Indian-African cultural fete opens in city

Thursday, January 30th, 2020 00:00 |
India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Ashish Sinha welcomes Sports and Culture CS Amina Mohammed to a press briefing on the upcoming festival. Photo/PD/ALEX MBURU

Harriet James @harriet86jim

Kenya will host the first ever Indo — African cultural extravaganza next week. 

 Scheduled for February 7 to 9 at the Carnivore, Nairobi, the festival will feature renowned Indian and African superstars—film stars, dancers, performers, fashion icons, divas and celebrities — performing together for the first time. 

The three-day event will be an amalgamation of indo-African fashion, food, dance, music, art, culture, films as well as trade and commerce, focusing on Kenya. 

There will  be an Indirica Exhibition and Indirica Fashion Show in addition to masti (fun) and interactive activities and performances for everyone. Expected performers include artist Gulshan Grover, renowned Indian actress Kainaat Arora, multi-talented comedian Sugandha Mishra (Kapil Sharma), actresses and dancers Sneha Namanandi and Naina Singh and musician  Neeti Mohan.

Vasco da Gama 

Announcing the show at a press briefing in Nairobi, Sports and Culture CS Amina Mohammed said the Indirica Festival Kenya will be an annual affair in Kenya and is expected be instrumental in nurturing Indo-African cultural relations as well as promoting Kenya as a tourist destination. 

“We would like to see this grow in terms of tourism arrivals and business for our country. This eventually will raise the revenue base,” said Amina.  

The history of India and Kenya relationship goes way beyond the creation of the railway. Vasco da Gama encountered Indian merchants along the east African coast  in the late 15th century.  

Later, the Portuguese came to monopolise trade across the Indian Ocean and displaced the Arab’s commercial dominance. 

Although this affected India’s commerce with East Africa, Indians were the accountants and bankers for the Portuguese as they had been for the Arabs.  

Indians provided the bulk of the workforce for the first Kenya-Uganda railway built more than a century ago. Indians are the now the third largest tourist group visiting Kenya, according to the 2019  Tourism Performance report. 

 “The future is not just locations but in stories and culture but lies in collaborations and culture of our local people not just at the government level,” said Deputy envoy of India,  Ashish Sinha. 

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