There is debate being whispered on how long an artiste should stage a show in Kenya. If you are out there getting ready for a show in Kenya’s capital, be warned, the latest actions by visiting international artistes have at times left a foul taste in the capital.
Sometimes it’s about the quality of the concert. Even worse, who is ready to leave their house on a chilly weekend, jump into a three-hour traffic jam and then after paying say Sh5,000 get treated to a mediocre 30-minute show ... before getting back into traffic?
We still recall how Timaya left tongues wagging. His show lasted 30 minutes. Runtown’s was worse...25 minutes...then Burna Boy, just to mention the few who have left the 254 short-changed in the last few days.
So how excited did we get when we heard the American gospel duo Mary Mary was visiting thanks to Trace Gospel. Better even, this was an afternoon family show at the Ngong’ Racecourse Waterfront.
And even with all the hype around Erica and Tina Campbell, the venue wasn’t full as expected. The VIP section was split by makeshift fences with security personnel manning the entrances and exit but one could easily move from the normal ticket holders section to VIP.
MC’s of the day were Kubamba Radio presenter Kerry Kagiri and hype man Alemba who is back in the country after living abroad for a while. Other international artistes joining the duo were Jessica Dossey from the Caribbean and Carol Betagol from the UK.
Curtain raisers led by Jimmy Gait, Evelyne Wanjiru, Ivlyn Mutua, Joyce Omondi and Willy Paul hit the stage in that order with breaks for hype sessions which the crowd responded well to.
A few minutes after 7pm the much-awaited duo hit the stage to a reception by the jubilant crowd. They performed their famous hit songs In The Morning, Go Get It, God in Me and Shackles.
Diamond at Koroga
At first, word was that Diamond would cancel his Nairobi concert following the demise of his wife Zari’s ex-husband Ivan Ssemwanga who passed on in a South African hospital.
However, the Tanzanian star honoured the tour opting to join Zari’s family at a later date.
And so with him being the showstopper during the two-day Koroga festival held at the Carnivore Simba Saloon, all looked set and when he took the stage, he did not disappoint.
The festival, organised by Capital FM is hosted bi-monthly and is meant to celebrate the greatest African talents from across the continent.
Besides Diamond, this edition featured some amazing African acts among them DJ Maphorisa and Le Band. The set up at the grounds was very well done and featured a number of sponsoring companies and food vendors.
The sponsoring companies included Villa Rosa Kempinski, Kenya Airways, Uber, Coca Cola, Tuborg and 98.4 Capital FM.
Capital FM’s presenters Amina and Maqbul — who were the MCs of the day — kept the crowd alive as they hyped every moment.
And so did DJ Andre and Protégé who kept the masses in attendance grooving to various beats.
When Kenya’s boy band Le Band got on stage, they got everyone on their feet as they gave a thrilling performance to justify why they are one of the fast-rising bands in the region.
With hits like For You and Sweet Paradise, they boy band put the crowd in an electrified mood.
Kidum, who is known for his commanding stage presence too did not disappoint. Singing some of the crowds’ favourites Number Moja, Mapenzi and Haturudi Nyuma, he charged the crowd, that with his band making the live performance worth while.
At around five o’clock, the most awaited artiste of the day Diamond came on stage. Dressed in white khaki pants and a green jacket, he was welcomed by animated cheers from the jovial crowd.
And so did the crowd sing word for word to his popular hits. He also sent out a tribute to his wife, Zari Hassan, who recently lost her ex-husband due to a heart attack.
With hits like Number One and his recent Ne-Yo collabo, Marry You, the venue went wild pushing the event into a memorable climax.