Vernacular rules presentations at Kenya’s music festival

Mosoriot Teachers Training College from Nandi County performing at the on-going Music Festival in Kisumu. PHOTO: TITUS MUNALA

KISUMU: The vibrant lakeside culture was on display at the Kenya Music festival when Luo and Luhya folk songs reverberated at the Citam Amphitheatre with drums, orutu and jingles coming together in rhythm and harmony.

Karanda Mixed Secondary School was a thriller with their energetic rendition of the Luo folk song Rosa Anyango.

The song depicts a lonely man in need of love after his lover, Rosa, left him in the village a desolate soul and went to the city.

"Anyango hera man imiya chando wiya, duog a dala, kal Kondele inywena lada," go part of the lyrics, that also ask Rosa not to come empty handed but bring a pair of canvas shoes for her lover.

Moi Girls Isinya did well as they rendered Adila, sang during celebrations of a good harvest.

It warns that people should not overindulge in celebrations, especially with regard to drinking alcohol.

"We thought this was a good theme, because at times, Kenyans harvest so much but there is a lot of waste in the post-harvest period causing unwarranted famine," explained Ole Simiyu, a teacher associated with the production.

Obera High School also did a jig in Luo that was entertaining, especially the mix of tongue-twisters and poetry.

In the same class, Bungoma High School moved the audience, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats with a fast-paced kamaveka dance.

Ebinambwe High School sang Mushere Wanje (My Wife) that depicts a man in tribulation after his beloved wife takes to abusing alcohol.

Friends School Kamusinga, St Joseph's Sikusi, Ruai Girls, Akithi High, Sher Academy and St Philips Siakago are among the teams that participated.

The Kikuyu and Meru class was also a hive of creative brilliance as teams took the stage to celebrate the rich culture of Central Kenya.

Leading the way was Ngenia High School who sang a circumcision song rendered in powerful voices and menacing faces.

And at Lions High School, the Government was put on the spot over poaching with performances that blamed authorities for poor wildlife-protection measures.

In the English, choral verse speaking special composition with the theme 'Our Wildlife, Our Responsibility', the secondary school students exhibited high-end knowledge on issues ailing wildlife in the country through their various compositions.

The presentations questioned how the Government had failed to stem the illegal trade in wildlife products, how poachers are walking freely instead of being behind bars and how human-wildlife conflicts continue to be reported irrespective of the massive resources generated from wildlife.

Of great interest was the state of the country's economy, which continues to dwindle due to the shaken tourism sector brought about by poaching.

Drys Girls Secondary School from Nakuru emerged the best in the category after a thrilling performance with their composition 'Silent Echoes' by Obiero Casmir.

Matende Girls and Erusui Girls both from Nzoia came second and third in the category, which attracted 21 schools.

Senior Warden, Conservation Education at the Kenya Wildlife Service Mary Kirabui, who witnessed the presentations sponsored by the organisation, described the performances as perfect.