On Tuesday, August 22, President William Ruto’s outfit caught the attention of many after he dropped his signature Kaunda suits and donned a Maasai Shuka.
The President was not launching a road in some remote village or commissioning a water borehole; he was in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County where he partook of the Maa Cultural Festival.
“Our traditions are an integral part of our story. Celebrating our rich culture brings Kenyans from diverse backgrounds together. The authenticity of this culture is the foundation of cultural tourism.
During the official opening of The Maa Cultural Festival at the Sekenani Gate, Maaasai Mara, Narok County,” a caption of his photos read.
Meanwhile, the photos sparked mixed reactions from a section of Kenyans as some came up with Maa names to baptize the head of state.
“Celebrating different cultures, ensuring cohesion and peaceful integration of Kenyans from different backgrounds… The inclusivity of all regions in government plans. Good job” Darsil commented.
Notably, one of the names that Ruto got was ‘Ole Chocha’ owing to the president’s endless list of promises he made before and after elections.
From lowering the price of unga to Ksh100 per 2kg packet to taming the cost of living, some of the president’s pledges have been described as hot air.
Other Kenyans named Ruto ‘Loankeu’ because of his government’s insatiable appetite for loans, even after castigating his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta for borrowing too much during his tenure as president.
Moreover, Kenyans recognized the Maasai Community’s rich culture calling on the authorities to preserve it and market it to the rest of the world.
One Malibe said the Maasai dressing code should be nationalized. “National attire or dress code loading.”
Ole Earthquake Mudavadi
On Wednesday, August 23, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi was also in Narok to celebrate the Maa culture.
“Cultural diversity is an important aspect in attracting tourism and investment. The Maa community has undoubtedly secured a special place in the cultural mosaic of the country, serving as a beacon for tourism in Kenya,” said Mudavadi.
The former Vice President called on leaders to be on the fore front in preserving Kenyans’ cultural identity.
“I laud the community’s efforts in preserving their culture, which is truly cherished worldwide. As leaders, it is our responsibility to be custodians of culture preservation. I wholeheartedly pledge my unwavering support to this cause,” he explained.
Mudavadi’s Maa names included Ole Muda, Ole Madvd, Ole Madimoni and Ole Earthquake.
Ole Rice Riggy G
On Thursday, August 24, Deputy President attended the Maa fest and picked the cue from his boss, donning a Maasai shuka, that gave him a look out of this world.
“The Maa Community culture remains distinct and impressive. I have joined the community as we celebrate this rich culture together at the close of the Maa Cultural Festival at Sekenani Gate, Maasai Mara, Narok County,” stated the Deputy President.
A section of Kenyans baptized the DP as Ole Riggy referring to his popular moniker, Riggy G which he got in the run-up to the 2022 elections.
For some, recalling the feast at the Sagana State Lodge where rice and beef was served in plenty, they named the DP as Ole Rice.
The Maasai Cultural Festival
Moreover, the four-day festival brought together 12,000 members from 18 Maa-speaking communities from Kenya and Tanzania.
The event took place at Masai Mara’s Sekenani Gate that attracts tourists to experience the world’s famous wildlife reserve.