The 95th edition of the annual Kenya Music Festival kicked off yesterday at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Nyeri County.
The event, covering items from all learning institutions under the Ministry of Education, featured items from early childhood development and education (ECDE) learners, who are in Playgroup, Pre-Primary 1 and Pre-Primary 2.
The pupils performed songs from Kenya, Africa and the Western world, as well as solo and choral verses in indigenous languages, Kiswahili, English and French, among other languages.
They performed cultural and contemporary dances, piano duets and other categories of song and dance. The performances were a reflection of what will happen over the 13 days of the event.
The young pupils presented singing games as practised by children all over the world. This category is usually popular with the audience. It shows children performing what they do as a group to entertain themselves in and out of school. The performers are believable and don’t even seem to be acting—basically doing what they do every day.
The dignitaries present included Cabinet Secretary for Youth, Sports and Arts Ababu Namwamba, Principal Secretary Ismail Maalim Madey, Dedan Kimathi Acting Vice Chancellor Peter Muchiri, Kenya National Music Festival Chairman Ronald Ngala, Kenya National Music Festival Executive Secretary Janet Langat and Central Regional Director of Education Sabina Aroni.
Mr Namwamba said the best entries will be showcased during the Kenya National Theatre Festival in November. He also announced that his ministry will be sponsoring the Kenya National Music Festival to the tune of Sh143 million.
Among the schools that featured prominently in the Friday programme were Karatina DEB, Carol Academy, Holy Innocent Parochial, St Paul’s Educational Centre, Gilgil Hills among others.
Others were Moi Forces Academy, Hospital Hill Primary School and Kahawa Sukari Presbyterian Academy. Kahawa Sukari will present 15 items, including Agents for Peace, a verse on patriotism sponsored by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development; a Luo verse; and a French verse. Gilgil Hills Academy presented a piece commemorating the 10th anniversary of the institution’s founder Isaac Kamunya.
Dr Kamunya was very much involved in artistic activities, especially the music and drama festivals, and he started a culture of involving the school in the events, where their excellence continues to this day.
Another prominent school to feature in the festival is Brookfield Academy from Karatina, Nyeri County, whose founder, Wagitu Mirichu, is another ardent fan of the arts.
Nairobi is presenting more than 30 entries in the ECDE category, making it the leading county to sponsor participants. ECDE classes are sponsored by the counties, but most counties have failed to do this effectively. In future editions, the Education Ministry will sponsor ECDE classes.
Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff
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