Performers stun at Madaraka Day event

Daystar University’s Hellen Mtawali leads a choir in entertaining guests during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Nairobi. [Photo: Beverlyne Musili/Standard]

Nairobi, Kenya: Daystar University’s Hellen Mtawali excited thousands of Kenyans who turned out at the Nyayo National Stadium with her creative and melodious music as she led a 600-strong mass choir from private and public universities.

The strict but amiable former principal of the Tusker Project Fame Academy was in her element as she sang Let The Light Shine.

She said everyone has a role to play, however small, to make this country great. “Mwangaza wangu ndogo nitauangaza (I’ll let my little light shine),” she belted.

At one point, the diva was so immersed she couldn’t stand her shoe anymore, “This is the time I remove my shoes.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Lady Margaret were obviously impressed as they responded subtly to the serenading beat.

Then came in the General Service Unit who showed their rather unusual human face when they powerfully sang Uzalendo Kenya.

Led by three rappers who took turns to belt their message the group of 92, who only recently graduated, were resolute in denouncing corruption and tribalism that has plagued Kenya for a long time.

But more shocking were university students on the terraces who were swept off their feet with this sterling performance as they danced and shouted igwee, igwee, igwee in honour.

In a military-heavy entertainment day yet another 92 of Administration Police performed Nyumba Kumi song depicting the new be-your-brother’s-keeper strategy towards combating terrorism.

Size 8

In a day that primary or secondary schools mass choirs were conspicuously missing, four secondary schools from Rongo in Migori County saved the day with their graceful Ramogi dance. Celebrating the cultural heritage of the Luo, the song is sang in welcoming victorious warriors coming from battle.

“While you were away, we took good care of your family, and thank you for your service,” went part of the song accompanied by traditional drum sets and percussions including Bul and Oporo.

To crown the day was Size 8 who belted her hit song Mateke.