The Rusinga Cultural Festival 2017 which happened on the 21 and 22nd of December was a huge success. It drew both locals and tourists who got to enjoy music, dance, and activities like wrestling and tug of war. The stars of the festival were clearly the AGES Kenya group who thrilled the festival goers with their performances which included dancing, oration and also taking part in the wrestling and tug of war. The Cultural Dances were sponsored by the Kenya Tourism Board. Antony Ochieng and Magunga Williams took some great pictures of these dancers. Enjoy the pictures as you find out more about these versatile dancers.
The African Genre Shield- AGES was founded in 2013 by Agiver Bwanah. The group was registered in 2014 as a CBO with thematic areas in Environment, Health & Social life, Tourism Development and Culture & Education. The group uses African cultural approaches to solve African problems.
The AGES group also goes by the nickname The East African Remnant Bushmen. They have been collaborating with the Kenya National Museums- Kisumu and are based at the Ber Gi Dala Luo Homestead in the Kisumu Museum. You can find them in the Kisumu Museum from 9 AM to 5 PM – Monday to Saturday.
They perform the cultural dances of all the major tribes of Africa but they major in the Kenyan dances. AGES aims to bring back the glory of Africa’s heritage through their performances. They have performed for the East Africa Community, and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission under EA Community. They have also performed for different dignitaries and in different embassies in Kenya. They were the first group to popularize the EAC anthem. They have also been in adverts including Red Bull and Tusker.
AGES group has undertaken various projects including
1. The Lake Victoria Fish Eating Festival – an event meant to sensitize the Lake Victoria basin inhabitants on taking care of the lake.
2. The East Africa Inter Communities Cultural Tour- meant to create cohesion.
The dance troupe can perform cultural dances of all major tribes of Africa and but they major in Kenyan dances. Some of the dances they can perform include Zulu, Setswana of Botswana, Swaziland Royal Dance, Baganda, Acholi, Dinka & Nuer, Fulani and Mande speakers of West Africa drum dance.
AGES Kenya present authentic and unadulterated cultural dances thus making them unique amongst cultural performers. They are over 50 in number but the most regular ones are 21 ladies and 19 men.
Most memorable performances
The Rusinga festivals and Lake Victoria Basin Commission at 10 have been their memorable performances for large groups so far. Memorable performances for individuals/diplomats include performances for Raila Odinga, Victoria Beckham, Governors of the Lake Region, and the Netherlands Ambassador.
If you are looking to engage them you can find them at the Kisumu Museum Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. You can call them 0725921037 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find them on Twitter at @AgesKenya and Facebook.
Thanks to Antony Ochieng and Magunga Williams for the photos.