By: Drama Kenya Festivals.
The only play that would have competed with Kakamega High School favorably would have been the Butere Girls’ play: Shackles of Doom. Were it not for the controversy Butere generated before and during the festival it was obvious they would have competed Kakamega favourably in the secondary play genre. Produced by Dorah Okalla,Shackles ofDoom was easily the toast of the festival this year. To many keen drama observers who know the workings of Sirengo the drama CEO and his committee there was no way Butere could be given number one in Mombasa. NEVER. That left the door wide open for “The Tempest” produced by legendary Oliver Minishi. Others were, Menengai High School’s The Docker and Riara Springs’ Delta of Turmoil.
In the Kakamega play, a violent storm brews as two brothers compete to win over the heart of a beautiful woman. The aftermath of their quest is disastrous as the younger brother does all he can to marry the woman’s heart even if it means killing those against him.
The Tempest addresses thorny land issues in Kenya and takes an audit of lives lost and the reluctance by landowners and the Government to get a lasting solution to it.
Co-directed by Patrick Odhiambo, John Mitivi and Minishi, the cast of Edison Masinde, Kihiko Francis, Kevin Kiromo and Jonathan Rao impressed audience with their ability to improvise and naturally execute the text bringing it to life.
Kakamega’s dance Bushi depicts an exploitative scenario precipitated by an authoritarian government regime capitalising on an oil find. Unlike other oil discoveries that come with years of prospecting, the Bushi community’s find is accidental since theirs was a search for water through borehole sinking but bump into oil instead.
There is a striking thematic similarity with Butere Girls’ play Shackles of Doom and the Kakamega High School dance. At the end of the festival Kakamega came through as the indomitable kings of drama with a resounding win not only in play but also dance.
When it was announced that Bushi the dance by Kakamega High School had beaten Karima Girls’ Thayu and Kenya High’s Signecha, the talking drums of Isikuti started renting the air in the moonlit grounds of the Aga Khan hall Mombasa.