By MURIMI GITARI firstname.lastname@example.org
It was all pomp and color during Kenya’s first ever anticipated flower festival held in Lord Erroll in Runda that was filled with creativity of floral arts.
Being a key milestone in the country’s floriculture industry, the glamorous floral affair themed ‘Bloom in Bravery’ that by coincidence happened during the month of breast cancer awareness saw women get free breast cancer screening, services that were provided by M.P Shah Hospital.
More than 20 exhibitors showcased their various types of cut flowers they grow and sell from their farms while others showcased their talented floral arts all this in the aim of promoting the industry and bringing together florists, flower exporters and flower enthusiasts together.
In partnership with Kenya Flower Council, the flower growers donated flowers to make the event a success, of which some were donated to the MP Shah Hospital cancer wards. These growers include, Tambuzi Roses, Mzurrie Flowers, Red Land Roses, Waridi Line, Bellissima, Kimman Roses, AAA Roses, Sian Roses, Marginpar Group and Molo Greens.
The festival radiated with professionalism and featured top of the class floral designs, exhibitions and set-ups showcasing creative and diverse Kenyan floral arts with exceptional flower set ups like dresses, peacock and bras made from cut flowers as well as displays of these flowers in the various stands.
The dress code on this day was a touch of floral making the event colorful.
The founder of the festival, Ms Rosemary Kimunya was all filled with joy as the day’s activities superseded her expectations.
According to Rose, the festival was not necessarily about selling flowers but showcasing and celebrating growers and flower enthusiasts in the country.
“At first I was worried due to the weather conditions as it had started raining in the morning hours but all in all everything ran smoothly as planned after the rain stopped,”Ms Kimunya said.
She said that her aim is to change the narrative of the country’s focus on exports of the flowers and support local farmers by having a platform where they can market their products.
“It is all about inculcating the culture of receiving and giving flowers in Kenya and more so providing a platform where Kenyans can get specific flowers at any given time something that has not been happening before and I’d say have no regrets to all the time I spent together with my partners in preparing for this festival,’ she added.
With Kenya being the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world, not so many Kenyans know much about flowers and it has always been her dream of seeing them have the knowledge of even planting them in their homesteads.
The festival was topped with a fashion show and a gala dinner later in the evening where various floral contest were awarded, a dinner that was graced by the British high commissioner to Kenya Ms Jane Marriot.
Speaking during the Gala, Jane Marriot said “More and more, Kenyan flowers are finding their way into UK shops and florists and eventually our homes. This has resulted to Kenyan exporters and British retailers building strong partnerships including Kenyan flowers being found in all leading British supermarkets.
The UK is the 2nd largest export market for Kenyan flowers with the value of flowers being exported from Kenya to the UK growing, up by one billion shillings in 2018.