Playwrights and music composers have been challenged to create content that promote national moral values and peaceful co-existence.
The Rift Valley Regional Coordinator (RC), Mongo Chimwaga said theater and music must not be used to exhibit acts and messages that promote ethnicity, nudity and violence.
“It is time for playwrights, music composers and bloggers to self-censure content that glorifies drug abuse, sexual immorality, and illusionary get rich schemes targeting the youth. If used appropriately the drama and music have the greatest potential in promoting patriotism, national unity and high moral values”, said the administrator.
The RC spoke when he officially inaugurated this year’s Regional National Music Festivals at Afraha High School in Nakuru.
The event has attracted 200,000 participants from Special needs schools, Early Childhood Education Centres, Primary and Secondary Schools drawn from 14 counties in the region.
Chimwaga observed that in the wake of technological advancement that has increased uptake of social media, the country was grappling with challenges posed by undesirable content posted by both local and foreign music composers and content developers.
The 11 day festival that ends on June 29 has also for the first time brought on board Technical Vocational Education Training Institutions (TVETs) and is being graced by 10, 000 teachers and 22 adjudicators who will judge various genres, including singing games, set pieces, poems, folk songs, folk dances and sign language.
The Regional Director of Education (RDE), John Ololtuaa noted that the event themed “Enhancing National Unity, Cohesion and Integrity” had been organised in harmony with the newly rolled out Competence Based Curriculum.
Ololtuaa who said combined contingents of security personnel had been deployed to the venue to guard the participants said teachers had been instructed to scout for talent among the students and promote it.
“The Ministry of education is committed to nurturing and promoting competencies of the participants from an early age. The county should begin looking at performing arts and creative writing as sources of employment. It is a multi billion industry which Kenya must exploit through development of talent,” said Ololtuaa.
Chimwaga said theatre and performing arts were crucial in shaping attitudes and preferences of the country’s young generation.
He noted that issues like corruption, negative ethnicity and lawlessness should be tackled by being portrayed as
undesirable things in any society.
“Inculcating positive moral values and high social standards in children at an early age amounts to setting the foundation of dismantling ills that have bedeviled this country for generations particularly bad politicking and corruption,” noted the RC.
He further said in times of tension, drama and music had the capacity to whittle down mistrust. Through music said the administrator the country’s history can be preserved for posterity.
By Anne Mwale