Kenya and Uganda to hold joint music festival

ARTS & CULTURE |
St Angela's School in a choral verse during the regional music festival. PHOTO COURTESY

NAIROBI: Preparations are in top gear for the first ever regional schools drama and music festival.

Yesterday, top Ministry of Education officials flew to Mbale, Uganda, to prepare for the fete.

The delegation headed by the Co-ordinator General of Co-Curricular Activities at the ministry, Jared Obiero, includes chairman of the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival Chokera Kahora and his Executive Secretary Patrick Khaemba.

Also in the delegation is the chairman of the Kenya Music Festival, Peter Wanjohi, and his Executive Secretary Ruth Agesa.

The joint festival comes three months after President Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed a request from drama artists to have an East Africa joint drama and music competition.

Uhuru committed to the joint performance in April after he received a Ugandan delegation that had visited the country to consult with their Kenyan counterparts.

"My greatest wish and desire is to have by next year a regional festival, and I will speak to President Yoweri Museveni (of Uganda) about it," said Uhuru.

"This is an event that I look forward to very year and each of the performances has given me an opportunity to stop for a moment and look retrospectively into our lives and see what it takes to transform ourselves," he added

Schools that will represent Kenya at the festival include Kaaga Girls, Kakamega High School, Nyabondo Boys, State House Girls, Lwak Girls High School, Dagoretti High School, Drys Girls High School, St Joseph's Junior Seminary, Bungoma High School, Sironga Girls and Chavakali High School.

The teams will travel on July 24 and perform on the same podium as their Ugandan counterparts.

According to ministry officials, the development is a long-term initiative coming after many questions were raised about the next level of performance after the national festival.

In the meantime, the Metropolitan edition of the annual Kenya Music Festival has taken off in earnest with teams from Nairobi, Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos converging at ACK Wote Township Primary School.

The festival's regional secretary, Pius Mutinda, said the fete, regarded as a mini-national festival, will run until Saturday in music dance and elocution.

"For the first time, have had both primary and secondary schools performing at the same venue and we hope the spirit will remain," said Mr Mutinda.

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