The Got Ramogi Festival under the theme of Cultural Heritage for Socio-Economic Transformation was officially opened by Siaya County Deputy Governor Dr. James Okumbe in Bondo Sub County, Siaya County on June 28.
The opening event which entailed a symposium, was held at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University from 9am with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof. Benson Etsambale appreciating the County Government of Siaya for choosing JOOUST to be the host of the symposium.
The Vice Chancellor acknowledged the importance of embracing Culture and noted it’s significance in binding Siaya people together.
The Deputy Governor in his speech said that Got Ramogi is indeed a hill of multiple implications and the forest in itself is unique due to the multiple advantages it would present if conserved while lauding it’s potential as a site for research activities by anthropologists, archaeologists and scientists alike.
“Ironically, the forest cover at the hilltop is currently under threat of extinction as a result of the encroachment and indiscriminate cutting down of trees for firewood and charcoal,” he said.
Dr.Okumbe emphasized that for the Luo Community, Got Ramogi Hill is central to our cultural identity and diversity. Apparently, the hill was the dispersal point of the community upon their entry into Kenya through Uganda from Southern Sudan.
The Deputy Governor concluded by acknowledging various esteemed partners and stakeholders for making the festival possible while urging all Luos to attend the Got Ramogi Festival activities within the next three years and build strong bonds with each other.
Also present was for the opening symposium was the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Kenya Dr.Pindi Chana who was the Chief Guest who thanked Siaya County Government for the invite and emphasised on the importance of valuing culture and tradition. She gave examples from Tanzania about their love for their cultures. She welcomed all leaders present to visit Tanzania.
Luo Council of Elders Chairman Willis Opiyo Otondi was also present. In his speech, Mr. Otondi gave a brief narrative of how Luos originated from South Sudan and urged fellow luos to embrace luo culture like they have always done and not blindly imitate the European culture.
By Siaya County press unit.