Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in collaboration with the County Government of Siaya and other stakeholders successfully conducted Got Ramogi Annual Festival at the feet of the famous Ramogi Hill at Imbo-Usenge in Siaya County.
The festival with a theme stating “Duog Uru Dala Nyikwa Ramogi Ajwang’” translated as come back home Grandchildren of Ramogi Ajwang’ , kicked off on a high note with a Symposium at the university’s hall, focusing on Cultural Heritage for Socio-Economic Transformation. Speaking at the official opening of the Symposium, the chief guest who is the High Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. Pindi Chana said that culture is a uniting factor that brings people together for a purpose. Giving an example of Swahili language as a culture in Tanzania, Dr. Pindi said the United Republic of Tanzania has been united since the times of the founding President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and that unity has been the source of their economic stability.
Dr. James Ouko Okumbe, the Deputy Governor Siaya County encouraged the Luo community to stick to the history of their origin. While giving an opening speech on behalf of the governor, Dr. Okumbe has challenged the current generation to trace back and practice the Luo original way of life so as to keep the Luo identity. He said the attempt to neglecting culture has contributed greatly to the decay of morals as witnessed in the present generation.
As a University which bears the name of a prominent Luo Kingpin,Mzee Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, JOOUST boasts of hosting Cultural Symposiums from time to time to rekindle memory and impart knowledge of histories of different communities to the younger generation. Professor Joseph Bosire while giving a welcoming remark on behalf of the vice chancellor confirmed that JOOUST is keen in preserving culture, and that Cultural Heritage is one of the four niche areas that the University is concentrating on. The University has a fully operational Institute of Culture Heritage and Material Science (ICHMS) which spearheads the study of culture and material science.
The Symposium was also attended by the Luo Council of elders led by the Luo Ker Jaduong’ Opiyo Otondi who applauded the idea of symposium as part of the cultural event as it provides a platform of sharing knowledge about our past. Ker challenged the county government of Siaya to put up a cultural centre where traditional dance, music and artifacts can be displayed for entertainment and learning purposes so that our people are saved from going all the way to Bomas of Kenya to see such artifacts.
The three day event that ended on the night of 30th June 2018 was also spiced up with other cultural activities which include display of traditional cuisine, Fish night where varied types of fish were available for fishmongers to enjoy and Boat Race at Siungu Beach where both ladies and gentlemen rekindled their prowess in paddling the boat.