09-08-2019 by Leni Frau
As every year in these days, the Mijikenda ethnic group of the Kenyan coast and in particular the Malindi and Kilifi County ryama celebrate their heroine Mekatilili Wa Menza, the "pasionaria" who first opposed English colonialism and the harsh conditions of work and gain in the fields in the first twenty years of the last century and who gave his fighting verve to the independence movements throughout Kenya.
Mekatilili is also considered one of the national heroines and his ebony statue is displayed in Malindi in a small temple in Uhuru Garden Square.
The cultural association MADCA (Malindi District Cultural Association) has organized this year three days of events that will start this morning from the mouth of the river Sabaki, just below the bridge, with interracial prayer and the ceremony of pacification with dances in traditional costumes.
From here the caravan will move to the Alaskan Stadium where the celebrations that will culminate on Saturday will come to life. The elders and Mijikenda rights activists will first parade with the Malindi Green And Blue movement to clean up the streets, then start their procession around the city to the stadium, where they will start the day with dances, demonstrations of ancient traditions, recipes of cuisine, traditional medicine and other interesting tribal practices. The festival will continue with concerts in the late afternoon. On Sunday, the celebrations will move to one of the sacred areas for the Mijikenda ethnic group (composed of nine tribes of which the rhyme are the most famous and numerous), or to VItengeni, a village in the hinterland of Kilifi that stands under one of the hills sacred for the coastal animist cult. For those who want to know more about this people, and the customs and traditions that are unfortunately disappearing, the appointment is not to be missed.
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