July 9, 2010 – Like a whiff of pleasant smelling fragrance teasing ones nostrils, the synchronised voices enticingly catches the passerby’s ears. High lilting voices with tantalizing tones and the staccato drum beats culminating in a pleasant well rehearsed song rends the air laden with expectancy.
As the words being sung become more and more clear, one becomes acutely aware of rhythmic body movements ranging from a slow tempo to a violent frenzy in what can be described as the dance of the angels. As the dance reaches the crescendo, the participants’ faces contort with an array of ecstatic emotions heightened by their appropriately colored costumes and symbolic accessories. It is an occasion revered by the young and old alike as it brings together different schools in commemorating the diverse cultural differences in our country.
These are some of the characteristics of the annual Kenya Music festival, and this year’s event will be held at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and technology and is expected to bring together an average of over 85,000 performers and producers over a ten day period.
It is expected to take place from the 6th to the 15th of August this year.
In this regard, as a means of fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, the Mumias Sugar Company announced a Ksh6 million Title sponsorship for the event. The CEO Evans Kidero emphasised the important role of the event in producing an all rounded Kenyan youth.
“It is our belief that the bringing up of a whole individual does not involve just the academics but also the co-curricula activities like the performing arts,” he pointed out.
According to Mr Kidero, in many International universities, Co-curricula activities play a crucial role in the integration of students into the system.
“It is a well known fact that in universities like Harvard, Yale and MIT the co-curricula activities like sports, music and drama do contribute to a large extent to the admission success of students in such areas,” he observes.
Mr Kidero stated that the main aim of the occasion is to identify and promote local talent amongst the students with the end result of tackling unemployment and poverty in the long-run.
“The Music festival falls into our broad overall brand strategy as it builds a strong brand sense ownership in the minds and hearts of the youth through co-curricular activities that are embraced with great enthusiasm and competitiveness,” he said.
He explained that the six million exclusive title sponsorship will involve Multimedia awareness and publicity of the event, motivational awards including challenge trophies to best performers in select categories.
Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri on his part lauded the efforts by the Mumias Sugar Company and urged other corporate organizations to follow suit in sponsoring similar events.
“This is the true spirit of Kenyan firms, coming together in a very vigorous way to support the growth and nurturing of young talent to the top,” he said. “The Gesture by Mumias sugar is a good one and will definitely benefit the youth in the country.”
The professor emphasised the importance of such initiatives in providing the youth with beneficial skill.
“This is the true spirit of Kenyan firms, coming on board in a vigorous way to nurture the growth and talent to the top,” he stated.
“After all, McDonald Mariga and Dennis Oliech were By-products of the Kamukunji Secondary school.” He observed further.
Indeed, music is a powerful communication and advocacy tool and over time, the festival has become a powerful catalytic media for raising awareness for socio-cultural and political integration of the youth into the society.
First held in 1927, the festival prides itself with a rich heritage. It has been held consistently over the years and has evolved to feature not only contemporary issues around the world but also African cultural values and ideals, boasting over 600 categories.