Lamu Cultural Festival: Did peace and coexistence prevail?

The 14th edition of the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, held this year under the theme “Peace and Coexistence” showcased the rich traditions and heritage of Lamu and offered visitors insights into

Lamu Cultural Festival: Did peace and coexistence prevail?

The 14th edition of the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, held this year under the theme “Peace and Coexistence” showcased the rich traditions and heritage of Lamu and offered visitors insights into the traditional sports of the archipelago, like donkey races and dhow regattas and also promoted song and poetry, art, crafts, and cuisine and not to forget, henna painting, something particularly popular with the ladies visiting Lamu.

Although the annual event saw considerably less visitors than on previous occasions, it took place without any security incidents, affirming the message the organizers had sent out in the run-up to the fete that it was safe to visit.

Only a few days prior to the festival taking place, Kenya’s hapless top cop lifted a curfew imposed on the town, which has kept in particular high-spending foreign visitors away, inflicting serious financial damages on the town’s tourism businesses and leading to constant appeals by the local political leadership to exclude Lamu and Shela Beach from such measures. One of the downsides of this uncertainty led to less sponsorship than usual and to a significantly lower number of tourists coming to the event.

Not deterred by all this hullabaloo, however, several artists prevailed in setting up an art exhibition to take place alongside the Lamu Cultural Festival, a very commendable initiative to promote Lamu’s rich art scene.

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