Kenyans known for their hippie social life, pursuit for fun

Monday, January 13th, 2020 00:00 | By
Akothee performs at the Luo Festival.

Kenyans are known for their hippie social life and pursuit for fun. MANUEL NTOYAI looks at some of the social urban cultural fetes that have become crowd pullers in the country

Mugithi Festival

The rise of mugithi nights has been phenomenal. Long gone are the days when people would associate the gigs with old beer-drinking folks.

With the emergence of the new crop of artistes doing Afro benga music, the likes of Samidoh, Ayrosh and Joe Mutoriah have managed to ensnare the young generation like glue, giving event organisers a hard time on balancing which acts to take in for performances.

A good example is last year’s Oktobafest held at the Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi, where revellers walked away from the main stage in droves for the ‘Beer Garden’ stage where mugithi sensation Samidoh was performing. 

Luo Festival 

Dubbed the celebration of ‘culture of class, trendsetters, pacesetters and the learned’, the annual fest has been a stage where flamboyancy and splendour go hand-in-hand.

The Kansoul perform at the Tusker Oktobafest 2019.

Recently, Arena Media CEO and the event organiser Felix Odiwour aka Jalang’o revealed the pains they (organisers) had to stomach before singer Akothee performed at the gig held at the Carnivore in Nairobi.

Among other VVIP demands on the musician’s rider included having her own backstage, 40 white towels, a private live kitchen and a private chef.

However, the Luo Festival has become one of the most popular entertainment gigs in 254.

Reggae Concerts

Truly, nobody can stop reggae, although Jamaican singer Jah Cure almost did it during his gig at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.

Reggae heavyweights Alpha Blondy, Konshens, Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Duane Stephenson, Glen Washington, Daville, Chris Martin, D Major and Future Fambo have been some of the legion of artistes from the Caribbean nation that have trooped to Kenya in recent times.

This February, legendary Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton, and Ali Campbell and Astro (formerly of British reggae band UB40) are expected to perform in Nairobi in two separate events.

Mombasa Food Festival 

It has been long time coming for foodies, and in recent years, the Mombasa Food Festival has captured food and fun lovers with all matters culinary.

“The festival is all about supporting and cultivating what makes Mombasa and its surrounding regions a gastronomic playground.

We invite various food vendors to show their best delicacies and for people to have a social event with direct value addition to the economy,” event organiser John Mandela told Spice. 

Eunoto Ceremony 

Eunoto is a ceremony held once in a decade, where Maasai morans graduate to junior elders.

Samidoh charms the crowd at the Mugithi Festival 2019.

Last year was special for the Maa community as thousands of morans from the community, which occupies both Kenya and Tanzania, graduated.

Held across tens of special bomas, the ceremony has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which acknowledges its importance in culture preservation, saying it should be protected and preserved.

Film Festivals

Despite the challenges and the uproar by the film community in regards to reforms required in the industry such as use of drones and provision of rebates, there have been some positive engagements.

Through the 2019 Indian and Israeli Film Festivals, filmmakers had an opportunity to network and learn from their peers whose film industries are thriving.

“This is intended for Bollywood movie lovers to see, meet and interact with their favourite actors whilst the stars get to mingle with their fans.

The festival also targets to promote Kenya as a favourable destination for the new generation of Indian filmmakers, who continuously seek different locations to bring freshness in their creative ventures and films,” said Indian Film Festival curator Captian Rahul Bali.

Music Picnics

After organisers sanitised their gigs, there has been an increasing human traffic trooping to urban music picnic events.

Gigs such as the Koroga Festival, Cocktail Festival, Burger and Pizza Festivals, Oktobafest and Blankets and Wine have become staple for thousands of fun lovers in Kenya’s urban culture space.

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