Group unveils Isukuti dance
Lovers of Isukuti dance have a chance to listen to its original beat which a group of traditional dancers from Ikolomani constituency in Kakamega County have perfected. The beat comes two years after United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Isukuti dance a natural heritage because of its popularity. According to the leader of Muliimba traditional dancers Mr. Isaac Shiluli, their style is the undisputed original beat of Isukuti dance in the world. Mr. Shiluli said his group was ready to face any challenge from any other group in the country and particularly Kakamega where the beat originated that feels has a better version of the original Isukuti beat. Isukuti dance now played in many social and public functions in the country is said to have been developed in Ikolomani by the Idakho sub tribe of the Luhya community and spread to other parts of western province before becoming a national dance. Currently there are many groups in Western Province which play Isukuti in different beats depending on which part of the province they come from. Isukuti is also played by international groups which entertain tourists at hotels, airports and Kenyan embassies across the world. Muliimba traditional dancers came to fame two years ago when they emerged the best during an Isukuti dance competition between Ikolomani and Shinyalu constituencies sponsored by UNESCO and the department of culture at Sigalagala Polytechnic in Ikolomani. Mr. Shiluli says since then his group has perfected the beat to its original form and is working hard to make it much better and unique. “After listening to other beats in Western province I am convinced that ours is the best,” he said. He made the remarks at Kwela Kwela cultural center in Shinyalu where the group entertained guest s over the weekend. During the performance, members of the group who mainly play the drums exhibited different styles of dancing Isukuti. He said the group has since grown to incorporate women and children who dance Isukuti in its original form. He hailed UNESCO for declaring Isukuti dance a national heritage and appealed to the government and development partners to help his group train more youth to make a career out of the dance. The proprietor of Kwela Kwela cultural center, Mr. Gaitano Likhavila concurred with Mr. Shiluli’s sentiments saying out of all the groups that play at the center, Muliimba has the best beat. The centre located near the famous Crying Stone along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway invites traditional dancers to perform for guests.