News Story

LDS Church Organizes Nairobi Cultural Events and Concert

15 congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized Nairobi cultural events and performances at the Church’s Stake Centre in Buru Buru.

On 30th August 2014, the Church leadership organized a Nairobi cultural event for its members at its Stake Centre in Buru Buru. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports wholesome cultural practices of communities that are in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. The Nairobi cultural events showed the diversities we have as a human family. 

To begin with, each congregation of the Stake was assigned a Kenyan tribe to represent. There are forty two official tribes in Kenya with varied cultural practices, customs and languages. Only a few of these including: Maasai, Mijikenda, Kikuyu, Kisii, Meru, Boran, Akamba, Luo and Luhya were represented by the congregations who participated.

One of the events that the groups showcased was traditional costumes and clothing. Mountain View Ward was assigned the world’s recognized Maasai tribe which is known for its warrior abilities. The Maasai are traditionally pastoralists and are also known to have been great warriors since they had to encounter wildlife in their search of pasture and water for their livestock. It was then quite a spectacle to see the young men from Mountain View WArd wearing the Maasai Shuka and the women in the beautiful beads that are renowned for making the Maasai women look pretty.  

There was also the display of different cuisines from the tribes of Kenya. The Nairobi 2nd Ward had demonstrations of food preservation used by the Luhya tribe which they represented. Some of the foods included roasted Tsisua (termites) which pop out of the ground when it rains.  They are roasted with a little natural salt and are quite crunchy.  They also had sun-dried and smoked fish, both of which when prepared properly will last for several seasons.

Dancing and singing was also a popular category event with Kayole 2nd Ward representing the Kamba tribe mesmerizing the audience with an authentic vigorous dance that is common within this community. They had a large group of dancers wearing wonderful costumes, made with an abundance of green patterned fabric.  The dancers were very rhythmic, as they danced to the accompaniment of drums.

As an aside and to add to the color of this event, there were three men, dressed as old men, sitting around a real fire enjoying the dancing of the young people of their tribe. These men, who had a modeled mustache and beard were unrecognizable for those who knew them, and they depicted the elderly of Africa who are famed for their wisdom, and whose evening-time practice of sitting round a fire is well documented.  

Nairobi 2nd took 1st prize in the competition for best representation of a tribe. Kayole 2nd Ward took 2nd place representing the Kamba tribe. Third place fell to Lucky Summer congregation.

In the afternoon, everyone gathered in the cultural hall for a concert. There was entertainment by the Nairobi Mormon Voices, a vibrant Nairobi Stake Church choir that has been formed to represent the church in Kenya wherever they have the opportunity to perform at public events. This Choir was featured on Citizen TV during last Christmas. They sang religious and native songs, as well as some light-hearted songs. Their final number was the Hallelujah Chorus. The youth of the Stake joined them for a medley of numbers and then performed their own number which featured dancing with flashlights. The room was darkened for the special effects and provided fun entertainment. The senior couple missionaries from America, ‘representing the missing Forty Third Tribe of Kenya’ also presented a song from the 1960's entitled "Goodnight Sweetheart".  Almost 400 people attended the all day event which was a great success.

The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints provided lively and informative entertainment to all who attended and participated in the Nairobi Cultural Events and Concert.

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