Message of co-existence dominates Aga Khan music festival

Friday March 09 2018
Festival Pic

Dignitaries during the Aga Khan Music Initiative performance at Khoja Mosque in Nairobi on Friday. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The message of pluralism took centre-stage as Kenya celebrated the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee at Khoja Mosque, Nairobi.

During the music-themed event, Dr Azim Lakhani, the Diplomatic Representative of Aga Khan Development Network Kenya said with the advent of global connectivity, the world was undeniably shrinking.

This, he said, provided a fitting platform for convergence towards a common culture with the interconnectivity providing opportunities for people and their diverse cultures and expressions through food, art, dressing, architecture, dance and music.


“In the past few decades, His Highness the Aga Khan has been promoting the notion of pluralism, where different groups connect, learn about one another, accept and respect their differences and ultimately live in harmony,” Dr Lakhani said.

“It does not seek to eliminate differences or erase distinctions but rather to embrace them.”


He observed that pluralism did not necessarily mean that everyone would always be in agreement, "which should provide a basis for dialogue, peace and progress".

To bolster the pluralism agenda, the event was capped with concerts featuring Central Asia folk performances by the Badakhshan Ensemble from the mountainous Badakhshan region of Tajikistan, and the Ruhab Duet from Afghanistan.


The Badakhshan Ensemble showcased folk songs, spirit and devotional songs, mystical music and dance traditions of the mountain-dwelling, Pamiri people of eastern Tajikistan, many of whom are Shia Isma’ili Muslims.

The event marked the Aga Khan Music Initiative debut in Kenya, with earlier concerts in Mombasa.

The last concert will be in Kisumu.