(eTN) – Kenya Tourism Minister Najib Balala has rushed to reaffirm in public that the annual and much-acclaimed Lamu Cultural Festival will be held as scheduled in November this year, casting aside doubts that recent events and the country’s cross-border pursuit of Al Shabab militants would have stopped this showpiece of Swahili culture. The annual Lamu festival has made an impact on the culture scene as it offers a platform for the unique Swahili music, poetry, and performances and is thought only second in importance after Zanzibar’s Sauti Za Busara.
An annual highlight for Lamu, the festival this year will be subject to added security measures to ensure the safety of visitors and reaffirming the event will also hopefully break the embargo slapped on travel to Lamu by embassies and high commissions in Nairobi following the fateful abduction of a French woman from Manda Island a few weeks at the end of September.
Naval patrols are already saturating the waters between Lamu and the border with Somalia and the open pursuit by Kenyan ground and airforce units of Al Shabab militants has created a buffer zone of relative safety into which mopping up operations have also commenced. Make a date with Lamu then for the big festival in a few weeks.