H.E. PETER MUNYA'S SPEECH DURING THE OFFICIAL CLOSING OF THE COUNTY CULTURAL FESTIVALS ON TUESDAY 26 NOV, 2013 AT KAMUNDE HALL
It is with great pleasure that I officiate the closing of this momentous occasion which reminds us of our true selves. This occasion makes me reflect on my youthful days when I felt border less. Every good thing that happened in the community culminated to songs and dances. There was a lot of sharing and bonding and the community was one unit.
May I pay tribute to all of you who have contributed to the preservation of our Meru culture through songs and dances, artworks, culinary arts, artefacts, idioms, riddles and many more. Some of you have gone an extra mile to write books that stipulate the Meru values and history that will be read by generations to come.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This gathering and celebration is more about cultural heritage and how important it is to the way we see ourselves as a people. Apart from being a competition, it is a school for our children to learn from.
This year’s theme "using culture for social posterity" is a call to celebrate our culture and at the same time preserve it for our future generations. As such, our children and their children’s children will have something to reflect on as they live their life.
Preservation of our culture and heritage should not be mistaken for backwardness neither should it be interpreted as illiteracy. The connections and threads between our past, our present and our future are flexible and fluid; we both take and create meaning when we look deep into the history of our county and nation.
I believe that culture and heritage in Meru is of us all and for us all, so we need to work out a way that will enable Meru community to benefit not just from the great cultural wealth and heritage of the county, but also from other people outside the county through exchange programmes and participation in the national events.
I want Meru to be recognised as a county that not only nurtures and is nourished by wonderful songs, poems, stories, drama, dance, paintings, and sculptures but as a county that welcomes artists and creative practitioners from all over the world to come, to inspire and to be inspired, to innovate and to create. We should be understood not just by what we do, but by how we do it. Supporting the process of artistic development is as important as recognising and appreciating the art itself.
Meru Culture is our identity which should be shared with other communities. The sharing will end misunderstandings and I believe ethnic conflicts will be eliminated. Let us strive for an image of Meru which is underpinned by our cultural harbor, to become a favoured destination for both culture and commerce. Let us develop a framework of human development from a cultural perspective, focusing on achieving a better quality of life through nurturing our cultural diversity. Let the word go forth that the safeguarding and promotion of our heritage and culture is not the responsibility of the government alone but of each one of us. Each one of us carries the duty of care for the heritage that has been passed on to us from earlier generations.
The County Government has plans to start a talent academy where talents will be identified, nurtured and developed. This will go a long way in taping the talents that we shall be proud of as a people. The County is also planning to develop the existing cultural centres and construct new ones where they do not exist for every sub-county. The centres will be purely for preservation and show casing our rich culture to the locals and tourists and this will earn us foreign exchange.
There is need to package all we have done today where we organise ‘The Ameru Cultural Day" for all to come and see our rich culture. I believe today’s function is a sign of things to come. My government is committed to support and shall continue supporting programmes that are geared towards cultural preservation and promotion.
Allow me to congratulate you for making it to this level and for those proceeding to nationals, Let me wish them good luck. To all who have participated, thank you for making this occasion a colourful one.
Thank you and God bless us all.