It might be unknown to those who might not have had the chance to attend, in person, the Kenya National Music Festival, but poetry is a big deal at the 92-year-old fete.
Referred to as elocution, there are many categories in this genre, for whose prowess one invests in vocal power and beautiful costumes. But the most important thing about elocution is the direct messaging inherent in the presentations.
So much so that many corporate organisations have targeted this category to bolster their public messaging strategies, by coming in as theme sponsors.
The Teachers Service Commission, Narisha Equatorial Nuts Processors, NSSF, Kenya commercial Bank, Unicef, National Environment Management Authority are among organisations that have supported this genre at the festival.
The festival entered its sixth day today (Saturday) at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri.
A number of schools made presentations in English and Kiswahili choral verses, pitching for top awards at the annual showcase.
The schools that excelled were Harambee Primary School, St Teresas Primary School, Kahuho Road Academy, Makini School, Machakos School, Kenvic School, St Joseph Kinango, Kibera School for Girls, Makueni School, Vitale HGM, Ziwa la Ng’ombe, Gachie Primary and Tenwek Boarding.
However, Harambee Primary School won most awards in the Kiswahili and English Choral verse.
The school, which is based in Makadara, strides the national festival like the proverbial Colossus.
They presented 22 verses.
“We are not relenting and taking it easy though. We are working day and night to polish our items. We intend to bring the awards home by the end of the festival,” Mr Mutua says.
He was the teacher who directed all the poems, assisted by Felix Mugo and Annastacia Kingondu.
The school specialises in original choral verses and they have been riding high in the annual music festival for the last three years.
Mr Mutua says that the institution's success is due to the dedication of the students and the school administration.