KISUMU – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, May 31, performed a special ritual during the unveiling of the Kisumu Shipyard.
Uhuru performed a ritual known as Keel-laying, in the event that was attended by his Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye.
This involved placing of special coins on the vessel for good luck, and this is usually done to mark the beginning of the construction of a ship.
Uhuru was first dressed in proper welding attire including an apron and a face shield before the President was handed a coin that he was to use during the ceremony.
“Keel-laying is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is often marked by a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the ship-building factory and the owners of the ship.
“Keel-laying is, therefore, one of the four specially celebrated events in the life of a hip. The others are launching, commissioning, and decommissioning,”
…explained an announcer at the ceremony.
The expansive event involved the placement of coins as well as the initial placement of the central timber making up the backbone of a vessel.
Modern ships are built in a series of prefabricated sections rather than being built around a single keel.
President Uhuru while speaking at the event noted that the shipyard was set to serve institutional and commercial ship-building interests in the region.
“The Kenya Shipyard project was an initiative of our forefathers but it collapsed, am happy that we have now actualised it. The project has provided employment for our youth and a further 1000 youths will be engaged going forward.
“Kisumu City becomes the frontier in trade in this region, it has what it takes in terms of infrastructure,” stated the Head of State