‘Kenyans and Jamaicans have a lot to learn from each other,’ says First Lady Margaret Kenyatta


First Lady Margaret Kenyatta tours the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) on August 6, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta tours the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) on August 6, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

In Summary

  • She visited the NGJ to acquaint herself with the rich history and culture of the Caribbean nation, most of which is shared with Kenya as former British colonies.
  • Speaking after the guided tour of the various galleries, the First Lady said that through the various pieces of art in display, it was clear that Kenya and Jamaica share a rich history and called on citizens of the two countries to learn from each other.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday toured the National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) where she met and interacted with local and Kenyan artists showcasing their works.

She visited the NGJ to acquaint herself with the rich history and culture of the Caribbean nation, most of which is shared with Kenya as former British colonies.

Speaking after the guided tour of the various galleries, the First Lady said that through the various pieces of art in display, it was clear that Kenya and Jamaica share a rich history and called on citizens of the two countries to learn from each other.

The gallery has preserved its rich colonial, post-colonial and contemporary history through iconic exhibitions, carvings, sculptures, drawings and several other forms of artistic work.

At the historical gallery, the First Lady was able to appreciate political exhibitions embodying Jamaican anti colonial movement leading to their independence in 1962.

The gallery holds works explaining Jamaican history, first under the Spanish rule between 1494 and 1655, and then under British rule between 1655 and 1962.

At a different gallery, Kenyan artist Mazola wa Mwashighadi, who  has exhibited his artworks in Jamaica since 1997 took the First Lady through his mixed sculpture explaining the importance of preserving of the earth and extended love for women in their various roles especially as mothers.

“To solve our problems, we must start by protecting mother earth including the preservation of our oceans,” said Mazola.

Mazola said he was overjoyed to meet the First Lady whom he thanked for being a supporter of the arts and the creative sector.

The works of Jamaican artist Nadine Hall captured the attention of the visitors including First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. Nadine’s artistic works seeks to address marginalization and how it destroys people who suffer from trauma resulting from societal alienation and neglect.

The First Lady was welcomed to the gallery by the Jamaican Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Ms Olivia Grange, Senator Thomas Tavares Finson who is the President of the Senate and the chairman of the NGJ and Chief Curator O’Neil Lawrence.

The Kenyan First Lady who is in the Caribbean country accompanying President Kenyatta on a state visit was joined on the gallery tour by Sports, Culture and Heritage CS Amina Mohammed.

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