The 58th edition of the Kenya National Drama Festival being held in Kisumu on Friday attracted hundreds of fans.
The festival is being hosted at Nyamasaria Primary School, Tom Mboya Labour College and Lions High School.
Primary schools on Friday had a break to pave way for the preparation of the gala concert.
Events national chairman Chokera Kahura and Executive Secretary Sirengo Khaemba said the gala event was open to the public.
The first gala event was held yesterday evening while another will be held today at Lions High School and Tom Mboya Labour College.
The winners will entertain President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday at State Lodge Kisumu.
Yesterday, universities presented items that touched on issues such as the recent doctors’ strike, corruption and child abuse.
Among the items that captured public imagination was University of Nairobi’s play, Beggars, which is a cleverly scripted piece by Dr Symon Peter Otieno that explores corruption in the country from the perspective of two beggars on the street.
The two beggars have different ambitions. One aspires to one day be a wealthy city dweller while the other is on the streets begging to embarrass her rich mother.
The ambitions blow up when the mother of the lady beggar, Sandra, appears on the streets looking for the services of a witchdoctor.
It is realised that the only street boy in the area, Mangaa, was actually the son of the rich lady and brother to Sandra.
The wealthy woman is corrupt and has a lot of money to buy everyone but her family is in shambles with children running away from a home that has everything.
The actors Samantha Adeti (Sandra), Kelvin Londa (Janja), Prasic Ngadi (major), and Phelister Onyango (Malia) were applauded by the audience.
Money is not everything, the play concludes. This was a well scripted and thought out piece that the audience loved and followed effectively.
The standards displayed at the event were a remarkable improvement from previous years, projecting a very competitive festival.
Rongo University presented a choral verse, Jeke Jeke, directed by Caleb Nyangwono and Pauline Korir. It rotates around the recent doctors’ strike.
It highlighted the plight of residents in rural areas whenever doctors go on strike and was highly critical of stubborn union officials who refuse to listen to reason.
Kenya Utalii College presented a colourful choral verse Zingatata directed by Francis K’Otieno.
Zetech University’s modern dance was well received by the audience as it made good use of costumes.
Other good performances yesterday were Kirinyaga and Moi universities’ plays, Laikipia University’s narrative, Moi University’s solo verse, Kenyatta University Main Campus mime, MMUST solo verse, Egerton’s comedy and Kenyatta University Main Campus cultural dance.