CS Kuria says foreigners coming to Kenya will now have to pay for every photograph of Maasai they take.
Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Tuesday announced that the government would soon begin to commercialize Kenya’s traditions with the aim of benefiting from it.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya’s Utamaduni Day celebrations, Kuria declared that since Kenya is protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 1970 treaty, visitors from abroad will now have to pay for each photo they snap while visiting.
“Those foreign people who have been coming here rating our artifacts, rating our emblems of heritage, our Shanga, Maasai culture, we are saying now because we are protected by international laws and conventions, that is going to be a thing of the past. Even to photograph a Maasai now you have to pay and you pay in US dollars,” Kuria said.
The controversial CS at the same time emphasized the necessity of drawing on ancient knowledge and ancestors’ wisdom to overcome modern problems.
Kuria urged Kenyans to think seriously about “where we are coming from as a nation and where we are going as a people.”
“If we just try to make a copy and paste of their system of government indeed, even as a government we are going to be very successful. Our traditional medicine, our traditional jurisprudence, the way we conducted the settlement of disputes among the people. We can indeed learn a lot from that generation,” he added.
During the event, Culture and Heritage Principal Secretary Ummi Bashir announced that the government will in the net one year come up with a national dress for Utamaduni Day.
“Kenya does not have a national dress, do we? That is something that we are working on and we promise by the next Utamaduni Day we will consult and have at least a Kenyan national dress,” Bashir stated.