14 August 2018

Kenya: School Stole My Work, Presented It At Music Festival - Poet

A poet has threatened to sue the Kenya Music Festival organizers and a secondary school over allegations that her work was plagiarized in the ongoing competitions.

Ms Waruguru wa Kiai is accusing Sacred Hearts Mirithu Girls' School of editing her poem, which they presented on Monday under the own choice published choral verse category.

The girls' school from central region presented their verse Take Me to Nyeri which, which Ms Waruguru claims was originally titled All I want for Valentines. Even though the school gave the poet credit for the work, she lamented that the school rewrote her work, which amounts to plagiarism.

"They may have given me credit but they altered my work which is an injustice to my art. They should have presented the poem as originally composed as per the rules," she said.

ACCREDITED POEMS

As per the regulations, schools can perform published or accredited poems during the festivals as long as they acknowledge the author.

Sacred Hearts Mirithu Girls' also risked disqualification from the category but the poet chose to have them graded and penalized by adjudicators.

The Nairobi News has learned that the decision was made after officials intervened on the matter, pleading with the poet to decide on whether she wanted the school disqualified.

"I decide to let the girls present since they had practiced and worked hard from the ward level and made it to national levels. However, I will still pursue the matter with the officials and the school," she said.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Apparently, the school had acquired the poem from Ms Waruguru's Facebook page where she posts her poetic publications. He poem was then later altered and presented at the competition from the ward level.

At the same time, adjudicators, while grading the acts, warned that publications from platforms such as Facebook are not considered accredited hence schools risk losing points once they present such work.

Consequently, the school scored 84 percent despite their brilliant performance and ended up being ranked below sixth position.

The category was won by Moi Girls' Secondary School Eldoret, who were closely followed by Ringa Boys' School ,who came in second. St Mary's Girls' Webuye emerged third in the class.

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