on the ground on July 4, 2012 to brainstorm on the venture at the invitation of National Museums of Kenya on behalf of Anthony Athaide, a man described as “an avid art collector, businessman and philanthropist…with various investment ventures around the world, including in Kenya [who] lives in
Guernsey in the Channel Islands but also has homes in India, Kenya and other places.â€
Addressing the gathering that included Dr Hassan Warrio, Kenya’s current Minister for Culture, Athaide, who operates under an organisation called Village Sanctuary Foundation, said he was interested in helping preserve Kenya’s cultural heritage through the arts and lifestyle. He said he had donated the prime land for Karen Village that, he said, would be run on a private-public participation basis.
As the grand opening gets nearer, it looks like the ideas brought forward by the gathering 38 months ago are coming to fruition.
“Even though work is ongoing with a lot still to be implemented, Karen Village is happy to announce that 3 years on, there will be a grand opening on the 31st October 2015 from 9am and all are invited,” an invitation from NMK says.
The announcement says the opening will be marked by inaugural event known as Kijiji Fest – Art Yangu Mali Yangu. On display, the organisers of the event say, shall be “art, song, dance, spoken word and all that is art. Special feature of the day will be an exhibition of recent works by Prof Elizabeth Orchardson Mazrui.”
Scheduled to address the gathering shall be Yassir Ali, Fawaz Elsaid and Magdi Adam whose exhibitionâ€”Sudanese Visionâ€”is currently on at the institution’s Creativity Gallery.
The three Sudanese artists who currently live and work in Nairobi, NNM says, exhibit regularly locally and internationally.
The talk will take place inside the exhibition space in the Creativity Gallery. Admission is free.
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