Presbyterian Church of East Africa Nyaga Church in Githunguri, Kiambu County, held a crowd pulling drama festival last Sunday which was themed on the Biblical prodigal son.
The festival had four genres, consisting of plays, folk songs, memory verses and set piece. All based their presentations on the life of the son who wastes his inheritance but finds his father waiting for him with love upon his return as a beggar.
The winning play by the host church is based on the story of a young man who goes to his father who is bed-ridden in hospital to demand for his share of the old man’s fortune. The father gives him a cheque, and the man goes on the rampage, painting Nairobi City red. But a fool and his money, soon are parted. He is soon reduced to a destitute and starts taking any available menial job.
The girls, christened minji minji, a recent popular phrase in Kenya referring to beautiful young women, kept the young man in great company but fled after the young man was broke. In a tale of redemption, the young man sees the light and goes back home, not at the least expecting to be received well there. But the father, who has since recovered, is forgiving, and he gives him a hero’s reception.
It’s the same old story, which shows the power of forgiveness and the futility of being a spendthrift. John Njau was excellent as the ailing father, while Kevin Mburu was good as the selfish prodigal son. Other members of the cast included Mary Wairimu and Jennifer Ndogo who also performed well as the gold-digging minji minji, wringing the gullible man dry.
Ngewa PCEA also had a powerful play on the same theme as were Raiyani PCEA who finished third.
“The drama festivals we hold are usually based on a common theme. We also try to involve actors of both genders and across the entire age span of the whole congregation,” said Reverend Shem Githinji, the Nyaga PCEA Parish minister who was the main organiser of the event.
“As you can see, the event features people of all ages, from children to the elderly,” he added.
In the memory verse category, Ngewa were the winners with Nyaga and Raiyani coming second and third respectively.
In the set piece music category, Raiyani took the top honours followed by Ngewa and Nyaga. Ngewa were the winners in the folksong category and were closely followed by Nyaga and Rayani. Ngewa PCEA were the overall winners, with Raiyani coming second and Nyaga third.
The staged pieces were more of a celebration than a competition. There was no tension and every performer seemed happy. The scripts were entertaining and so were the actors. The folk dances were well choreographed. So was the set piece. It was a mark of creativity for the trainers that they managed to get out of the manacles of a set bible theme.