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Regional champions battle for national music honours

Seth Mwaniki @MwanikiM

The 92nd National Music Festival going on at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri county enters the second and final week today.

This second week offers an opportunity to secondary schools, technical and vocational training institutions as well as universities to present their various music genres. These include their own compositions of choral and solo verses, cultural dances, Oriental music under a general theme aimed at promoting National Unity, Cohesion and Integration.

The climax of the fete will be marked by a gala event scheduled to take place Thursday before the traditional presentation for the President at State House that will see around 20 performances, according to organisers. By last weekend, a number of learners had secured positions in the gala event and will remain in Nyeri utill ‘the big show”.

The festival has brought together more than 120,000 participants where over 600 genres are being performed.National Music Festival chairman Peter Wanjohi says all arrangements have been put in place by the national organising committee, adding that he is optimistic  the new week will run smoothly.  “We want everyone to follow the set guidelines of the festival because the opposite will not be tolerated,” he cautioned at a media briefing on Friday.

Last week’s presentations were dominated by performances by learners starting from Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) level, primary schools and teachers training colleges.

Several national issues came out clearly during the presentations, such as the Big Four agenda by Jubilee government, Vision 2030, issues on diet and nutrition, cohesion and integration challenges and opportunities, among others.

Food and drinks being sold at the event by a few selected hoteliers must meet certain set standards and approved by two public health officials who have been assigned the role up to the end of the event. “We cannot gamble with the health of our learners;  that is why we have contracted the services of health officials to check on food quality throughout the event,” Wanjohi said.

However, the hosting of this national event may not have been fully felt by the large number of business community in Nyeri county since most of the operations are strictly controlled by the national organising committee.

Other than good bookings in hotels for officials, learners are being hosted in 39 different learning institutions within a radius of 20km from the university where they are being offered both food and accommodation.

Meanwhile, life has not been easy for motorists in Nyeri town as motor traffic has gone up, with hundreds of school buses plying town routes, causing traffic jams and inconveniencing drivers.

On security, the festival has run relatively well despite heavy human traffic. All visitors and participants, including ECDE learners, are being frisked right from the main entrance. Central Region Commissioner Wilson Njega said security has been enhanced, adding that all measures have been put in place to ensure that the festivals run smoothly.

Njega warned teachers that they will be held responsible if anything happens to the learners given that they will be directly dealing with them in all areas of their daily operations.

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