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Princess Julie hit song wins at this year's Kenya Music Festival

ARTS & CULTURE
By George Orido | August 18th 2016
Ikerege girls from Kuria in a Taarab dance at the ongoing 90th edition 0f the Kenya Music Festival at Kasarani yesterday. Moi Girls Nairobi were the best in this year’s Kenya Music festival, Zilizopendwa category. (PHOTO: GEORGE ORIDO/ STANDARD)

Moi Girls Nairobi were the best in this year’s Kenya Music festival, Zilizopendwa category.

The girls performed a rendition of Princess Julie’s hit song ‘Dunia Mbaya’. The girls’ choral rendition and accompanying choreography earned them a standing ovation.

The song was released in the late 1980s at the peak of the HIV and Aids pandemic at a time when it was considered a silent killer.

The disease was christened “slim”, “chira”, “dudu”, “mukingo” and many others that  ostracised and stigmatised those infected and affected by it.

This time is immortalised in the ‘Zilizopendwa’ rendition of princess Jully, who in the song, warns all to take care and prevent further spread of the disease.

Dunia mbaya utakufa bure (the world is a bad place you’ll die for no reason),” she warns.

Cynical society

But things have changed and the availability of antiretroviral drugs has ensured those infected with HIV have a chance at a long life.

Malava Boys came second with their adaptation and arrangement of Jacob Luseno’s Kaseveve. Vihiga Boys were third with Sukuma Bin Ongaro’s This World classic.

Whilst Luseno is lamenting about a wife who has run away and is begging for her return, Sukuma is castigating the cynical society that will turn its back on a struggling individual but be very nice to the one with abundance.

Wii Secondary school performed Dick Mutla’s Grace Muendula as Kisumu Day rendered Banakadori’s Huruma Mabombi.

Others performances were by Achego Girls, St Lucy School for the Blind, Molo Academy, St Elizabeth Girls, Osen Girls, Aquinas High School, Otieno Oyoo Hogh School, Starehe Boys, Machakos School, Olontiliti School and Mwiruti Girls.

There was drama in hall two at the base of Indoor Arena when adjudicators had to dash for cover after a controversial win by Bi Nuru High School in the Taarab Class.

The defending champions were awarded the hotly contested class with arch rivals Mama Ngina Girls settling for second.

Both schools had performed on themes centered on electoral violence and bribery among other malpractices.

Narok Boys High School maintained their dominance in the Maasai, Samburu and Taita folk dance when they beat neighbours Dol Dol High School and Oloolunga Boys who were second and third respectively.

Likoni School romped home with victory with their Giriama dance that is performed during a good harvest in celebration as Ngami came second.

Mtopanga Secondary School was third in the Mijikenda dance category that was dominated by the sounds of Marimba and the horn.

The footwork with corresponding feathered shoulder moves was quite a spectacle to watch. Also performing on the last day of the competitive stage of the fete yesterday were two Ugandan schools; St Mary’s Ruchorozi and Mbale Secondary School.

“Our visit here has been an enriching experience and we look forward to more cultural exchanges,” said the Headmaster of Mbale Secondary School, Sam Kuloba.

Winners will today perform at a gala that will be graced by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

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