Goa’s Festakar makes waves in Kenya

Marius Fernandes and three family members share their experiences of returning to Kenya after five decades to retrace the footsteps of his grandparents in an interview with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

LUI GODINHO | MAY 04, 2024, 01:07 AM IST
Goa’s Festakar makes waves in Kenya


Returning to Kenya after five decades to retrace the footsteps of his grandparents in Kenya during the early 1900s has been a memorable journey for Goa’s Festakar, Marius Fernandes and his family.

The fascinating journey of Marius, his sister Maria Goretti, and his children, Ashley and Gemma, will be featured in a special interview with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) on May 4, which was facilitated by professor Elizabeth Mazrui of the Kenyatta University. 

Marius, who was born in Larre, Meru County, Goretti and Gemma will be guest on the renowned programme ‘The Books Cafe’, hosted by the celebrated and award-winning Kenyan journalist Khainga O’Okwemba. 

The programme, which has been airing on KBC English Service every Saturday for the past 11 years, has been renowned for its engaging interviews with famous personalities and authors.

Marius Fernandes will share captivating insights into his family’s profound connection with Kenya and his remarkable work organising over 83 festivals in Goa. His return marks a poignant moment as he revisits his roots and celebrates the rich heritage shared between Kenya and Goa.

“We are honoured to welcome Marius Fernandes back to Kenya and excited to hear his remarkable journey and experiences,” remarked Khainga. 

“His presence on ‘The Books Cafe’ programme promises to inspire and enlighten our listeners with stories that transcend generations and borders.”

When contacted, Marius said they have sought to convey the rich memories and experiences of our family’s connection to Kenya, spanning four generations, during the KBC show.

“We aimed to share the journey of our grandparents in the early 1900s and highlight the enduring bond between Kenya and Goa. Additionally, I wanted to discuss my extensive work organising festivals in Goa showcasing our amazing heritage, culture, art, food, etc and how it would reflect if a cultural exchange between our two regions could exist,” said Marius. 

Marius said their trip to Kenya was an incredibly fulfilling experience filled with nostalgia, discovery, and connection. 

“Returning to the land of my ancestors allowed us to retrace their footsteps, explore the landscapes they once traversed, and reconnect with the vibrant culture and people of Kenya,” said Marius.

“It was a journey of self-discovery and appreciation for the rich heritage shared between Kenya and Goa. Hosting a Goan festival in Kenya or Goa is definitely something I would consider.”

“Given the sizeable Goan community in Kenya and expats in Goa the shared cultural ties between the two regions, it presents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our heritage and foster cultural exchange.”

“I believe such an event would be well-received and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of cultural diversity in both places. We also spoke about very great Goans and their contributions to Kenya in the field of sports, politics, freedom struggle, etc.”

Marius Fernandes on ‘The Books Cafe’ radio show: 

DATE: May 4 
TIME: GMT-UTC (11.10 am), Kenya (1.10 pm), India (3.40 pm)
* 95.6 FM Nairobi, 104.7 Mombsa, 100.7 Western, 187.7 Kisumu, 93.3 Malindi
* Website: www.kbcenglish.co.ke
* X: @kbcenglish
* Facebook: kbcenglishservice

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