By Tonny Nyanchwa
Local programmes like Papa Shirandula and Inspekta Mwala can learn a thing or two in the highly competitive Kenya National Drama and Film Festivals competition. One of the lessons they can take home is how serious issues like corruption are tackled in an entertaining yet informative way. It all boils down to scripting. The plays showcased by the competing schools touch on themes that Kenyans can easily relate like endemic corruption and tribalism.
There are those coaches who work professionally and tirelessly to ensure that the plays have reached the national level.
Who are these best drama coaches in Kenya?
This list covers some of the country’s most prominent drama coaches of all time. It is determined by the awards won by the coaches, the different pieces they’ve authored, and the schools that presented them to the National Levels.
For many years, Oliver Minishi has been known as the giant in the world of drama. This teacher of Physics and Mathematics, for two decades of service at Kakamega High School, made the school be the Masters of Drama. Mr. Minishi started acting and playwriting in 1980 as a form three student at Musingu High School in Kakamega County.
His first play to reach the national level is The Curse. Since then, he has been able to write and coach many plays that have championed at the national level, including A Step in the Mind, presented by Butere Girls, Shackles of Doom, The Tempest, and many more.
SEN. CLEOPHAS MALALA
Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala is a lover of the arts and this can be seen in the number of plays he has authored and directed that have reached the national levels.
Some of the schools that he has coached include Kakamega High School, Butere Girls, and Chavakali boys are the three schools that made him proud in these years.
Lennox is another big name when it comes to directing and scripting plays. The teacher Laiser Hill Academy teacher has written and directed several successful plays for years.
In 2018, the genius staged a fascinating narrative, The Hot Bed, which is a story about a poor school from the village, performing for the first time at the national drama festival.
VINCENT ADEDE OWALLA (DEREP RUOTH)
From Kisumu county, Mr. Owalla is a teacher, comedian, actor, script writer, and a poet. He is one of the award-winning high school drama coaches in Kenya.
Mr. Owalla has scripted and directed several plays that have seen him hit both the regional and national levels. The comedy guru mostly writes about the daily lives of people around him.
Mr. Kiguta, best known for his unique and compelling scripts, is another best high school drama coach. His professionalism and commitment have seen him win several awards for his school with the plays he scripts.
One of the plays written and directed by Mr. Kiguta is the Goria’s Glory. The play was presented by Menengai High School at Lenana School during the 2018 Kenya National Drama and Film Festivals.
Masibo Eric is a Kenyan actor, play writer, and a high school drama coach. He is best known for the jocular creative dance scripts he writes. Mr. Masibo has written and directed several creative dances for years.
His work includes Lutungu, which was presented by Friends School Bukembe during the National Drama Festivals.
Mr. Paul is a teacher, a play writer, and a drama coach. The principal of Sunshine Secondary School is another expert in the drama industry. He has scripted and directed several pieces. His play, Delta of Valhalla, presented by his school, managed to reach the national levels in 2019. The story was all about poaching and conservation of natural resources.
Talking about the best high school drama coaches in Kenya, Ongwen is not an exception. The award-winning champion managed to carry the day during the 2019 National Drama Festivals. Camels of Tarbaj, staged by Riara Girls, boosted the legacy of Mr. Ongwen.
DR. JANE MUGO
The Principal of Muthuaini Girls Secondary School from Nyeri County is a stage queen when it comes to creative dance. She works to ensure her items reach the nationals. One of her successful items was a creative cultural dance in Kikuyu that she choreographed herself.
Gillian is also one of the best high school drama coaches of all time. In 2019, her play, Misplaced Moral, presented by Gathambi Girls Secondary School, was one of the best during the National Drama Festivals. Next