By George Orido
The Kakamega High School auditorium was full to capacity. The crowd waited. It was that tense moment when winners of the tough Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festivals competition are announced.
Hearts thumped with expectation. Then as names started rolling out of the official’s lips, thunderous celebrations broke the air, competing with the pounding rain.
Nairobi’s Riara Springs Academy’s play, Goldless was the winning act. Celebrations rent the air. Some girls broke down, crying uncontrollably. They were tears of joy. Their parents who had travelled all the way to emotionally support the actors also joined in the wild celebrations. Winners cannot hide excitement as they hold their trophies. [Photos: Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]
Winners cannot hide excitement as they hold their trophies. [Photos: Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]
Goldless is a masterpiece of art hemmed in witty lines, full of suspense and incredible characterisation.
While the play seeks to advocate for the rights and recognition of the physically disabled, it ended up as a mirror that showed the reckless, insensitive, and mean leadership that turns against its own people.
Controversial Goldless director Cleophas Malalah jumped and threw his hands into the air as he passionately held the trophy of Best Director of the Year.
This year saw very advanced forms of production and simple but clear storylines and it wasn’t obvious who would emerge ahead of the pack.
The second best award went to Malindi High for the play Operesheni Linda Utu with Menengai High School’s Bamba Fifty settling for a bronze medal.
Malindi High, which was a surprise team for the top contention, also walked away with the Best Actor award, which went to Dennis Fondo. Menengai High School’s Britta Achieng was the Best Actress.
Joining the champions’ hall of fame were State House Girls’ when they beat a tight contest to emerge top in the dance category with their Kamilion dance.
Based on Luo cultural sources, Kamilion depicts a man who exploits his subjects to the extent that they live the next day just to serve his selfish interest.
The dance questioned unscrupulous leadership that manipulates basic commodity prices to make supernormal profits as the masses writhe in pain.
Mary Goretti got the Best Choreographer award in dance, which was well deserved as she presented one of the best instrumentation in the history of the festival.
"This dance can be shown on any commercial stage in the world and sell out," remarked Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo, who was present during the gala performance.
Karima Girls’ School maintained their silver after coming second with their dance Uhiki.Obwombwashi by Mbale High School were second runners-up. Kenya High’s Mercy Ochola scooped the Best Soloist followed by Karima Girls’ Lucy Robe and Ochola’s school mate Julian Omariba took third place.
Light Academy added to Nairobi’s bounty when they scooped the gold medal in the choral verse category with their presentation, Kitanzi Jongomeo. Functional costumes and rhythmic rendition made Kitanzi Jongomeo spectacular.
Bonoko written by Toili Kisa and presented by Bungoma were second while St Anne’s Musoli Secondary School took position three with their piece Caterpillar.
Chogoria Girls were the first ever winners of the film category with A Time to Cry.
Lisa Omingo from Elimu Academy emerged as the best film actress.
Alliance Girls’ Julianne Mwangi was declared the most talented artiste.