Lupita was accompanied by architect Sir David Frank Adjaye OBE RA, a Ghanaian British architect. Mr Adjaye was the lead designer of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The purpose of their visit, at the invitation of Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, was to meet the artists of all genres, in Kisumu and gain an understanding of their needs and aspirations with the aim of commencing planning for the development of an ultra-modern iconic Arts and Culture Centre in Kisumu.
The region is awash with artists and the desire to revolutionize the art industry has existed for ages. The team was received at Kisumu International Airport by Governor Nyong’o, Mama Kisumu, Dorothy Nyong’o, and County Minister for Arts Culture, Tourism and Sports, Achie Alai.
The duo were accompanied by professionals in the arts in Kenya, Joy Mboya Director and Dr Garnet Olunya of the GoDown Art Centre in Nairobi, Musicians Suzanne Owiyo, Nina Ogot and Winyo, Comedians Jalang’o and Eric Omondi, Andrew White a filmmaker and media practitioner, MC JaKakamega, film producer Albert Wandago, and graphic artist Kwame Nyong’o.
After a brief courtesy call in the Governor’s office where the visitors met some of the County ministers and officials, the team visited several cultural sites and arts facilities in Kisumu, such as Kanyakwar Cultural Centre, Goan Institute, Kisumu Museum and Kisumu Social Hall.
The team enjoyed boat cruise Left to right, Nerry Achar County Minister Finance, Doris Ombara, City Manager, Rosemary Obara County Minister Health, Alice Moraa County Minister Trade, Achie Ojany Alai County Minister Tourism, Culture and Sports, Salmon Orimba County Minister Environment, Dickson Obungu County Minister Lands, and Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
They also visited artisans at their work spaces among them the Maasai Market.
The team later had a joint meeting with Kisumu Artists where representatives of various arts genres presented pertinent issues currently impacting the arts industry in Kisumu. Representatives included Willis Otieno for visual arts; George Chunga for story telling; Albert Wandago for film production; Winnie Wadera and Mathew Odaba for emcees; Ati Sanna for performing artists; Moses Oduwa and Obat Masira for theatre; Kysh Roberts and Winnie Wenger for fashion; John Diang’a for sculpture; and Philemon Odhiambo for puppetry.
The panel discussions and presentations Lupita and David admiring art work at Maasai Market, Kisumu.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Mathew Owili also joined in the discussions and was happy to receive the visitors. In her remarks as she steered the discussions on the way forward on the second day, Joy Mboya while sharing the journey towards the transformation of The GoDown in Nairobi, termed the event historical as this level of consultation and listening by government had not been witnessed anywhere else in Kenya.