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MMUST Hosts the 5th Edition of the UHAI Festival Western Circuit to Foster Talents of Persons With Disabilities in the Society

Participants during the festival.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology hosted the 5th Edition of the UHAI Festival Western Circuit on Friday, 24th March 2023, to promote and foster the talents of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in society. MMUST also participated in this event which was earmarked for giving the PWDs an opportunity to showcase different talents, celebrate life, and network with other members of society. The festival which was organized by Signs Media TV led by the Director, Mr. Luke Muleka was marked with a wide array of games and sports activities, performing arts, dance, music, athletics, as well as fashion show at the University grounds.

In his opening remarks, the Director of the Privately Sponsored Students Program (PSSP)- Prof. Benedict Alala who was representing the Vice Chancellor- Prof. Solomon Shibairo, noted that this is a unique event that empowers PWDs to live independently and to have equal opportunities in society.

“We are aware that a few events are tailored for the PWDs for Social, economic, political, and talent development. I consider this a great step towards identifying, harnessing, and supporting the talent of PWDs. As a University, we are at the forefront of championing the rights of PWDs. As we mark this day, I encourage you to continue engaging in such activities as a way of nurturing and promoting your talents,” he urged.

The Director of the Privately Sponsored Students Progra1

The Director of the Privately Sponsored Students Program (PSSP)- Prof. Benedict Alala giving an opening remark.

Speaking during the festival, Mr. Muleka pointed out that the media is committed to championing the inclusion of the PWDs and thus promoting competition and participation of the special group in co-curricular activities. He urged the participants to utilize the opportunity to grow their talents.

“It is our mandate to build cultural bridges, remove barriers, eliminate stigma, and create a society that allows free interaction between PWDs and non-PWDs. Let us ensure the welfare and employability of the PWDs in the country as well as the African Region. I thank the University management for hosting this festival; it is a prudent gesture that you appreciate equality,” he stated.


From left; the Director, Mr. Luke Muleka, Prof. Alala, and the Chief Officer of Youth, Sports, and Library Services (Kakamega County)- Mr. Joseph Abucheri consulting each other at the festival.

Similarly, his counterpart, Mr. Jared Getanda who is the Director of Talent Development at Signs Media TV encouraged the participants to develop their talents and make the best presentations that are worth showcasing on television.

According to Ms. Edna Sabin who was representing the Patron Disability Club (MMUST)- Prof. Peter Bukhala, co-curricular activities act as social, psychological, physical, and emotional therapy to our bodies. She added that the University is supporting the country as well as the world by incorporating the PWDs in the activities such as sports. “As an institution, PWDs are special to our hearts. Let us collaborate in championing for adaptability of abled-bodied and people with disabilities in physical activities,” she urged.

The Chairperson of the Guiding and Counselling Department, Ms. Pauline Adhiambo who was representing the Dean of Students, Dr. Bernadette Abwao, acknowledged that the office ensures inclusion of the PWDs in the University activities such as games and sports. “As we celebrate here today, ensure you enjoy yourselves and leave a different person. God created you with a purpose. Take up the mantle and utilize opportunities with courage,” she said.


Ms. Pauline Adhiambo (white blouse) among other participants at the festival.

The Chief Officer of Youth, Sports, and Library Services (Kakamega County)- Mr. Joseph Abucheri guaranteed the County’s support in the development of social, equity, and empowerment of special groups in its operations. “We are here to watch, participate, and enjoy with you. As we celebrate, let us work together and promote a spirit of teamwork,” he stated.

Besides magnificent performances, the event culminated in award giving ceremony where winning groups bagged 150,000, 100, 000 and 50,000 Kenyan Shillings respectively.

The festival attracted persons with disabilities from various institutions including; MMUST, Maseno University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), Kisumu National Polytechnic, Lugari Technical Training College, Shamberere Technical Training Institute, and St. Angela Mumias Secondary Vocational School for the Deaf Girls’.


Participants of the sitting volleyball games between Chui (blue) and simba (red) teams.

The committee members during the festival included; Mr. Geoffrey Barasa, Mr. Boniface Manoah, Mr. Victor Ashiali, Ms. Linet Owuor, Mr. Joseph Mugo, Ms. Selphine Muyonga, and Mr. Akaka Shisoka. The MMUSO secretary General- Ms. Natalie Atieno, Co-Curricular Secretary- Mr. Gonza Felix, and the Special Interest Secretary- Ms. Loice Akinyi were also present at the event.

Indeed, engaging PWDs in such life-changing activities enhance their interpersonal skills, peer models, problem-solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching them to accept their differences.

By Verna Awuor

Photos by Linet Owuor

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