The event, which was launched on Wednesday, would run for four days and would provide a platform for various groups to showcase cultural events. It is expected that the event would provide a window to the rich cultural legacy of the nation and also boost tourism in the coming years. The festival is being organised by the Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa in association with the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA). The events are to be held at the Fort Jesus Museum.
The theme of the festival is ‘towards peaceful co-existence through culture to promote tourism’. Authorities devised the event in order to beat falling number of tourists and also to address concerns that the culture of the nation was not adequately being highlighted to tourists.
MCTA executive officer, Millicent Odhiambo, said, ‘What we want to spread is a message that Mombasa is safe for tourists. We are all aware the numbers into Mombasa has taken a nose dive and businesses are suffering. This will directly impact on the lives of people living in this region. The Cultural Festival, we hope, will express to the world, Coast is safe and like Lamu build it to an annual festival that attracts the world into the Mombasa county.’
The cultural festival will include more than 15 activities including a fishing competition, henna designs, poem reciting competition, traditional dances and others.