Congolese star Ferre Gola the main draw at Lokole Festival


Congolese Rhumba star Ferre Gola aka 'Le Padre' (centre)  arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Nairobi on December 1, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Nairobi is buzzing with excitement as the city gears up to host the biggest Rhumba event this year, the Lokole Festival.

The festival, which is set to take place tomorrow at the Nairobi Polo Club, is expected to draw thousands of music lovers from across the region and beyond.

It is a celebration of music and culture that promises to be an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts and festival-goers alike. There is an impressive lineup featuring renowned artists who are set to showcase the very best of diverse African talent.

Lokole Festival is a testament to Nairobi's thriving music scene and its ability to attract world-class performers.

From Lingala rhythms that will make you move your feet to soulful melodies that will touch your heart, the extravaganza promises an eclectic mix of sounds that will leave you craving for more.

Congolese music icon Ferre Gola, who jetted into the country yesterday, will be the headlining act in the Rhumba fiesta that seeks to celebrate the rich musical heritage of Africa.

State presence 

Known for his charismatic stage presence and soulful vocals, Ferre Gola is considered one of the most influential figures in Congolese music.

He is arguably one of the most sought-after Lingala singers in the area, having established himself as one of the Neo-generation Congolese Rhumba Style in recent times.

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Joining Ferre Gola on stage will be South African singer Nomcebo Zikode, best known for the global hit ‘Jerusalema’. Her powerful vocals and uplifting lyrics have made her a global sensation and she is sure to bring a touch of Afropop magic to the festival.

Also sharing the stage with other heavyweights will be Mbilia Bel. She is known for her powerful vocals, which can range from soft and sultry to passionate and belting.

She has been an inspiration to countless musicians around the world. Her music has been praised for its originality, its emotional depth, and its contribution to the preservation of Congolese rumba culture.

Rising stars

Rounding up the lineup will be Kenya’s rising stars, Prince Indah and Okello Max. Indah's exceptional talent for connecting with his audience makes his music resonate with listeners, evoking powerful emotions.

Known for his soul-stirring Benga tunes, his unique blend of traditional rhythms with modern influences has earned him a dedicated fan base that spans across generations.

He reinforces his status as the ‘King of Ohangla’ music, a blazing figure in the Luo music scene, and a representation of the unifying power of music.

On the other hand, Okello Max is known for his Dholuo flavour in his music and has become a darling of many, especially women. He is set to serenade his fans and attendees in equal measure.

As the Lokole Festival approaches, anticipation is building among music enthusiasts in Nairobi.

This celebration of African music promises to be a night filled with joy, unity, and unforgettable performances.

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