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All set for Somali cultural week to be held in Mandera County



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A Somali cultural week will be held in Mandera town starting December 9 and will bring together all Somali speaking communities to celebrate their traditions and heritage.

During a rehearsal of the event on Thursday, Mandera County Executive member for Education and Culture Izzidun Abdullahi Abdi said it was all systems go for the three-day activity.

“We are just confirming that everything is in place for the real event that will see all clans represented and participate and many other visitors coming into Mandera to learn about our culture,” he said.

Somali cultural week

Women stand in front of some of the artefacts which will be on display during the Somali cultural week which will be held in Mandera town from December 9. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

According to Mr Abdi, the event is to remind the Somali speaking clans of their fast fading culture and the importance of preserving their traditions.

The event will be celebrating and showcasing the Somali culture and heritage to the outside world.

At the event, Somali traditional artefacts, homesteads, traditions songs and dances will be on display.

The event is open to all, according Mandera Governor Ali Roba, and communities from both Somalia and Ethiopia will be attending.

“We have invited everybody to come and learn our Somali culture and this will be a reminder to our generations on the importance of preserving our culture and heritage,” he said.

Women dressed in traditional Somali attire

Women dressed in traditional Somali attire outside Hori, a Somali traditional house, at Moi Stadium on November 29, 2018. Various aspects of the Somali heritage will be on display during the culture week. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The event will also provide a platform for community integration and cohesion after decades of clan feuds pitting different communities in Mandera.

“It is a new beginning in observing our culture and we are looking forward to a productive and successful event that will be observed each year,” said Mr Roba.

The county boss said they will be seeking the gazettement of the event by the national government to enable future generations learn about the Somalis.

Several governors including the chairman of the Council of Governors Josphat Nanok of Turkana are expected to attend the event.

“We have senior government officials coming for this event that will mark the beginning of a process of preserving our heritage,” said Mr Roba.

A museum will be opened in Mandera to display the Somali artefacts, according to the county government.

The governor said security is assured for all those who will be attending the event.