Hosting the Kenya National Music Festival, the largest event of its kind in the country, is no easy task. For the organisers , the logistics of holding the national event are just mind-boggling.
This year’s event, which was held at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri County, had 130,211 participants on stage. There were thousands of music officials and teachers, not to mention county and ministry of Education officials.
According to the event national chairman Peter Wanjohi, a lot of preparations are done throughout the year to host the two-week festival. Apart from periodic seminars for trainers and adjudicators, the organisers have to host and weed out the losers in the zonal, county, regional and national levels.
HALF A MILLION STUDENTS
Participants are from nursery schools all the way to university level. At the lower levels, almost half a million students participate. For the national level, says Mr Wanjohi, the challenges of organizing the festival are numerous.
First, the venue has to be appropriate. Ideally, it should be one compound to reduce the logistics of movement.
Organisers have to get accommodation for the participants, security has to be in tight, involving hundreds of police officers, and then there is the catering aspect as well as transport arrangements from the accommodation villages to the venue and back.
According to the event chairman, a technical committee was this year appointed to handle the logistics of the festival. Members of the committee are in charge of various departments such as adjudication, catering, accommodation, transport, trophies and certificates.
According to Mr Wanjohi all those who took part in the festival were honoured with certificates. This the chairman says, makes even those who don’t win trophies feel appreciated.
Mr Wanjohi told Nation that publishers of this years set poems will be awarded certificates. Previously, the publishers were not honoured.
The festival secretariat has also tried to bring in partners. This year’s partners included Unicef, Communications Authority of Kenya and the National Police Service, among others.