The year 2013 saw the Naam Festival realize a pilot edition at Kisumu Beach Resort with an enthralling line up of artists including Juliani, Sita Makinu, Dola Kabary, Sarabi, Sarakasi Dancers, Ohangla Young Turks among many more. This was a significant event attended by several locals and a few visitors from neighboring countries and the diaspora aimed at trying out the concept.
The platform was able to reach out to the local community to interact with a peoples’ driven initiative that contributes towards restoring the beauty of Lake Victoria through culture, innovation and farming.
In order to foster dialogue about the ties between cultural cosmopolitanism and environmental sustainability among the diverse cultural communities of East Africa, Naam Festival hosts variety of events ranging from Lake Victoria photo exhibition on the state of the lake while we celebrate the lakeside culture and the natural waters. A Music Camp where East African musicians and guests artists from the region and diaspora meet to enjoy the wild bush life with devising and creating sessions. The Public is also invited for a born fire concert night every two days for authentic cultural journey through audio visuals by use of dance, music and film. Naam Festival also hosts forums where experts are invited to exchange ideas on economic, environmental and cultural issues. Mini music festivals with partners like The Nile Project that revolves around various themes pertaining to cultural development and environmental sustainability.
During the period October 3rd and 4th 2015 Naam Festival participated at the 40th anniversary of the Denver Sisters Cities International World Wide Festival in Colorado USA. Participating delegates Dave Ojay and Collins Majale show cased Naam Festival cultural and environmental initiative at the 40th anniversary, Collins also known as Colo who is amongst one of the pioneers of Kenyan Rap industry and towering hip hop icon gave a sterling performance at the festival. Later the Naam delegates at DSCI held leadership talk workshops at Boulder University – Colorado with 150 students on the 20th October on issues of environmental and social justice and shared their experience. While Denver is a sister City to Nairobi, Boulder has ties of sister cities relation with Kisumu.
Climate change is a fundamental threat to development in our lifetime. If we do not confront climate change, we will not end poverty. As the impacts of global warming and pollution from the heat-trapping gases released by power plants, vehicles, human activities and other sources take root in everyday life, organizations and individuals have never been more important to chart the future. Together with relevant partners NAAM program initiatives will be executed as a linchpin in slowing Earth’s warming, improving the shoreline, water catchment areas, environmental law enforcement and contribute to moving the world economy away from fossil fuels and into cleaner technologies. Established organizations around East Africa are part of the backbone of the regional economy, providing channels for innovation, infrastructure, job creation and overall prosperity.
It is therefore encouraging to see people and organizations beginning to view environment as an issue that we collectively have a fiduciary duty to address. Towards this the East African Judiciary has pledged to spearhead environmental and social justice dialogue across the shoreline to interrogate issues affecting Lake Victoria under the banner of Justice for Lake Victoria through a much needed exchange with stakeholders including experts and local lake users in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. To maximize our impact in helping communities alleviate poverty, affect positive social change, and improve both local and global environments, we are primarily focusing on:
- Working with farming communities along environmentally-degraded and highly over used lake shores.
- Capacity building for the youth in environmental management/awareness through music, recycling and innovation.
- Implementing a leading solution through the forest garden approach, taking each farmer’s situation into account.
Naam Festival and the community shall embark on a tree growing and farming initiative with partners to grow over 300,000 seedlings on the lake shoreline and its environs. The initiative expected to roll out the six moth program with local youth, schools and the community is set to be flagged off in early May 2017 in Siaya County and immediately after in Kisumu, Busia & Homabay Counties.