Acclaimed Chuka drummers hope to entertain Obama
A team from State House has pitched tent in Tharaka Nithi county to identify traditional groups to perform for US President Barrack Obama during his visit in the country next week.
The four member team arrived at the County Commissioners office on Wednesday morning though it did not disclose to the media the exact number of groups it intends to vet.
A source at the County commissioner’s office said the team would pitch tent in Tharaka South, Tharaka North and Igambang’ombe sub-counties for two days to identify dancers.
“They are looking for groups that are disciplined and their performances should be rich in their local culture,” he said.
During an interview with the Daily Nation in Chuka, the original Chuka drummers group commonly known as the ‘Drumming heroes of Chuka’ said they are hoping to perform for the world’s most powerful President.
Group Leader Mzee Eustace Njuki, who is in his 70s, said by performing for President Obama the group will receive global recognition.
“We dance and leave local and international audiences entertained and marveling at our exceptional skills,” Mr. Njuki said.
“I encourage the youth to uphold their culture by singing traditional songs and dances. We are willing to teach them what we know,” he added.
The group that was established in 1942 has performed before many heads of state including the late anti-apartheid icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela when he visited Kenya in 1990.
They have taken their performance of their signature music traditional folk song ‘Mwinjiro’ to Nigeria, Greece and Canada.
It is in 1962 that their popularity earned them the first trip outside Kenya when they were invited to perform in Tanzania.
When former President Daniel Moi was being inaugurated as the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1981, the group was called to perform to the 42 heads of state.
They recently performed for the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta when she presented the 19th Beyond Zero mobile clinic to the Tharaka Nithi County.
The group has also performed numerous times during national celebrations in Nairobi.
However, the Daily Nation has learnt that the State House team is keen on meeting the Kaguma dancers after they recently performed for Deputy President William Ruto during his tour in the county. The Kaguma dancers also perform the ‘Mwinjiro’ traditional dance.
US President Barrack Obama will be in Nairobi 10 days from now for the sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit.