With Which Twentieth-Century Style Is This Music Most Closely Associated Music, Arts, Theatre and More in Kenya

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Music, Arts, Theatre and More in Kenya

With regard to the unique ways in which people from different ethnic and social groups in Kenya represent their experiences and act creatively, the culture in Kenya is very much alive.

Significantly different for people living in rural and urban areas, culture in Kenya is in its infancy and only recently have Kenyans come to appreciate their diverse and rich culture.

Culture in rural Kenya

Since most of the art and crafts displayed and sold in urban towns in Kenya are originally produced in rural areas, perhaps rural Kenya has the greatest potential culturally. However, this is far from the case as most culture is mainly available in urban Kenya. Various arts and crafts include:

  • Handmade baskets known as Kiondosâ

  • Hand-knitted mats and rugs from coconut and sisal leaves

  • Hand-woven clothes such as sweaters, baby socks, balaclavas, gloves, scarves and duvets, etc.

  • Pottery production

In addition to art, rural cultural activities also include:

  • Singing and dancing during various ceremonies such as weddings, dowries, circumcisions, funerals and babies.

There is a fine distinction between working time and free time in rural Kenya. You are more likely to find a woman making pots or baskets to sell in her spare time and a man carving soapstone to make as a piece of art to sell in his spare time.

Culture in urban Kenya

Urban culture is a whole different ball game. Characterized by diversity, culture in urban settings, such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret, is widely available.

motion pictures

Watching a movie is seen as a cultural activity in Kenya and enjoyed mainly by the middle and upper class. Theaters located in major towns in Kenya include:

  • Cinema and Kitala snacks

  • Century Cinemax Junction

  • Planet Media Cinemas Westgate

  • Starflix Prestige Plaza

  • Fox Cineplex Sarit Center

  • Niali Cinemax

  • Fox Cineplex Capital Center

  • IMAX 20th century

  • Starbucks Village Market

Museums and art galleries

Cultural centers such as the National Archives of Kenya, National Theaters of Kenya and Bomas of Kenya, etc., display artifacts and changing cultural traditions of the 42 tribes of Kenya.

  • Rahimtula Museum of Modern Art (RaMoMA)

  • Diani Beach Art Gallery

  • Fortress Jesus

  • from the desert

  • Paxto

  • Mount Kenya Art Gallery

live theater

Although most Kenyans are not theatergoers, and the theater culture is lacking, there are movie theaters in various urban towns showing live theater performances

  • Live performances and plays by local and international actors at the National Theaters of Kenya and the Alliance Française.

    • Popular theater groups are Phoenix Players and Heartstrings Ensemble.

  • inclusive theaters

    • Moon Cinema
    • Embassy cinema

    • No-Metro (Kenya) Ltd

    • Nyahururu Cinema, Indo African Theaters Ltd

    • Odeon Cinema

    • Lotus Cinema

    • Kenya Cultural Center

    • Pan-Nep Cinema

    • Indian African Theaters Ltd

    • and Phoenix Players Ltd

music

Concerts and live music are held day or night.

  • Local and international music festivals. The popular music festival includes Afro-based Blankets & Wine among others.

  • Themed evening events featuring changing traditions, music and food from different tribes such as Mogiti night- (Kikuyu tribe), Ramogi night (Luo), Nobi night (Nobi), Beach night and Mulemba night (Lohia) etc.

  • Every year, schools, colleges and universities have cultural programs, cultural weeks and drama festivals, where students showcase their cultural creativity in the form of songs, dances, acting, choirs, oral narratives, paintings, fashion and designs.

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