Graft, banditry and sexual identity dominant themes as festival draws to a close

Mwaani Girls High School

Mwaani Girls High School stages a play Generation Z produced by Joan Muchina during day two of the ongoing Kenya National Drama and Film Festival at Shimo la Tewa high School on April 22, 2024.  

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

The Presbyterian University of East Africa made its debut at the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival yesterday, with a screenplay titled “Ian the Prodigal Son”, at Shanzu Teachers Training College in Mombasa County.

It is about students defrauding learning institutions with fake fee slips and is produced by Vice Chancellor Prof Wangari Mwai.

“Ian the Prodigal Son” is directed by Peter Thuo and scripted by Ms Susan Kung'u and Mr Hezra Ongonge of the institution's Communication Department.

Muhoroni Furaha Primary School

Muhoroni Furaha Primary School pupils celebrate after winning awards during the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival at Shimo La Tewa High School on April 26, 2023.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

The story tells of Brian (Nyoike Gichuhi) who inherits a hostel unit from his father. His fellow students are his main customers. Just like the biblical Prodigal Son, Ian goes to Mombasa, eating life with a big spoon, but his funds run out and friends desert him. The film features Patience Nyambura, Brian Gathondu, Victor Budi, Charles Muchina and Edwin Kipkoech among others.

Menengai High School presented a play on the vagaries of drug trafficking and addiction, which is rampant at the Kenyan coast. The play, titled “Ngoma za Wachawi” written and directed by Mr Michael Kiguta and Mr Silas Temba, tackled pertinent issues where some leaders are involved in drug trafficking while pretending to fight the vice. The main character Jabali, is an MP who woos innocent girls from the Wasakatonge estate uses drug money for his campaigns.  Unbeknown to him, his son Safari, acted by Silas Macharia, is an addict who ends up shooting Jabali as he desperately seeks for money to support the addiction. The executive producer is Mr Paul Muchoki.

Kericho Teachers College

Kericho Teachers College presents a play at Shanzu Teachers College during the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival at Shimo La Tewa High School on April 26, 20223.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

Butere Girls play “God’s Creation” another of the items that lived up to the expectation of the audience. God’s creation is an umbrella term used to describe people who are born with biological variations (genitalia, ovaries, testicles, chromosome patterns and hormones) in their sex characteristics that don’t fit typical male or female categories.

Based on the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights taskforce report 2019, the current intersex cases in Kenya are estimated to be between 23,925 and 813,425 nationally with the number feared to be higher as several cases remain undocumented for fear of stigma and prejudice.

God’s Creation is a story about Mitchel, trying her best to find an identity and fit into today’s society. The play is directed by Mr Cleophas Malala, who is a former senator of Kakamega County.

Fountain Schools from Kericho presented a play “The Cross of Rose”, which highlighted the effects of parental conflicts on the development of a child's dreams.

Rose is affected by her parent's divorce to an extent that she misses her school’s journalism tour and is suspended, which forces her out into the streets where she is injured while looking for her divorced parents. The play was scripted and directed by Oscar Lumire and produced by Michael Macharia.

Nkamathi Primary School’s cultural creative dance “Reka Tucethe” was well received by the audience. It was choreographed by Ms Jane Kaimuri.

Bishop Mahon Teachers Training College presented their play titled “Rings on The Cross”, which revolves around a wedding motif used to depict greed as the root cause for growth of splinter churches and how the youth are instrumental in reconciliation.

It is produced by Mrs Leah Losiru and scripted and directed by Mr Mark Wabuli and Mr Walter Omukongolo.

The University of Nairobi staged a play titled “The Last Genesis” written by Dr Simon Peter Otieno. It talks about mental health as an issue the nation has to deal with. Ngozi Kalulu is adversely affected by the loss of his son and blames himself. Through great symbolism the mental conflict leads to his suffering.