Song and dance as music festival makes comeback

Kenya National Music Festival in action at Dedan Kimathi University. [George Orido, Standard]

The Kenya National Music Festival made a comeback to Nyeri County after three years with thrilling performances during its opening acts on Friday and Saturday.

This year’s theme is “Nurturing Talent for Innovation and National Development”. The event, which will run until August 23, is being hosted at Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology.

The festival saw children from Karatina DEB awarded the best Singing Game Own Choice Western Style in Class 801G, with Arts and Sports CS Ababu Namwamba presenting the certificate after they scored a class best of 89 marks.

Also receiving accolades were Caril Academy from Nakuru at position two with 87 marks, as Holy Innocent Parochial and St Paul’s ED Centre tied in position three with 86 marks.

In the pre-primary section, Kianda School, Regis School and Imani School got the gold, silver and bronze respectively. Most of the singing games depict adults’ duties such as nursing, cooking, driving with light children, and playful singing and dancing.

“You must allow children to play; there’s a need to stop being too strict with them,” said adjudicators Sylvester Otieno of Kenyatta Univesity and Dorothy Zako of Moi High School Kabarak.

It was a heartwarming moment at Hall 6 when children performed Our New Baby, a set-piece poem depicting a persona of a child whose mother just brought forth a new member of the family.

The child is lamenting that since the new arrival, life has not been as easy as before. The child asks why the new baby is receiving so much attention and wonders if the same was accorded to him when they arrived.

Sunrise Academy, Kitengela International School, and St Agnes Academy are some of the schools that took part in rendering this performance under class 1019G.

Grace Tunda was eloquent in her performance of Kuchora, a solo verse that encourages young learners to create with a pencil or paint and brush.

Sr. Eugene Anyango directed Victoria Primary School in praising the teacher in a choral verse Shukrani Mwalimu under the aegis of the Teachers Service Commission.

Her counterpart from Kericho Primary School Ayatta Janet was flying high with the Kites, a performance by learners in admiration of what the kite can achieve including reaching such high heights.

In an attempt to encourage young people to use their time productively for a better future, learners from Kimaiga Babycare Junior Academy performed Utalipa produced by Bruce Magomba. Handwriting on The Wall was a verse on better ways of human communication, especially interpersonal communication.

The poem in Class 1019H had Banbury School showing good arrangement on stage, articulation, internalisation and great tempo making them run with gold as Hill School and Rapogi Girls took silver and bronze respectively.

To give the Singing games an African brush, King’s and Queens performed a piece that drew from the lakeside cultural values of fishing, tilling the land and harvesting, personal healthcare as well as baby care.

And with that, they were awarded the best trophy ahead of Kamahugu Primary in second position as well as Umoja Day Primary and Ofafa Day who tied in third position.

To crown the warm sunny day on the slopes of Mt Kenya, learners indulged the audience into public speaking on an array of topics that affect the day-to-day lives of Kenyans.

CS Namwamba said his ministry is working with the Education ministry and they have set aside Sh267 million to support the concluded national games and the national music festival.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga praised the organisers for a well-organised event and committed Sh40 million in support of the fete.

[Additional reporting by George Orido]