Tuesday Evening-The event that was!

Safaricom Live Artists on stage
Safaricom Live Artists on stage

Yipeeeee yipeee!! The week has finally come to an end and honestly, I really look forward to the weekend. I feel so tired and quite lousy. There has been massive traffic jams in Nairobi this week and last evening, I spent three hours on the road, taking a few naps in between. (My apologies to those behind me, I could hear you hooting, but, I was extremely tired.)

Invited guests streaming in.
Invited guests streaming in.

Ok, let me blame this on Safaricom Company. Yes, this company decides to invite me for the 3rd phase of the Niko na Safaricom Live music bonanza that was launched at a glitzy affair graced by the who’s who of the local music and entertainment industry early this week. Who does such a fun affair on a Tuesday evening, really?

“Safaricom knows that most of us are working tomorrow and for them to invite us to such an event, it better be worth it, right?” Asked Radio Maisha’s Jalango who was the MC for the event held at Splash Water world in Carnivore along Langata Road.

The matatu's ferrying guests.
The matatu’s ferrying guests.

Hey, if you were not invited, sorry, you missed one great event. On reaching at Carnivore, people are directed to the parking lot, some meters away from the main stage where the rest of the evening will be taking place. The first thing that came into my mind, “Woi, will I have to walk all the way to that place?” Remember many ladies were in really high heels. You know Nairobian’s love fashion despite the cold weather.

But, Safaricom had it well planned out. From the parking bay, some big-seater matatu’s were waiting to ferry people to Carnivore. “Welcome, it’s free of charge and while seated, you can use the wi-fi, it is also free of charge,” said one of the ladies while confirming our invite. Of course my boyfriend joined me for this.

Mmmm, inside the matatu’s, it was boom-twaf kind of music. Together with some other pals whom we met at the parking lot, we all agreed that it felt like being in high school once again. The big matatus to Rongai and Buruburu are notorious of such loud music. In a few minutes, there  was some preacher guy and also some Dvd vendor trying to interrupt each other as they source for clients.

Safaricom Beuties usher in guests
Safaricom Beuties usher in guests

The matatu driver is driving at 0km/hr, so we take almost 15 minutes, a distance that would probably take less than 3 minutes drive. So we enjoy the ride, taking photos as well as trying to connect to the free wi-fi bu,t I have to report that it didn’t work on my phone.

Finally, we are at Splash Water World. We are ushered in by some beauties’ who smile so hard at my boyfriend, now that he stepped out before me. Watching their looks, I step out immediately and clearly, I could see that kind of a look….ohhhooooo, he is taken. (Thank you.)

Newpaper Vendor pose for the cameras
Newspaper Vendor pose for the cameras

This was a special event, very creative concept and yes, we laughed all the time. After the black-tie event backfired last month, this time round Safaricom was very wise…street smart was the dress code. Ok, but, I didn’t know that the whole affair was to be streetwise as such. Here, we are met by all kind of vendors, newspaper vendors, shoe vendors, hawkers of all sorts and yes, even the ‘choma mahindi guy’ was also present.

Mahindi Choma guy doing his thing.
Mahindi Choma guy doing his thing.

In keeping with tradition, Safaricom unveiled some of the biggest artistes in Kenya’s music scene to headline this year’s Niko na Safaricom Live countrywide music tour which will cover five towns including the 3 cities.

Kenya’s gospel master Daddy Owen, P-Unit, new kid on the block and gospel sensation-Gloria Muliro, the love ballads maestro-Kidum and hip hop sensation Octopizzo. Comedy sensation Eric Omondi will be the lead MC for the tour while DJ Kaytrixx will hold down the decks.

Bob (center) poses with some of the artists.
Bob (center) poses with some of the artists.

All these guys staged electrifying and entertaining performances, laughing and eating we did. Please note, this was not a public event. You had to be among the who’s who in the local and entertainment industry, therefore, I could easily notice some familiar faces. Notably were Sauti Soul crew, Jaguar, Daddy Owen, Octopizzo, Kidum, Allan Rimbui, Susumila and many more. Comedian, Churchill Ndambuki was also present; he sat a few meters away from me. Just like most of us who were in jeans,  Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore was also present and cladded- street smart. This time round, he also got it right.

Safaricom Live artists on stage.
Safaricom Live artists on stage.

For the artists, the journey has just began. The eight-month long campaign will focus on growing and nurturing local music talent by giving signed artistes an opportunity to learn from a retinue of professional music coaches who will include vocal coaching, choreography and stage performance.

As Kenyans, we are watching. We will be here to see how you carry out this mandate. Give it your best, I am sure many artists would have loved to be in your shoes, so go out and train, coach and mentor them. As for Safaricom, this was just an event of its kind. I loved every minute of my stay, the setting was excellent and I still wanna report some people who did not use ‘Safaricom Road’ neither did they adhere to the traffic rules, instead they opted to walk on the pavement. Will you introduce some traffic rules for such a night?

Performing artists on stage.
Performing artists on stage.

With all that fun, I am still asleep and longing for the weekend like never before. I am convinced beyond words that I am speaking for many people including Jalango, the MC. Tuesday is probably not the best day to conduct such an event. How about Friday or Saturday night? These might do and then, while some of us rush to catch some sleep, some people can go home the following day. (wink*, wink*)

Artists on stage
Artists on stage

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” ― Anthony Burgess

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