The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has certified Isukuti dance from the Luhya community as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’.
According the popular cultural dance international recognition, UNESCO asserted that it had to be urgently safeguarded.
UNESCO Kenya Director General Dr Evangeline Njoka presented the certificate of inscription of Isukuti dance to Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at the Bukhungu Stadium.
It was part of celebrations for the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
Present to receive the certificate were Matende and Emachina Isikuti groups which were sponsored by the Kakamega County Government to showcase the dance at UNESCO Headquarters in France last year.
The Isukuti dance which originated from the Isukha and Idakho sub-clans becomes the first from Kenya to be recognized by the body.
The two sub-clans traditionally occupied Ikolomani and Shinyalu sub-counties in modern-day Kakamega.
Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa praised the move by UNESCO stating it proved indigenous dances could be marketed as proper tourism products.
He disclosed that Ksh1 Billion would be spent on upgrading and marketing two heritage monuments in all 47 counties.
Dubbed Kenya Through 100 Monuments, the plan seeks to leverage Kenya’s rich history and culture to boost domestic and international tourism while diversifying products in the sector.