Sent by Leo Odera Omolo
BY JUSTUS OCHIENG’ JANUARY 20, 2010 CULTURE
US President Barrack Obama’s grandmother Sarah Obama has challenged members of her Luo community not to deviate from their culture.
Flanked by PM Raila Odinga’s younger sister Adhiambo Odinga, Homabay senator aspirant Hillary Alila and a Nairobi businessman Thomas Mariwa, They appealed to the community to appreciate Luo cultural heritage through exhibitions and performances.
The four lamented that it is unfortunate that nowadays parents do not teach their children about their cultural background.
Hilary Alila (left) Adhiambo Odinga and Mama Sarah Obama at the function in Kogelo.
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From: justus ochieng
“It is regrettable that children whose parents have moved to towns especially from this community are not taught their mother language,” said mama Sarah.
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From: Hilary Ochieng
Alila cited that just like in the early days when the elderly from the community used to teach the young ones about culture, the trend should continue so as to preserve the custom.
They appealed to the government through the Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture to move with speed and develop the Kogelo Community Cultural Centre which has since stalled.
They pointed out that such a centre will be vital not only in serving as a cultural centre but also promote and safeguard intangible cultural heritage and further create new opportunities for the community.
The four were addressing members of the community who had turned up during celebrations to mark the second Anniversary Celebrations of US President Barrack Obama in Kogelo during the opening of the Obama Kogelo Cultural Festival which ended yesterday. (Thursday)
“This festival is of great significance as it was initiated after the inauguration of the 44th President of America who traces his cultural roots in Nyang’oma Kogelo village, Siaya County,” added Alila.
He noted that the Kogelo Community Cultural Festival’s objectives were vital as they will showcase and appreciate cultural heritage through exhibitions and performances, promote Unity in diversity among the Kenyan communities and international community and more so promote cultural tourism for economic development.
Adhiambo urged the government to be committed to the development and safeguarding of cultural heritage citing that no meaningful development can take place without cooperating with the aspirations of people in the development process adding that cultural festivals such as Obama Kogelo Cultural Festival should be all inclusive of the community’s cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, Adhiambo who will be vying for a Kisumu Parliamentary seat on an ODM Party ticket urged Party members to vote good leaders in the impending party elections citing that the upheavals in ODM were caused by bad leaders with selfish interests.
“The rain started beating our party moments we elected bad leaders at the grass root level, let us take the challenge and ensure we cast our votes to visionary leaders in the forthcoming elections,” she added.
Alila appealed to voters to shun tribalism and ensure they cast their votes to youthful leaders who can propel this country to its glory.
“It is high time we united as youths and voted for young leaders who can move this country ahead,” he added.
He at the same time dared rebel ODM MP’s to toe the line or quit the party altogether.
“They cannot continue holding our good party at ransom the way they have done in the past 3 years, It is high time they packed and go,” he added.
The Homabay Senator aspirant also took the opportunity to applaud PM Raila Odinga for instilling good leadership in the Orange party.
Mariwa said young leadership of visionary members with integrity should be supported so as to ensure challenges facing the youths are solved.