REMARKS OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR OF THE CO-OPERATIVE UNIVERSITY OF KENYA PROF. KAMAU NGAMAU ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING OF THE CUK’S CULTURAL DAY ON 16TH JUNE, 2017 AT CUK, 9.00AM

Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic affairs, Prof. Emily Akuno Deputy vice Chancellor, Finance, Planning and Administration, Prof. Esther Magiri

Deputy Vice Chancellor CDR&I, Prof. Isaac Nyamongo
Our guest speaker from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission
Members of the University Management Board,
Members of staff
Students’ leaders
Students
Dancers from the Bomas of Kenya
Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we gather here to celebrate an important aspect of our lives we live every day. I am certain this will be an exciting day for all of us. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me before we divulge into the agenda of the day, to congratulate our Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof. Emily Achieng Akuno on her election as the World President of International Music Council some few days ago in Pafos, Cypress. Emily is a Professor of Music, a great asset to this University and I believe that her expertise in music should be able to place CUK strategically in the Global map.

As you are all aware, this is the first cultural day we are celebrating as The Co-operative University of Kenya after award of Charter last year. We will make greater efforts to make this a one week-event as time goes by because we may not achieve all we need to in a day. I know the planers of the event have made significant efforts to make this day a success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year’s theme of our cultural day is ‘Promoting Peace, National Unity and Cohesion through our Cultural Diversity’. The theme is well chosen to rhyme with the activities lined up for the day. It has come at a time when we are gearing towards general elections on 8th, August, 2017. We are all called upon to shun ethnicity and be one Kenya, one people.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Whereas culture is the dress of life and the beauty of our identity as human beings, it is one of the most misunderstood and misused concepts of humanity especially here I Africa; for instance in Kenya, we are over 45 million people. It would be such a boring country if we all spoke the same languages, ate the same food, wore the same or similar clothes, and had the same heritages among others. Then what would we learn from each other.

None of us is born with culture; instead we are born in a cultural world. This we use to tell our story. We are a beautiful nation with the Ohangla of the Nyanza, the Chakacha of the Coastal Kenya, the Kamba dances in the lower Eastern parts of Kenya, the Mwomboko dance of Central Kenya, and the Isukuti dance in Western Kenya etcetera; This is truly a magical Kenya.

Aspects of our culture including our foods, our languages, music, our natural heritages, historical facts and stories, our day-today economic activities define who we are. Ladies and gentlemen, these facets of our culture both tangible and intangible are the cornerstone of our nation building; we use them to reconstruct and soothe the soul of our Nation.

Culture can also be used to deconstruct a nation and societies. No community’s culture is superior to the other. When our forefathers initiated our practices, they had ideas and reasons why. I wish to encourage all of us to use the lessons of our culture to live in harmony with one another.

Ladies and gentlemen,
As I conclude, let’s go back to the basic of our culture. All of our cultures are strong in morality, strong behaviors, strong friendships and strong family values. I have not seen a culture that entertains moral decadence, drug and substance abuse among others.

Ladies and gentlemen, with those few remarks, I declare this cultural day officially open.

God Bless you all.