21 November 2017

Kenya: Lamu Festival Ends Prematurely After Dirty Dance By 'The Offside Trick'

Photo: Nairobi News
Tanzanian music group The Offside Trick performs at Mkunguni square during the Lamu Cultural Festivals.

The Lamu Cultural Festival ended prematurely on Sunday after a Tanzanian music group The Offside Trick danced explicitly, allegedly breaching the cultural taste of the event.

The incident attracted wide criticism from residents, religious leaders, National Museums of Kenya officials, county leaders and other dignitaries watching dancers and poets at the closing ceremony at Mkunguni Square.

Several attempts to warn the group about their explicit moves fell on deaf ears and they persisted, forcing event organisers and local leaders, including Mkomani MCA Yahya Ahmed, to drag them off the stage.

Speaking to journalists in Lamu, Coast Region Deputy Director for the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Mr Athman Hussein, condemned the incident, saying there was a need to vet and approve artistes before they are allowed to perform in cultural events.

"That was a very embarrassing and regrettable incident," said Mr Hussein.

"Lamu is a historical town which is also enlisted as a Unesco World Heritage site."

Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) chairman Sheikh Mohamed Abdulkadir called on the artistes to apologise, saying they surpassed religious limits.

Acting Trade, Tourism and Culture executive Fahima Arafat said the troupe violated their contract with the county.

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