Talent, creativity on display as curtains fall on 93rd national music festival
The 93rd Kenya National Music Festival ended on a high note yesterday at Kabarak University with a gala performance capping a remarkable 10 days of intense presentations from more than 5,000 learning institutions.
The gala, which was graced by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and other education stakeholders, brought together 43 finalists from across the country.
The finalists were sampled from 600 categories that participated in the annual event, with more than 130,000 learners showcasing performances from all levels of education rangingfrom the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) to university students.
This year’s event featured the best performances in set pieces, Western dances and songs, original compositions, folk songs, folk dances, oriental music, own choices of created pieces and elocution verses in various languages.
Rabuor Primary School from Nyanza swept the audience off their feet as they presented a ‘Polka’ dance from Poland, blending Western performances to better understanding of other cultures while preserving local traditions.
The school scooped the award as the best overall in the Western Traditional Cultural Dance category Class 851H in their rendition of ‘Strip the Willow’ with the learners, gracefully moving to the instrumental.
In the Kiswahili verse and public speaking category, St Teresa Primary School from Central scooped the trophy for the best item in primary school showcasing the importance of the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Santa Maria Girls’ High School were awarded as the best in their category of Africa folk song with Kakamega Primary scooping the award on ‘My donkey, my life’ category sponsored by Brooke East Africa.
Solemnly, Obera Boys’ High School took the audience through a divine journey with their song Ohinga, winning the Africa folk song while their poem Sun and Shield, based on child protection and safe use of the internet for primary schools, emerged number one.
The gala was treated to some nostalgic tunes with a joint mass choir on Thomas Wesonga’s famous patriotic song Tushangilie Kenya presented by Thika School for the Visually Impaired, Embu Technical College, Eldoret National Polytechnic, The University of Nairobi accompanied by Ghetto Classics Orchestra.
The audience, both the young and the old, could not resist the performance as they rose up to sing along, perhaps, as a show of patriotism.
Besides, they were taken back to the old days of retired President Moi’s and Kanu’s rule, when the song was virtually an anthem in all national days and party functions.
Making his remarks shortly after, Magoha was all smiles as he admitted the Tushangilie Kenya performance not only took him back in time but also soothed his nerves.
“I must admit I was a bit stressed up, however, after listening to the presentations it all went away,” he said.
School heads warned
The CS added that music festivals presented opportunities for learners to nurture their talents to complement their academic knowledge.
“Our youth must also learn to appreciate local talent by supporting content produced locally and this will boost the music industry,” said the CS.
Magoha warned school heads and ministry officials against colluding to deny learners a chance to attend music festivals despite funds being channelled to the institutions to facilitate co-curricular activities.
This comes after concerns that participants from Mbeere sub-county in Embu county failed to travel to Kabarak University due to lack of money.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to preside over the 93rd edition of the Kenya Music Festival State gala at Nakuru State House to cap off the national fete.