The 95th edition of the annual National Music Festivals began on Friday with pomp and funfair at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri County.
This year's festivals have attracted more than 130,000 students from public and private schools as well as Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres.
Students from colleges, technical training institutes, polytechnics, and universities are also expected to showcase their talents during the annual event, which is taking place under the theme Nurturing Talent for Innovation and Development.
According to the Kenya Music Festival National Executive Committee chairman, Prof. Frederick Ngala, the event is the largest arts and cultural event in the academic calendar and is aimed at not only creating holistic learners in and out of the classroom environment but also providing an avenue for the participants to nurture their talents.
'The national festivals have been held unfailingly to the benefit of our artists. The festivals promote appreciation of our rich cultural heritage found in our communities,' said Prof. Ngala.
The festivals have been held annually since 1928, with the exception of 2020 and 2021, when the event was suspended due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Prof. Ngala noted that the country had witnessed exponential growth in the number of participants as well as competition categories for adjudication.
'We begin at the sub-county level, then move to the county, the regional, and the national levels.' On average, we have engaged close to 3 million people this year at the sub-county level. The participation is overwhelming with the representation of students from the different parts of the country, where we even have pre-primary pupils from all the way to university,' he said.
The first ones to set the 12-day festival in motion were pupils from Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) and pre-primary schools. Under their own choice of western-style singing games for pre-primary schools, Karatina DEB Primary scooped position one after garnering 89 points.
The second position was scooped up by Carol Academy from the Rift Valley Region. St. Paul's Education Centre from Nyanza and Holy Innocent Parochial Centre from Kakamega tied for third place after scoring 86 points in their presentations.
Source: Kenya News Agency