Entertainers dig into rich archives to add cheer to Madaraka Day fete

The 59th Madaraka Day celebrations were graced by seasoned entertainers who put on a good show for at the Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi.

Hundreds of Kenyans queued at the gates from 6am in preparation for the day after a two-year hiatus following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kenyans queue at Uhuru Gardens entrance. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

With this year’s theme being ‘Pamoja tusonge mbele,’ entertainment groups took to the stage and performed poems, plays, and traditional dances.

The entertainment programme was kicked off by host radio personalities Willy M Tuva and Massawe Japanni, who invited the performers to the stage.

First to perform were 500 pupils between Grades 4 and 5 from 12 institutions within Nairobi. The learners were dressed in white and danced to patriotic tunes by Kenyan artistes, including the famous ‘Kenya Nchi Yangu’ by Kalai Kilonzo.

The choreography was well organised as the students spread across the grounds and aligned themselves to form the word ‘Madaraka.’

Rungiri Old Boys from Central Kenya entertain guests with a traditional song during the 59th Madaraka day at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on June 1, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Traditional dances from different groups followed, including the Kagan Kochia, a group of cultural dancers from the Rangwe in Homa Bay.

The group was founded in the year 1965 and has entertained guests at various national celebrations and holidays.

Jozee of Gogosimo band, Kasheshe, The Quenchers, Fourth Unity, Rungiri Old Boys, and West Band One performed a musical composition titled ‘Kenyan tunes medley.’ They were joined by Rungiri Old Boys, Gusii Cultural Dancers, Kagan Kochia and Kibabii Kamabeka dancers.

Bismillahi Gargar, a group of Somali dancers from Garissa, also performed a well-choreographed dance of the Kenyan tunes medley. The group’s name is derived from the Somali word ‘Gargar’ which means ‘joining together’.

Another original composition, ‘We celebrate Kenya’ by Sylvester Otieno was performed by an Amalgamation of Nairobi youth choristers and joined on stage by the Amalgamation of Nairobi Contemporary Dancers.

The same groups also performed and danced to another original composition, ‘Safari ya Maendeleo’ by Chris Wekhulo.

A member of Kagan-Kochia traditional dancers from Homabay County in action at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi on June 1, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard] 

Taking to stage next were youthful artistes Trio Mio, Femi One and Iyanni who performed another Madaraka Day composition ‘Tunaweza.’

Trio Mio and Femi One were in black and red, representing the colours of the Kenyan flag. Aside from praising the flag, the song also encouraged Kenyans to unite and stand as one.

Other original compositions ‘Tayari’ and ‘Pongezi rais’, a tribute to President Kenyatta, were performed by participants from the National Youth Talent Development Programme. 

Another musical production was ‘Pamoja’ by artistes Jovial and Masauti.