It was an engulfing aura of peace and unity as choral musicians belted out sounds of praise and worship at the inaugural Nyabulwa Fraternity Music concert held at the Kenya Film Centre in Nairobi.
The fete attracted over 800 singers as music lovers filled the newly launched facility. It was the first live performance on the refurbished stage
Songs such as “Oganda Mapiem gi Nyasaye”, We are matching to Zion and Kiswahili own compositions were some of the items performed in the Kenya Film Classification Board-managed auditorium of the former Nairobi Cinema.
Choral groups that took part had travelled all the way from Mombasa, Siaya, Homa bay, Migori, Kisumu, Kilifi, Machakos, Kajiado and Nairobi counties.
When the time came to announce winners, chief adjudicator Evans Mbinji noted that the quality of music was great but there was a lot of room to improve in interpretation and expression by certain performers.
"As a singer, you want to give us a corresponding facial expression as the song with respect to its lyrics," he said.
Daima Choir from Nairobi went home with the best team trophy named after Suzzana Nyabulwa, a spiritual and inspirational leader.
God's Last Appeal Chorale came second and Nairobi East took position three.
During the event, Prof Joseph Otieno Oteku launched a new hymnal book to be used by believers having been reached since 1956.
"We will continue to use music as a way of expressing the faith and promote peace and unity among the people of goodwill," said Prof Otieno who teaches mathematics at the University of Nairobi.
And the Last Appeal Chorale serenaded the audience with the Zulu peace anthem, “Ukuthula”, that has become a worldwide sensation for preaching peace and healing.
Arranged by Ken Wakia and conducted by Wycliffe Muganda, the song stresses the need to foster peace for future generations.
Speaking at the event, Mr Wakia who is also the culture and education advisor at the US Embassy, lauded the organisers for the timely event.
"If you look out there today, there are many situations yearning for peace ambassadors and that is exactly what you are doing," he said promising to donate more trophies for the next year's edition.