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Baringo choir bags top music award despite two night’s sleep in a bus

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A Baringo choir that spent two nights in a bus for lack of accommodation has defied odds to top in the just concluded Kenya Music and Cultural Festival (KMCF) in Meru town.

Due to insufficient funds, the 32-member team had to sleep inside the bus they used to travel to the event.

“Although we arrived late and tired we managed to take the lead with the song ‘Kenya my pride’ of class 621,” Music Director Harrison Okiri told the media in Kabarnet town on Friday.

The 92nd edition of the National festival which kicked off on November 23 to 29th attracted more than 30,000 participants.

The team also won second and third positions in the classes 107 and 431 respectively.

“We were supposed to arrive on 23rd but due logistical challenges we arrived late on 25th, unfortunately, we missed one piece of class 620,” Okiri said.

The team said they had been promised Sh3,000 allowance per person for three-day accommodation by the county but are yet to receive the money.

The group was established in 2014 by then Governor Benjamin Cheboi. 

“Some of us are cobblers, market traders and boda boda traders. We formed the group with passion so we could educate the people and avoid idleness,” the group chairman Edwin Korir said.

Korir said when Governor Stanley Kiptis took over in 2007, he replaced them with the ‘County Staff Choir’ saying since then, they have been sidelined.

“As we slept inside the bus without water to bath, our colleagues from the county spent in a specious hotel, although they did not perform much,” he said.

He said since inception they owe the county about Sh100,000 allowances.

Education, Sports and Culture CEC Thomas Ole’ Nongonop, however, said he has not heard of such injustices against the choir.

“If there are then let me inquire from my colleagues and bosses because to me such discriminations are unacceptable” he said.

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