Patrick Kinuthia

Kenya: Photographic Safaris, Shopping and … Kizomba II

African Cultures Travel

Very special thanks to Banana Hill Art Gallery in Kenya – Cover Image by Patrick Kinuthia

Kenyan Culture

Kenya culture is a fascinating way of life that blends the traditions of thousands of years of African social evolution with the modern influences.

The multifaceted culture of Kenya is expressed in different forms, ranging from its people and language, food, music and dance, art, artifacts, theatre and literature to its ethnic values and ethical norms. Combined with other traditions, these forms of expression and lifestyle form an identity that is uniquely Kenyan.

Bezalel Ngabo
Bezalel Ngabo – Banana Hill Art Gallery, Kenya

Kenyan Food

The Kenyan diet is comprised of foods rich in ethnic diversity. Popular staple foods include ugali, rice, bread, chapatti(a type of Indian bread), beef, chicken, goat, tilapia and an assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits.

The Kenyan diet also includes tea. In fact, in Kenya, anytime is tea time. When it comes to drinks, Kenya tea in the form of Chai (tea with milk and sugar) is the beverage of choice

Sebastian Kiarie
Sebastian Kiarie – Banana Hill Art Gallery

Kenyan Literature

Kenya has a strong oral tradition. Original Kenyan literature is contemporarily inspired by the social frictions of the colonial times. Popular contemporary novelists include Ngugi wa Thiong’o, among others. as Grace Ogot, Meja Mwangi, Hilary Ngweno, Margaret Ogola, and R. Mugo Gatheru.

On the coast, writing was introduced with the Arab influence. The Swahili culture has a strong tradition of poetry, with long and beautifully complex poems.

The subjects are beautifully expressed and lyrical. Love poetry, often highly erotic, is frequent, as is political and social commentary. 

Ronnie Ogwang
Ronnie Ogwang – Banana Hill Art Gallery

Kenyan Music

Music is very important in Kenyan life. 

In western Kenya, traditional rhythms have a certain set of strings, which can mean the slight Muslim influence. Kenyans call this “Nyatiti-Ndali-Manyieny”.

On the south coast of the country, we can find tribal songs called “Bomas”.

In Kenya, the music of the lakes is known as “Benga” and the music of the coast owes its roots to Swahili culture. Each region has its own style.

Taarab is a musical style very popular on the East African coast. It combines elements of African percussion with Arabic rhythms. It has a great Egyptian influence and, although it continues to evolve over time, its lyrics are still Swahili poetry. It is performed by an orchestra of up to 40 musicians using instruments of African origin.

There are also different musical styles among the tribes of Kenya. One example is the Masai people, their music is strictly vocal, where the polyphonic songs of several people accompany the soloist’s singing. These songs have a question-answer structure.

Dances in Kenya

Dancing is not uncommon in the Africa culture as it has over the years been used to mark the different special occasions and celebrations. There are 8 provinces in Kenya but five major regions. Each of these regions has a popular ethnic group with unique dancing styles.

Elsewhere, the use of drums became widespread and central to elaborate traditional dances. The word Ngoma (drum) is still used to describe most forms of traditional music and dance.

Borana, Giriama, Goma, Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Luo, Maasai, Pokomo, Pokot, Samburu, Swahili, Turkana, Chakacha, Kamba Dances, Mwomboko, Isukuti

 

 

We recommend:

Work and Dance Songs from Kenya, by David Nzomo

Where could we dance Kizomba

Afro Latin Monthly Party in Nairobi, Kenya

Monthly Party

They host a monthly Afro Latin Dance party every first Saturday of the month at Caramel Lounge ( ABC place) Be paert of the Nairobi monthly social and dance to the best of Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Cha Cha, Semba and merengue

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DFK Latin Social – Nairobi, Kenia

Be part of the FUN!!! as you dance to the best of Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Semba, Cha-cha-chá and Merengue at the DFK Social! it is going to be EPIC! be part of the experience every first Saturday of every month at Ventana, Bidwood Suites, Westlands.

Beginner & Intermediate Salsa class | 7-8 pm

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Kenya: Photographic Safaris, Shopping and … Kizomba I

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