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Music festival makes comeback in Kisumu

Eagle School Kericho rehearsing at Kisumu Girls High school ahead of the 94th Kenya Music festival in Kisumu on 16th September 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Preparations for the 94th edition of the annual school music extravaganza were in top gear yesterday as various schools arrived in Kisumu County ahead of the event.

The Kenya Music Festivals is making a comeback this weekend after a two-year lull occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A few schools that had already pitched tent in the lakeside city undertook rehearsals ahead of the event.

Three venues have been selected for the event, with organisers keen to replicate past successes of the event in other parts of the country in Kisumu.

The event running between September 17 and September 23 will be held at Kisumu Boys High School, Kisumu Girls High School and Arya Primary School.

A state concert will be held on September 24 at Kisumu State Lodge where President William Ruto is expected to be the guest of honour. Winners will be awarded trophies and certificates.

A music festival is an annual event that identifies and nurtures artistic talent. Yesterday, however, organisers of the event said that they were yet to get a confirmation that the president would grace the event.

Executive secretary of the Kenya Music Festival Janet Langat said they had finalised plans for the event and confirmed that among the guests they had invited is the president.

Only a handful of institutions had arrived in the lakeside for the event by yesterday afternoon. A number of them undertook rehearsals to sharpen their presentations ahead of the event.

Among the schools which had arrived at Kisumu Girls High School for the music, extravaganza is Eagle Primary School from Kericho who will be presenting two items.

Geoffrey Odinga, a teacher in charge of the event at Eagle School said they would present two poems and instrumentals. The poem is titled, Abosi, which is all about terrorism.

“The terrorist in this context is what we are referring to as Abosi. You know terrorists have some bossy tendencies and always feel so. They also have weird self-esteem. Our poem is against terrorism and our learners are against it and so in the poem, they express their hatred towards terrorists,” said Mr Odinga.

He said that their choice of the poem was informed by the attack at Garissa University a few years ago, which left many students injured and others dead.

“The learners look forward to joining university one day and so they cannot imagine being in a similar situation. That is why we decided to come up with a poem on terrorism; it helps them express their feelings about terrorism,” he said.

Schools drawn from Nyanza who are hoping to bring the price home are also on an overdrive as they prepare for the event. Among the major themes expected to be captured by different plays at the event are climate change, economy and leadership.

The festival’s treasurer for tertiary institutions Steve Ouko said the event is going to be a great experience of entertainment for learners who have missed it for over two years because of Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ouko said participants would present different activities from different communities and cultures in Kenya.

“Our teams from tertiary institutions will be hosted here and at Riat Institute. The primary items will start on day one up to Monday. The bulk of items from institutions of higher learning will begin on Tuesday up to Thursday,” said Ouko.

Schools that will host some of the groups said they were ready.

Xaverian Primary School headteacher George Polo said their school would be a hosting centre for tertiary institutions taking part in the festival.

Mr Polo said the institutions would arrive at his school on Sunday evening.

“We have organised for facilities that they will use to make them comfortable and we have also organised with local authorities to ensure that security is guaranteed,” he said.

The event kicks off today with performances from early childhood centres and primary schools.