Nairobi, 21st July, (PSCU) – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today hosted the winners of the 2017 Kenya Music Festivals at Kakamega State Lodge where she sent a strong message of unity among Kenyans .
She said the sterling performances presented at the 91st festivals and which represented a broad range of Kenyan cultures, were a reminder that the country remains one united nation.
“As a nation, we are one people-we are one Kenya”, said the First Lady after listening to a diverse of culturally rich performances from this year’s 26 finalists in various categories.
The festivals were being held in Kakamega for the first time where more than 70 schools, colleges and university’s teams were invited to the 13-day music , drama and dance extravaganza.
The festivals brought together over 3000 participants , 600 of whom emerged as winners. The festivals also attracted interest from Brazilian students studying music in Germany.
Only 26 teams of finalists, including one from Uganda, presented their performances during today’s closing fete. The themes included National unity, cohesion and integration.
A closing presentation by a combined team of Loreto Limuru and Alliance High schools together with Burumba Secondary school, Technical University of Kenya and Masinde Muliro university talked about peace before and after the elections.
The First Lady said the Government recognizes the important role that the music festival plays in promoting a culture of tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all the diverse cultures of Kenya.
As such, she said, the Government, through the Ministry of Education fully supports all initiatives that nurture talent and provide platforms for students to showcase their gifts, not only from Kenya but the region .
The First Lady said the Festival has become an important talent search platform where many young aspiring artists had horned and found their careers to become celebrated artists in Kenya.
“This event is a worthy investment for our children’s future careers “, she said
Besides nurturing talent, said the First Lady, the Festival also encourages learning in the Arts to compliment the National Schools Curriculum, thereby providing holistic learning for the children.
She said it was particularly humbling to see so many children from diverse cultural backgrounds embrace each other as Kenyans, collaborate and share the same stage adding that this was a major lesson in tolerance and co-existence.
“The Festival confirms to us that we all can demonstrate tolerance and respect for each other, irrespective of one’s status in life”, said the First Lady
She said more investment and resources are needed to build modern facilities and music equipment that will encourage the youth to seriously pursue careers in the arts.
The First Lady also encouraged stronger partnerships between the public and the private sector to expand access to polytechnics that can host spaces that nurture interest in the arts and sports among the youth.
She applauded the organizers and partners who supported the Government in staging the successful Festival.
The First Lady also congratulated the participants for inspiring their peers by showcasing their talents through thrilling performances.
The First Lady was received at Kakamega State Lodge by Principal Secretaries Dr Belio Kipsang ( Basic Education) and Dr Dinah Jerotich Mwinzi (Vocational and Technical Training) among other senior Government officials.
Mr Peter Wanjohi, the chairman of the Kenya Music Festival National Executive Committee and the Secretary Ms Ruth Agesa were also among those welcoming the First Lady to the music festivals.