Lamu art festival comes to an end as hoteliers reap profits

Tourists at the festival next to some of the sculptures in the background. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The Art festival that took place for the last three days in Lamu  came to an end on Sunday with hoteliers and boat operators in the town recording huge benefits.

The second edition of the festival kicked off last Friday and witnessed a huge flow of tourists who flocked the island to witness the festival and take part in it.

The festival was launched in 2016 and this year’s edition featured paintings and sculptures from over 40 artists that cut across the globe with most of them coming from Kenya and Europe.

This year’s festival witnessed the launch of a book titled ‘Lamu in your eyes’ that markets Lamu’s art potential,tourism and trade at the Lamu fort on Saturday.

Lamu county CEC for tourism Kaviha Khamis said the event had not only helped improve cohesion among various communities but had hugely impacted on trade and business.

He said many hotels had witnessed increased number of bookings by many who had arrived to witness or take part in the festival.

The key objective of this year’s art festival was to help preach the message of deliverance and redemption among drugs users especially the youth.

Kaviha said a total of 64 drug addicts turned for support and rehabilitation in the course of the festival.

“We are glad.this year’s festival was fruitful.we have hard several youths who are on drugs turn up for help.we had many visitors and our hotels and businesses really did well and recorded good profit margins because of the festival.we shall be doing more of this,”said Kaviha.

The peak of the festival was the dhow races,poems and dances before the winners in the various categories were awarded.

A special parade was later mounted to mark the close of the festival.