Culture: Redefining our Identity

Collection, documentation and dissemination of a people’s culture is important for the continuation of cultural values to future generations. This is reason why Embu College has embarked on cultural sensitization programs to promote and preserve our cultures. This has been achieved by holding cultural festivals annually whereby various communities showcase diverse cultural attributes manifested by their particular societies. These include; traditional craftsmanship, songs and dances, cultural rites as well as preparation of foods associated with specific communities.

Nevertheless, the College, being founded on a rich Kiembu/Kimbeere foundation, and from which the institution derives its name, Embu College has been at the forefront in preserving Kiembu cultural aspects with the aim of ensuring that our identity and continuity is guaranteed. Our School of Hospitality also seeks to work with the local community in identifying cultural elements associated with the Embu/Mbeere Community and establish ways of safeguarding our cultural heritage for future generations. An example is the late Professor Henry, Stanley Kabeca who was a globally acclaimed scholar renown for his extensive research and publications pertaining to the oral traditions of the Embu, Chuka, Mbeere  and Ndia communities.

Prof. Mwaniki Kabeca was an indefatigable researcher and scholar of oral history. He has published: Ndai, Nthimo na Ng’ano Iri Ukua wa Aembu, The Living History of Embu and Mbeere to 1906, Embu Historical Texts and Categories and Substance of Embu Traditional Songs and Dances among others. He researched on the Chuka Historical Texts, compiled the materials when he was lecturing at Egerton University and finalized the same for publication as the Academic Registrar, KEMU. His publications can be found in all major bookshops countrywide.

Before his demise, Embu College department of Library and Information Science was working closely with Prof. Kabeca in digitizing his scholarly collections and publications regarding the historical texts of the Embu, Mbeere, Chuka, Meru and other peoples of Mt. Kenya East, this is vital for preservation and dissemination of cultural knowledge for future generations. A website pertaining to this knowledge is also under construction. This will ensure that despite the sage’s untimely death, his spirit lives on and our historical and cultural aspects are in good hands…

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