Uasin Gishu County Fiesta edition thrills locals
The ‘Blink’ are the winners of the Uasin Gishu County Fiesta edition that was held over the weekend in Eldoret town.
Dozens of locals thronged the TAC centre, in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu to catch a glimpse of finest young talents in one of the thrilling events in the region.
The three-day competitions that kicked off from Friday till Sunday attracted five teams comprising some 50 participants mainly from Moi University and University of Eldoret. Each team had 10 members.
During the event, the Blink garnered 5.3 points, followed by the Arrow (4.8), The Hatua was third with 4.7 Emac managed 4.5 points while the Fireside earned 3.9 points.
The winners will now participate in the Kenya International Theatre Festival (KitFest), country’s biggest theatre festival, to be held in Nairobi that will bring together more than 21 teams from African and foreign countries.
The plays were stories about climate action, the use of art and theater to tell stories about the environmental conversation to raise awareness about the subject in the society.
The Fireside presented ‘wild dogs’, arrow (corridors of hell), Hatua (Mwanga) while Emac showcased he ‘Machiavellian crown).
The ‘blink’ theater group performed the winning play ‘makers of peace’ which is a love story about a cobbler who is torn between falling in love with two princesses; one from a lower social class who love him and another was damsel from a higher social class who he loved more. He chooses the slay queen. He would later land in trouble when the ‘slay queen’ together with his gang used the cobbler to cut down trees, landing him in trouble.
Clinton Osire, the director of the ‘blink’ theater group noted that he had not anticipated to emerge winner as they had faced stiff competition.
“We did not expect to win but we had really put in a lot of effort. We will now work to polish on areas that we did not perform well according to the judges,” observed Mr Osire.
Benson Ngobia, the Executive Director at the Kenya International Theatre Festival (KitFest) said Uasin Gishu County, was part of six similar editions across the country that will culminate in the international festival to be held in Nairobi in November.
Similar editions are held in Nakuru, Kiambu, Mombasa, Embu, Kisumu and Eldoret and the one team in each edition will participate in the international festival.
“The essence of these editions is to empower and expose the grass root groups to professionalize their plays. They have been trained on lighting, sound equipment, directing and stage management among other activities,” he explained.
The county theatre fiesta project is part of the national government’s Talanta Hela initiative under the ministry of sports and youth affairs. The project is a collaboration between the Kenya International Theatre Festival Trust and Kenya International Cultural Centre incorporating the Kenya National Theater.
Ngobia regretted that most counties were endowed with untapped talents due to lack of proper facilities to drive the creative industry.
He noted that since culture is a devolved function, counties need to invest and establish new theaters and provide necessary facilities to support upcoming talents.
“We would like to see more such spaces so that creative artists can get a platform to perform. We have the right talents, what is lacking is the right infrastructure,” he added.
He stated that the industry has potential to create jobs for young people including stage manager, professional director among others.
“Netflix is proposing that we have more local content like local languages and even English. This means that globally people are focusing on Kenya as an entertainment content hub and if we don’t focus on facilities we are going to lose talents,” added Ngobia.