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Cultural Week kicks-off in Style

This year’s long awaited Cultural Week kicked off on Tuesday November 13, 2018 with pomp and colour as students drawn from communities across Kenya thronged the Students’ Centre to showcase their cultural diversity.
Before the start of the event, there was a procession by the various cultural troupes from the ICDC Building to the Student’s Centre.
The ecstatic students were proud to be identified with their heritage as they sang and danced to their folk songs.

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The event started on a high note with a Tiriki folk song and dance, thrilling students from the Luhya community who were on their feet throughout the performance, itching to join in the throbbing Isukuti drum rhythm and the scintillating patterned song.
Then followed performance by students from the Pokot community, whose warrior-like dancing antics mesmerized the audience.
Students from the Iteso community in Busia County showcased a folk dance usually performed during marriage ceremonies. The shrilling ululations accompanying the drum beats and song were a real spectacle.
Then came in the Gabra cultural dance that comprised rare strokes and dancing formation patterns, leaving the audience in awe.
The rigorous dance performed by the Students from the Kamba community wowed the audience. Its climax came during the pairing of the dancers into a dancing couple, with the rare wriggling movements of the waits. This threw the audience into a thunderous frenzy of applause.
The Abagusi folk song and Meru cultural dance were items to marvel at too as they kept the audience lively.
Then came in the mother of all performances to sum up the day. The sons and daughters from the Lakeside swamped the stage with the Luo traditional dance. The cleverly calculated swaying of the ladies’ waits as the soloist belted out the tantalizing songs kept everyone yearning for more. Their colleagues in the audience could not hold their horses as the dancing and singing turned so infectious that they jumped into fray, showering the stage with all tribes of Kenyan Shilling denominations. The stage was jammed to the brim and as if that was not good enough, the DJ threw the spanner into works with the Ohangla song by Onyi Papa Jay. It was a moment to marvel at the rare dance strokes from the Lakeside.
The one-week fete running from November 13 to 16, 2018 has been organized by the Office of the Dean of Students in conjunction with the Moi University Students’ Organisation (MUSO).
The theme for the event is, “Showcasing Cultural Diversity through Creativity.”  Taking into consideration that culture is one of the social dynamics that promotes national cohesion, the exchanges and traditional exhibitions during the event serve as a platform to achieve and promote national unity.
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The Cultural Week’s official opening was graced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics, Research and Extension, Prof. Isaac Kimengi and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Student Affairs, Prof. Nathan Ogechi, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Kosgey.
Prof Ogechi said The Mackay Report that vouched for establishment of Moi University in 1984, not only did it recommend for the establishment of the Second University in Kenya, but also the creation of the School of Social and Cultural Studies. The report highlighted the need for establishing a University with a culture as lack of it would render the University useless, since everything in science and technology has social and cultural aspects.
Prof. Ogechi further gave a detailed plan how the University envisions to incorporate cultural diversity including having a grand Cultural Week, establishing a Museum and setting up a Cultural Village.
The DVC noted that the University has been honoured to host the Kenya National Music Festival in 2019. He also remarked that the University Management is committed to enhancing sports both locally and internationally and noted that there is work in progress to mount a degree programme in Sports Medicine at the School of Medicine. He said sports is part of culture especially in the Rift Valley region where the University is located, which is a stronghold of athletes.
He asked the event organizers to prepare adequately for the Kenya National Music Festivals next year.  
Prof. Kimengi stated the importance of culture and learning, noting that behaviour is part of culture. He said for the University and society to develop, there is need to embrace the culture of forgiveness and tolerance. Prof. Kimengi reiterated the need to adopt positive elements of culture so that the University can evolve into a new culture that will make it great. He noted that our diversity is our strength.
The Cultural Week is an important event in the University’s Calendar since it preaches unity and appreciates that there exists diversity in culture among the students of Moi University.
The University draws students from various cultural backgrounds – both locally and internationally – and this event aims at enhancing and appreciating the growth in diversity and versatility since the Institution’s genesis in 1984.
The event entails performances from the different cultures and communities represented among the students. Through dance, songs, art, plays, just to mention but a few, students are given the chance to express themselves and help others understand their cultural diversities.
This also includes the international culture, that is, Sudanese, Somali and Chinese. These performances will not be in vain as there will be competitions whereby the winning teams will be awarded.
The event further creates a favourable platform for students to showcase their different cuisines. The indisputable truth is that every culture has their particular meal which in most cases holds deeper meaning to its people. Cultural Week therefore gives the students this chance to experience and understand the diverse cuisines from the various cultures.
In the course of the fete, there will be also a talent show whereby different talents will be showcased. This runs from dance, skits, songs, comedy, craft and many more. This will enable students express their talents and gifts which make a great part of their being and personalities.
The climax of the concert will be on Friday November 16 where there will be a gala night organized by MUSO. This will entail performances by the winners of the various competitions and entertainment from other students as well.  To top it all, there will be crowning of Mr. and Miss Cultural Week 2018/19, who will wholesomely represent Moi University’s cultural diversity. Special shout out goes to the MUSO student leaders for actively engaging students in activities within the Institution – Brigid, Ondari, Ronny, Karakacha, Glory –  just to mention a few.
In a nutshell, Cultural Week 2018 is meant to build a harmonious spirit among Moi university students as they get to deeply understand each other’s culture and background. Culture plays a big role in molding individuals and getting to understand this helps us appreciate one another even in our diversities.

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