By Kevin Oguoko
Stepping up to take the beat, Kibera’s hip-hop’s finest Octopizzo, had tagged Anto Neosoul, him of the Chips Funga fame, along to the podium.
“I am doing this for mama,” a poignant Octopizzo hissed on the microphone sending the mammoth crowd to a chill on such a dreary Sunday evening. He wasn’t in a hurry to render his rendition.
As Anto Neosoul charged the crowd and the band with his usual absurdity, Octopizzo pulled a seat, sat at the middle of the stage and sunk into deep thought. This was the anguish that had been evoked by the sad breaking news of the plane crash that, earlier in the day, had claimed the lives of six industrious Kenyans, among them two Cabinet ministers.
The entire nation was engulfed in shocked sorrow and that abstemious mood swept through the Carnivore grounds during the Sawa Sawa Festival.
With an array of celebrated stars lined up to thrill the expectant crowd, the mood lightened up to the strumming of the guitar and spectacular rhythms of the African drums. The party was on. Notwithstanding the preceding gloom, all was going to be sawa sawa!
Thousands of fun lovers had answered the clarion call and the family outing day lived up to its hype. Pulsers dressed the part with a dominance of stylish dark sunglasses and white linen pants ruling the evenly scythed green fields.
Pulsaters drove in with their children and set in a picnic mood as they spread leso’s and blankets on the ground over a variety of breath-taking thrills, sumptuous snacks and other finger-licking delicacies.
As early as 1pm, the best in sizzling music had been booming from the DJ’s booth as dozens kept on streaming in for the annual event. By 4pm, the grounds were packed to capacity.
Alongside the DJ mix, the Slum Drummers were stashed by the edge of the field, training for their show and at the same time attracting a pool of admirers who danced to their ear-catching unique sound of the Africa beat.
The Genge Godfather himself, Nonini, was in the house as was Mongolo and the CEO of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) Maurice Okoth, all engrossed in banter.