Curtains Come Down at Drama Festival as Deputy President William Ruto Mocks Witchcraft Movies on TVs

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The 60th edition of the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival today came to a end at Kibabii University as Deputy President Dr. William Ruto questioned the airing of Nigerian movies on local television channels at the expense of local talent being showcased on stage.

The festival, which kicked off on Wednesday last week and being held in Bungoma County for the first time, saw Riara Springs play become talk of the town after emerging the Best at the edition.

The play, Carmel of Tarbaj, scripted and directed by Pascalia Maingi and produced by Mrs. Jane Mulinge, looks at retrogressive cultural practises ‘early marriages,’ and its impact on girl child education and development.

From left to right: Deputy President Dr. William Ruto Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Parliament Chief Ship Benjamin Washiali (Mp Mumias East), John Waluke (MP Sirisia), Didmus Barasa (MP Kimilili) and John Kiarie, (MP Dagoretti South) follow the Riara Springs play, Carmel of Tarbaj during the National Drama Festival State Convert held at Kibabii University on Friday 12 April, 2019. PHOTO CREDIT/KFCB

The play brings to light the ostracism experienced of a 14-year old ‘Shukri Abdalla’ who in silence, suffers from a devastating childbirth ‘Vesico-Vaginal Fistula’ (VVF).

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Th play, which Bungoma Governor Wyliffe Wangamati revealed to the public that it moved the Deputy President William Ruto into tears while seated next to him, further details how this condition defies her normal living relegating her to a modern-day leper and an object of stigma.

While addressing the thespians, Dr. Ruto, who, was representing President Uhuru Kenyatta at the state concert, hailed the creativity exhibited in the performances but questioned why such content is never given attention by national televisions.

“You look at the kind of content produced on this stage and you wonder why such content is replaced by witchcraft movies and magicians on our national tv station.” Ruto said as camera’s shifted focus on the Kenya Film Classification Board Chairman Dr. Ezekiel Mutua.

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The KFCB was the main sponsor of the festival and has given scholarships to the winning items.

Local content producers have recently been at loggerheads with media owners following constant airing of foreign content at the expense of local talent.

But in a funny coincidence during the DP’s speech, only KBC and KTN were airing the event live as Citizen and NTV were airing Nigerian movies full of magicians and witchdoctors, giving the festival a black eye.

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The main theme of the festival was Promoting Moral Responsibilities Among the Youths Through Theatre.

It was the second time the DP was using the words Witchcraft and magicians after doing so a month a go in a tweet that was believed to be mocking his political rival Raila Odinga.

Among other leaders present at the concert include the new Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Education PS Dr. Belyo Kipsang, Mps Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and John Waluke (Sirisia).

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Simiyu Wakajuaness

Simiyu Wakajuaness is the founder of this news site, a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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