Uhuru to host gala as curtain falls on music festival

Students of Mary Joy Academy, Mombasa recite a poem titled Potty during the Kenya Music Festivals at Kabarak University yesterday. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]
President Uhuru Kenyatta will today attend the finalists’ gala of the 93rd Kenya Music Festival at State House, Nakuru.

According to Ruth Agesa, the executive secretary of the Kenya Music Festival, the fete will feature the best teams from the 10-day event, which ended at Kabarak University yesterday.

Speaking at the Kabarak auditorium where the creme de la creme performed for dignitaries, Ms Agesa said high standard performances were displayed by primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.

“The performances were of very high quality. I’m impressed by what has been happening here in the past 10 days,” she said.

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Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said music and drama festivals have continued to bring out talents among students, adding that talents are often discovered during such activities.

“Music and drama festivals re-gear the education system as they synergise talents whenever discovered earlier,” Prof Magoha said.

He said despite the rich culture showcased in the music festivals, there was still a gap in the music industry where youth fail to showcase cultures and patriotism.

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“The performances showcased here reveal that we have discovered our heritage as a county and there is a need for youth to listen to our own music and change the mindset,” he added.

He praised ‘Tushangilie Kenya’ composer Thomas Wesonga whose song was feted as this year’s theme song for the festival.

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He, however, called for stringent measures to be put in place to help artistes enjoy the intellectual rights of their property.

“Music is beautiful and Thomas Wesonga is a great artiste whom our youth should follow in his footsteps, but the question that begs is whether he is enjoying the intellectual rights of his property,” he added.

He warned teachers against misusing funds meant to facilitate student perform at the festivals.

“The standards teachers are giving are high but those who squander money meant to facilitate participants should be warned,” he added.

The fete that brought together the best performers in several categories capped the 10-day gathering of over 131,000 students. Participants ranged from nursery schools through to teacher training institutions and universities.

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While showcasing cultures from across the world, learners took to the stage with well-choreographed moves as they sought to outperform each another.

Rabuor Primary School, who are this year’s winners of Western Traditional Cultural Group Dance, wowed the audience with their Polka Polish dance from Poland, bagging an award by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

During the event, learners performed pieces embracing the new curriculum, with St Paul’s Erusui Girls “welcoming the equilibrium” in a category sponsored by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. 

The learners, in their piece ‘Equilibrium’, termed the Competency-Based Curriculum as long overdue noting that ushering in the new system of learning will not only boost academic performances but also nurture talents.

“This equilibrium is long overdue, an idea that we should all embrace,” they noted. St Paul’s Erusui Girls emerged winners of this category.

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Teams from Uganda also presented dances and songs, with St Catherine secondary school presenting a Lang’o dance.

St Teresa Primary School from Central region bagged this year’s trophy under the Swahili choral verse category, while Mbale boys carried the day with their piece on ‘2jiajiri’, a category sponsored by Kenya Commercial Bank.

In their piece, Mbale boys encouraged youth to form micro-enterprises as part of self-employment.

Kakamega Primary School bagged Brooke East Africa’s trophy with their piece on ‘My Donkey, my life’ a performance promoting the value of donkeys in the society in face of unregulated slaughter.

Under the special composition category that seeks to promote national and public service values, Tengecha girls were crowned winners while Santa Maria took the top spot under the Folk song Kenya category.

Angelina Jolie Primary School was crowned winners of Narisha flagship brand, for their piece that called for the enhancement of learning through proper feeding.

Makini Junior was crowned winners of Corporate Insurance Group with their piece on early years of learning. 

St Kizito School was crowned winners under best performers under sign language category.

And capping the performances, those crowned winners for bringing out the theme song of the festival ‘Tushangilie Kenya’ took to the stage to belt out the tunes.

In the mass choir, learners from Thika School for the Visually Impaired, Embu TTC, Eldoret National Polytechnic and the University of Nairobi wrapped up the morning session with Patriotic song, ‘Tushangilie Kenya’.

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President Uhuru KenyattaKenya Music FestivalState HouseKabarak University