Audience were yesterday shocked after a secondary school and a polytechnic presented same plays at the ongoing Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama and Film Festival.
The plays presented by Nyeri National Polytechnic and Sunshine Secondary School were discovered to be similar save for the titles and characters.
“We were not aware of anybody else who had a play similar to ours,” said a disappointed patron of one of the institutions.
Despite the plays being performed in two different halls at Kibabii University in Bungoma, it did not take long for the adjudicators to figure out that something was amiss.
The organisers said they had launched investigations in the incident. Kakamega High School left the audience in stitches with their play Equilibrium that depicted how ridiculous it was for the national drama committee to bar non-TSC teachers from training students in drama this year.
The play questioned why a festival that had greatly benefited from the services of its own actors would turn against its own like a rabid hyena.
The actors called their former principal and drama veteran, Oliver Minishi, by name and reminded the audience that he was a successful thespian despite the fact that he was actually a teacher of physics and mathematics and not languages or literature, “as the committee may want everyone to believe”.
At the same time, the issue of bullying in schools featured prominently on stage.
Moi Primary School Kabarak received a standing ovation when they presented a play Forbidden Acts depicting the use of children in money laundering.
Lakewood School from Nairobi, which was performing at the fete for the first time, presented Chui na Mwanawe written by Lydia Wanjira that depicted the vice that has refused to go away despite many measures taken by authorities.
In the play, Mponda (Remmy Otieno) a primary school boy is eager to be like his father Mzee Chui – a man greatly feared and respected by his peers and the community.
Mzee Chui does everything within his powers to get whatever he desires. Mponda, too, desires the same lifestyle in school so he bullies his juniors, destroys their books and locks his classmates’ desks and lockers to ensure they don’t outshine him.
His sister also suffers at his hands when she is locked up in the bathroom and her uniform burnt because she is smarter than him.
The play called on parents to be better mentors to their children to stop them from becoming monsters.
Similarly, St Theresa’s Girls Yala in their modern dance Owino Jambazi depicted a boy, Owino, who finds himself in problems when he steals examinations marking scheme.
Pets and Pests, a narrative by Emutsuru Primary School from Vihiga County, was about Mongo, a girl who fails to heed her grandmother’s advise and gets in the family way.
Golden Elite School were in their element when they performed a play My Mother’s Gift depicting a child growing devoid of love from parents.