TheÂ UniversityÂ ofÂ NairobiÂ pulled off a coup at the 60th edition of the annual Kenya Schools and Colleges drama and Film Festival when they beatÂ theatre champions KenyattaÂ University.
The packed audience held its breath in anxiety as adjudicator Joseph Murungu held the microphone to give the first hint, when he said: â€œWe want to break away from the past.Â UniversitiesÂ must present in acting and taste a little different from what we are used toâ€¦â€
In the ensuing cheers,Â UniversityÂ ofÂ NairobiÂ Parklands Campusâ€™ 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. KenyattaÂ UniversityÂ came out victorious in the Modern Dance as well as Narrative categories.
ZetechÂ UniversityÂ maintained a good showing in the choral verse winning against Mount KenyaÂ UniversityÂ Nakuru and KenyattaÂ UniversityÂ Ruiru.
TheÂ universityÂ also toppled KenyattaÂ UniversityÂ in the Cultural Creative Dance taking the top slot, with the latter coming second and the hosts, Kibabii, third. AlupeÂ UniversityÂ College topped in the Solo Verse category with Masinde MuliroÂ UniversityÂ College Webuye campus and ChukaÂ UniversityÂ coming second and third respectively. Laikipia topped the Mime Challenge with UoN and KirinyagaÂ UniversityÂ College coming second and third respectively. TechnicalÂ UniversityÂ of Mombasa won the trophy for the Cleanest Content.
Twenty-oneÂ universitiesÂ took part in this yearâ€™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.
â€œWe are glad to be associated with this festival that is geared towards forming positive moral values among our youth,â€ said Ezekiel Mutua, the KFCB CEO.
The event was held against the backdrop of a splinter festival known as the KenyaÂ UniversitiesÂ Performing Arts (Kupaa) that held its event two weeks ago at the PwaniÂ UniversityÂ where 14Â universitiesÂ participated.
EgertonÂ University, MultiMediaÂ UniversityÂ of Science and Technology, TechnicalÂ UniversityÂ of Kenya, KCAÂ University, African Nazarene, Africa InternationalÂ University, CooperativeÂ University, MeruÂ University, PwaniÂ UniversityÂ and Jaramogi Oginga OdingaÂ UniversityÂ participated at Kupaa.
Also participating at the splinter festival were Maasai MaraÂ University, Masinde MuliroÂ UniversityÂ and KabiangaÂ University. â€œWe really had a great time with different categories in our festival that gave room for critical thinking and exploration,â€ said Brian Asiago, the spokesperson of Kupaa festival.
In his address at KibabiiÂ 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 ofÂ universitiesÂ were at the Kupaa festival.