Songs on marriage dominate festival

ARTS & CULTURE |

St Theresia Kilungu Girls Primary School pupils perform an Akamba folk song on day two of the Metropolitan Regional Music Festival at ACK Wote Township Primary School. [Photo: George Orido/standard]

Akamba folk songs and dances dominated the ongoing Metropolitan Music Festival with messages on education, marriage, rain, harvest and celebrations of a newborn taking centre stage.

In an event dubbed ‘the mini-national festival’, Kiatine Primary School performed a colourful dance, ‘Kinze’.

The dance, which involves shoulder movements and legwork, is usually performed by young women during happy occasions.

The dance encourages the bride to look forward to a bright future in her new home, and that she must be steadfast to weather the many storms that might come her way.

St Theresai Kilungu School presented another Kamba folk song ‘Nzinganye ngoma’ (lets come and dance) with a similar theme on marriage; the only difference being the depiction of a bride being welcomed to her new family in an orientation programme.

Choreographed by Elizabeth Manyenze, the dance was dazzling with red, white and black colours, enhancing the mood of fanfare.

But Kwangii Primary School brought in a whole new theme of rain and food security in their folk song ‘Kitundumo’ (Thunder).

The jovial Mwende Muasya was in her element leading this group of youngsters to send the message home that when thunder is heard miles yonder, hope for raindrops to wet the scorched earth is real.

“In Ukambani, rain is scarce and when we see signs of rainfall, there is no better way to anticipate than singing this song,” said trainer Mwende.

The festival Secretary Pius Mutinda termed this year’s fete as the biggest yet, with more than 50,000 participants at the regional edition.

Paramae Primary School from Kajiado performed ‘Olemelepo’, sang by both boys and girls during good times.

Showcase culture

The boys have their sticks (Engudi) that they use to herd cattle, as Morans adorn the headgear, Irpapit, to symbolise a warrior. At the same time, boys wear the red garment, Enkarasha, as women wear sky blue with decorative beads, ‘Nkogoto’.

“We are here to showcase the Maa culture and we hope our students will learn from others,” said a hopeful trainer of the school Eliud ole Nkuyai just before his team got on stage.

Their counterparts, Euaso Primary School, depicted a triumphant platoon of Maasai warriors after a successful peace process with neighbours.

Boston Children Centre focused their folk song on initiation rites especially circumcision in their presentation ‘Olaleyo’.

Produced by Naaman Barasa and Keegan Katui and sang by both girls and boys, the song seeks to instill courage among initiates.

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