Performers continued to enchant the audience at the ongoing Kenya National Music Festivals in Kisumu.
Joshua Mutua Mbiti of Miangoni Primary School in Machakos was one of the memorable performers, moving the audience with his Kamba chant decrying the negative effects of information technology on families, especially children.
Mutua’s stage antics got the usually taciturn Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha into a rare fit of laughter.
Other guests present were Chief Administrative Secretary Sarah Ruto, National Music Festival official Peter Wanjohi, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Senior Deputy Director Jacqueline Onyango, and National Music Festival Executive Secretary Janet Langat.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o thanked the committee for choosing the lakeside city, saying, it was a big boost, coming soon after the Africities Conference. This year’s festival has seen more than 600 class entries, including learners from kindergarten to university.
For the first time, a large number came from public schools.
Regional Director of Education Nelson Sifuna welcomed the participants and invited them to sample what the lakeside city has to offer in terms of tourist attractions.
During the official opening Nkoikake Boarding Primary School presented a Maasai folk song, “Enchipai” (Happiness), which was normally sung by young boys and girls on happy occasions. It was also performed during weddings to praise the bride.
Another thrilling piece was a poem, “My Atlas”, from KBA School in Nairobi’s Kahawa West. The poem scripted by Mulama George highlights Kenya’s attractions under the My Kenya, My Pride theme to showcase the country’s varied and unexplored natural resources. It was presented by Eunice Wangui, Emily Akoyo, Joan Mukami, Christine Njoki, and Pabreanne Mwende.
Another well-received poem was “Apingaye Asimame”. It talks about the need to embrace and protect the country’s railway network. Both poems qualified for the finals scheduled for Friday.
Prof Magoha urged the Music Festival Executive Committee to harness the emerging talent at the festivals.
“I challenge the organisers of the music festivals to take these activities to the next level. In the build-up to this festival, the enormous potential and talent amongst our youth and the dedication of our teachers has been quite evident,” he said.