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Regional champions battle for national music honours

Messages of peace, love and harmony dominated the presentations at the ongoing 91th National Kenya Music Festival in Kakamega county as schools struggle to outsmart one another to win trophies.

The African folk songs from various communities staged by several schools pulled the crowds who jammed Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology for the entertaining presentations earlier this week.

With every presentation sticking to this year’s theme, Enhancing Unity, Cohesion and Integration Through the Music Festival, Kenyans were asked to live in peace and politicians warned to stop dividing the country on tribal lines as the country prepares for the August 8 General Election.

The politicians were reminded that Kenya is more important than one person and even after the elections Kenyans should remain united. In the most of their presentations, the children and college students told the Interior Security ministry, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and other arms of the government to ensure Kenyans are secured from criminal elements.

Singing games, choral verses and tradition folk songs from various communities in the country were used to send peace messages, urging the country to unite and preserve social and economic gains since independence.

One of toughest contests was witnessed in the tradition folk songs among colleges, primary and secondary schools. At primary level, Kabete Veterans and Githurai Primary both of Nairobi, Canan School (Turkana county); St Gerald Primary from Nyeri, Marimanthi Primary from Tharaka-Nithi stood out in their presentations of traditional folk songs.

They expressed how traditional songs were used by the elders to unite their communities. They also showed how communities used to hunt and gather food, which was shared by all.

Among the teacher training colleges, African folk songs category saw Kaimosi, Machakos, Kenya Technical Training College, Asumbi, St Paul’s Kibabii, Lugari, Aberdare and Nakuru teachers colleges fight for top positions.

S A Joytown Special School and Nalondo CBM Secondary School also staged entertaining African folk songs. Kericho Primary School costumes wowed the audience.

Using trumpets, they belted out fine tunes, leaving the listeners asking for more. Le Pic Academy in their singing game expressed how children learnt to appreciate and love each other by playing together.

They also showed how playing makes children happy and physically fit. On security, community policing service was well appreciated in the special composition category under the theme, Community Policing — Nyumba Kumi for primary schools category sponsored by the Nyumba Kumi Initiative.

Isongo Primary from Western, St Teresa’s Primary from Coast, Wangu Primary from Nairobi, and Chepkengen Primary (Rift Valley) highlighted the role of the community policing in promoting security.

In the mixed voices accompanied set piece titled Sweet is the Air by Harry Dexter for Teachers Training Colleges saw Kaimosi and Kagumo colleges thrill the audience. The trainers from different schools were advised by adjudicators to stick to the themes of the National Music Festival to avoid being denied good marks.

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