Mystery as schools present same play
By George Orido
Plagiarism reared its ugly head at the drama festivals with two schools presenting scripts and plays that were identical.
At the centre of the row were hosts Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School from Western Province and Chogoria Boys Secondary School from Eastern.
After Mukumu Girls presented their play Eclipse in Heaven, moments before lunch break on Monday, it was clear to all that it was so similar to that of Chogoria Boys, The Antidote, presented last Saturday.
Mr Cleophas Malalah is credited for writing Eclipse in Heaven, while Mr Allan Chahasi is the author of The Antidote.
Festival chairman Chokera Kahora noted it was not about concept, but "the script was same word by word."
Festival officials are in dilemma because any disciplinary action against the productions will be punishment against students who have toiled to reach national stage.
According to Chokera, people who are out to make quick money are selling scripts to unsuspecting schools. This, he said, was compromising integrity and quality of the festival.
In 2010, Malalah was allegedly involved in a scam where students from different schools used same costumes and appeared in two productions.
And as the festival starts its gala today, winners are preparing for a rewarding day tomorrow. They will receive trophies, cash, laptops, certificates of merit and other goodies.
According to Senior Programme Manager at Equity Group Foundation, the bank will gift laptops to every winning team and give cash awards to excelling actors.
The awards will go to schools that will have in the best way tackled the theme of Equity Bank’s scholarship initiative, "Wings to Fly".
The bank extended a similar gesture during last year’s Kenya Music Festivals in Nakuru.
‘Wings to fly’ aims at creating awareness on the plight of the deprived Kenyan child determined to succeed in education.
Other thematic sponsors include National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), whose director Mzalendo Kibunjia will attend the gala.
NCIC has sponsored the overall festival theme, Enhancing National Cohesion and Integration and took 200 teachers to Rwanda last year on a scripting strip.
Mumias Sugar was the title sponsor this year. Last year, the company gave the event Sh6 million sponsorship.
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