Members of the South East and Kent Kenyans Society descended on The Walnut Tree pub, Aldington, at the weekend, bringing a group of Maasai warriors.

In addition to performances by the warriors, there was live music, a bouncy castle for children, and also the chance to try Nyama Choma, a traditional Kenyan barbecue, as part of a day-long cultural festival.

“It went really well, despite the rain, with more than 200 people attending throughout the day,” said licensee Karen Barrett, who helped to organise the event. “The group sang traditional songs both inside and outside the pub, and also performed a traditional Kenyan welcome for customers.”

During the event, Karen’s partner, Steve, was made a chief. “If we ever go to Kenya, we will be shown the utmost respect,” said Karen.

‘It was such a successful event, despite the weather, that we will be repeating it next year’

Karen has been at the Walnut Tree for 18 years, and she was presented with the Heart of the Community prize at Shepherd Neame’s annual Pub Awards earlier this year, in recognition of her dedication to raising funds for charity and supporting local residents and groups.

She said: “Our aim in hosting this event was to bring cultures together. We pride ourselves on being a community pub, and as such we want to bring the community together.

“The people from the village who popped along were really surprised by how friendly and laid back the whole thing was. I suppose it’s not the kind of thing you would normally associate with a Kent village pub. All in all, it was an amazing day, and many people stayed until the end of the evening.”

Karen added: “It was such a successful event, despite the weather, that we will be repeating it next year. It will be bigger and hopefully better, although in 2020 it will take place in summer.”

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