The University of Nairobi pulled off a coup at the 60th edition of the annual Kenya Schools and Colleges drama and Film Festival when they beat theatre champions Kenyatta University.
The packed audience held its breath in anxiety as adjudicator Joseph Murungu held the microphone to give the first hint, when he said: “We want to break away from the past. Universities must present in acting and taste a little different from what we are used to…”
In the ensuing cheers, University of Nairobi Parklands Campus’ Botched was named the winner in the Best Production, Best Prevention and Most creative play. Botched is set in a School of Medicine that depicts the illegal activities of abortion. Brian Silas Owiti, who in 2016 was the best actor with Kakamega High school under veteran playwright and director Oliver Minishi, emerged the Best actor for his role in Botched.
The play was written and directed by Ronald Marotso and produced by Prof Kiarie Mwaura. UoN also won with the spoken word and came second in the Mime category. Kenyatta University came out victorious in the Modern Dance as well as Narrative categories.
Zetech University maintained a good showing in the choral verse winning against Mount Kenya University Nakuru and Kenyatta University Ruiru.
The university also toppled Kenyatta University in the Cultural Creative Dance taking the top slot, with the latter coming second and the hosts, Kibabii, third. Alupe University College topped in the Solo Verse category with Masinde Muliro University College Webuye campus and Chuka University coming second and third respectively. Laikipia topped the Mime Challenge with UoN and Kirinyaga University College coming second and third respectively. Technical University of Mombasa won the trophy for the Cleanest Content.
Twenty-one universities took part in this year’s event, whose theme was promoting moral responsibility among youth through drama and film. The fete had the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) as title sponsors.
“We are glad to be associated with this festival that is geared towards forming positive moral values among our youth,” said Ezekiel Mutua, the KFCB CEO.
The event was held against the backdrop of a splinter festival known as the Kenya Universities Performing Arts (Kupaa) that held its event two weeks ago at the Pwani University where 14 universities participated.
Egerton University, MultiMedia University of Science and Technology, Technical University of Kenya, KCA University, African Nazarene, Africa International University, Cooperative University, Meru University, Pwani University and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University participated at Kupaa.
Also participating at the splinter festival were Maasai Mara University, Masinde Muliro University and Kabianga University. “We really had a great time with different categories in our festival that gave room for critical thinking and exploration,” said Brian Asiago, the spokesperson of Kupaa festival.
In his address at Kibabii University, the chairman of the Kenya Schools and Colleges drama and Film Festival Prof Christopher Odhiambo thanked the participating institutions for choosing to participate in the event, in what pundits read to be in the knowledge that a huge chunk of universities were at the Kupaa festival.