Performance of national, EAC anthems dominate Kenya Universities Performing Arts festivals

Faith Balongo

Faith Balongo and Andrew Tumbo present a song during the Kenya Universities Performing Arts National Music Festival at Maasai Mara University on March 13, 2023.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

Musical presentations based on the Kenyan and East African Community national anthem dominated the ongoing Kenya Universities Performing Arts National Music Festival at Maasai Mara University.

The anthems were presented to help university students understand them.

 The Kenya Universities Performing Arts Secretary-General Caleb Nyangwono said university students need to learn the Kenyan values that are captured in the anthems.   

“Most job seekers have been caught off guard when asked to sing the anthems during job interviews,” said Mr Nyangwono.

The event has attracted Kabarak, Technical University of Mombasa Maseno, Bomet, Masinde Muliro, Maasai Mara, Karatina, Meru and Great Lakes Kisumu universities.

Kabarak University thrilled the audience when they rendered the Kenyan national anthem.  

Mr David Tamba, the event chairman, said the class was created to encourage citizens to remain patriotic while acknowledging God as the creator of the land of Kenya.  

Kabarak University inspired the audience with the rendition of the EAC anthem. 

Other participants included Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology and Great Lakes University, Technical University of Mombasa, Karatina University, Maasai Mara University, Bomet University, and Maseno University.

Mr Andrew Tumbo, music and dance adjudicator enthralled the audience during the second day of the festivals with a performance from the opera L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti. 

The ceremony was graced by the Maasai Mara University VC Prof Joseph Sarima Chacha, Higher Education head of music and drama at the Ministry of Education Eunice Wakafula and event national Chairman David Temba.

Mr Tumbo said the piece, "Una furtiva lagrima" is a lament by a man who has given a love potion to a young lady he loves. He is not sure whether she genuinely loves him.

 Also expected at the festival are operatic class performances. This old art of singing allows students to explore and monetize their talents.

Mr Tumbo, who will also be adjudicating solos from the operatic class, hopes to inspire students participating in the class to take up this style of singing.

Also expected at the festival are choral music and instrumental music, contemporary dances, brass bands, pop bands, solos and ensembles.

Other subcategories are djeeying, karaoke singing, rap music, acapella, pre-recorded music, film (music video), Infomercial music (advert music /signature tunes) and live musical graffiti.

Kenya Universities Performing Arts Secretary-General Caleb Nyangwono said there is need to strengthen and fast track development of music at the university level.  

He urged students to study music so as to develop musical taste.