The ongoing Kenya National Music Festival at the Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri has brought an economic upswing to local traders in the county.
Traders from Nyeri and surrounding towns have been a happy lot since the event started one week ago.
The festival has brought together over 130,000 pupils and students from pre-primary, secondary, and post–secondary institutions.
Hotels and Airbnb are fully booked. Some of the participants and spectators have had to seek accommodation in other towns.
James Mwangi, a hotel owner, said rooms at his hotel are fully booked something he has never witnessed since he ventured into the hotel business.
“The festivals have created a very good business opportunity for hotels and restaurants, they are overwhelmed by customers, I started receiving visitors some days before the festival started, and still more clients are coming to see if there is any space left,” he said.
Grace Wangechi, a food vendor who has set up a tent at the university said the festival was a blessing to traders.
“The festival has brought people from all parts of the country and this has given us an opportunity to serve them our local food. We are working tirelessly to meet their needs which is also a chance for us to make money,” she said.
Peter Gathii, a professional photographer from Nakuru said he pitched camp before the festival began and the demand for his services was impressive.
“This is not my first time offering photography services at a music festival. During such events the demand for our services is very high as participants always want to carry some great memories with them back to where they came from,” he said.
The festival came to a close yesterday, with performers treating audiences to a rich variety of presentations.
Hall One was packed to capacity as secondary and university performers graced the stage to a sold-out audience.
The attire choices were a standout feature due to the event’s open approach, allowing artists to dress like pop stars. Female performers dazzled in Stilettos, shimmering slit dresses that flowed gracefully, while their male counterparts sported denim jackets, caps, and sunglasses, exuding a cool and trendy vibe.
Aga Khan Academy captured the essence of various settings, led by the young Abby Obiero, who had just clinched the Best Soprano Solo award in a different category the previous day.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
Purity Kyalo and Maggie Mokeria provided a resounding backing, reminding everyone of the importance of tree planting for sustaining rains, ensuring food security, and creating habitable environments. Their performance reached a crescendo, drawing thunderous applause as they gracefully exited the stage.
Mudavadi Girls delivered a rhumba-infused song that celebrated women, striking a chord with the audience. The lyrics eloquently enumerated the successes and pivotal roles that women undertake in society and within families.
Maryanne Mumbua Mbula from Kenyatta University moved the audience to tears with her self-composed song that recounted her personal journey through feelings of dejection and isolation.
Despite being visually impaired, she flawlessly navigated the stage with the guidance of the backing vocalists. Once she held the microphone, her powerful voice soared as she sang compassionate lyrics, culminating in a thought-provoking question about the mistreatment she endured. Her plea for answers before her time runs out resonated deeply.
Kabarak University brought a divine aura to the stage with their performance of “Napenda Yesu,” a song dedicated to Jesus Christ. The song invited the audience to seek redemption by turning to Him with their troubles.