Religious intolerance dominates day one of Coast schools drama festival

Students during past drama festival PHOTO COURTESY

Religious conflicts among students in schools have emerged to be a dominant theme at the Coast region schools drama festivals that began at the Shimo La Tewa high school on Tuesday.

Kichakasimba girls from Kwale county presented a play titled ‘Sonona’, about a conflict involving two groups of students in a school who differed over favoritism of one group of students over the other by the school administration based on religion.

The freedom of worship for one group of the students is stifled as they are denied the opportunity to pray and engage in their religious activities at school, a move that angers them.   

The playsets the stage for a tough conflict between the students, with the isolated group demanding equal rights and freedom of worship, like their colleagues.

The demand is not easily granted until the isolated students paralyze a major school function in an effort to seek an audience with the school administration.

Eventually, the conflict is resolved following the intervention of a bishop, the main school sponsor, and the isolated students even get a new place of worship built for them.

The play cautions against tough religious policies in schools and advocates for freedom of worship and respect of all religions in schools.

Others who performed on the first day included Fumbini secondary school from Kilifi county with the play titled “Riziki wa Fizikia”, about students rejecting a subject at school over an unqualified teacher.

The festival, which runs up to this Saturday, has attracted over 10,000 students and teachers from across the entire Coast region.

Winners will represent the region at the national festival that will be hosted in Mombasa later in April.

Participants are competing in different genres including verses, dances, spoken word, stand-up comedy, narratives, and plays.