Dagoretti High School emerged top in the creative dance category in the Nairobi edition of the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama festival held at Lenana School.
The colourful dance titled Adeya was a rendition of Banyala traditional folklore and depicted a chief who, in his insatiable quest for riches, takes advantage of suitors out to marry his beautiful daughter.
An avalanche of strong young men find this gem of a girl irresistible not just for her beauty but also because the man who wins her love will inherit the chiefdom.
Rendered in graceful moves and well-engineered choreography accompanied by well-blended voices, Adeya climaxes when one desperate young man, after investing all his fortunes to get the girl, ends up spearing her.
Fortunately, she is only slightly injured. But the incident calls for reflection on how greed can destroy an entire community.
The colourful dance choreographed by Hudson Wafula beat Nembu Girls High School with Amani and Moi Girls Nairobi with Piny Oru Chiew Uru.
Lenana School survived a stiff challenge from St Georges High School to win the plays category with their piece titled Lazarus, depicting the plight of the boy-child whose future appears bleak as all the attention goes to the girl-child.
Lenana survived after St Georges’ play, Ziwa La Kashfa, depicting drug and substance abuse, was penalised for running over the time limit.
Ziwa La Kashfa was a consummate rendition that was more credible, more polished and more entertaining.
“I warn that some of these results have been affected by deductions due to non-compliance with the rules,” announced the chief adjudicator, Charles Ong’ondo, of Moi University.
The unprecedented cases of arson that plagued many schools last year also featured at the festival.
Apostolic Carmel School rendered a cultural creative dance titled Red Card depicting a student, Hellena, whose habit of smuggling drugs and alcohol into the school took indiscipline to alarming levels.
An impromptu search of all students’ suitcases in the dormitory finds her with bhang and illicit brews, which earn her suspension.
But Hellena is not the type to go down alone; she comes back in the thick of the night with a jerrican full of petrol and sneaks into the school to set dormitories ablaze.
Combined efforts to put out the fire with water bear fruit but leaves some of the students badly injured.
A witness helps to nab Hellena, who becomes remorseful and seeks forgiveness. She also undergoes rehabilitation and is accepted back into the school, works hard and passes her examinations.
The dance’s message is that teachers and parents should keep tabs on students before things get out of hand.
Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School presented a play, Kashfa, depicting a society bedevilled with sleaze and a suffering populace while the leadership is insensitive to the needs of the masses.
St Alloysius Secondary School took to the stage with Purukushani, a choral verse depicting the plight of dissatisfied security guards.
Riruta Central School presented a moving choral verse, Barabarani, that depicted a road plagued by unruly drivers and other road users.
Every law in the book that articulates the traffic code is broken and the end result is the death of millions in addition to permanent disability for many more.
The verse was a wake-up call on what needs to be done to make our roads safer.
Brina Munene, Ibrahim Okinda and Fabias Ochieng exhibited a mastery of storytelling with their narrative, Agenda Chama Enterprise, depicting how women’s groups can ruin families.