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Spread the love

By | September 18th 2009

By Caroline Nyanga

It’s about Eleven O’clock on Saturday morning and Carnivore is a beehive of activity. Tents selling food, drinks, clothing, magazines and DVDs have been set up and business is brisk as people start to arrive. A kiddie’s corner with bouncing castles and swings is an immediate hit with the youngsters accompanying their parents.

In the meantime, part of the organising crew wearing white Spread The Love T-shirts can be spotted moving up and down. They are busy making sure everything is in place before the show begins. Today, gospel maestro Kirk Franklin aka Kaka Frank (an affectionate nickname coined by Kenyan fans) will be performing and the excitement in the air is palpable.

Slowly, a number of gospel and secular celebrities begin to arrive. Jal, Juliani, Eric Wainaina, DNA, Tattuu’s Debbie and Shinde, Rufftone, MOG, Neema, the Chit Chat group, Amke from UG, Ennovator, Jeff Koinange, dancers Saintz 3: 16, Rachel from VUC, Number B, Eunice Njeri, Kera, Exodus, Ham-kay, Rock of Ages, Edu G, K-Krew and the Blackstar crew are just some of the famous faces in the crowd.

Kirk Franklin’s performance

Meanwhile, K-Krew deejays led by DJ Moz entertain the fans by playing gospel hits that range from contemporary Christian hits to traditional Kenyan gospel. The infectious beats of Kapungala and Let Him Go fill the air as the crowd patiently waits for the live show to begin.

Finally, MCs Kanji Mbugua and Isaac Rucci open the stage by introducing Chit Chat. The group lights up the stage with their song Chi Kabum much to the delight of fans who cheer heartily. It seems all the tweaking and testing was not in vain, the sound provided by Mo Sounds is above par and the live band backing the performers only makes it better. Other performers include Ruftone Mr Igi Igi himself aka Rufftone, dance choreographed by dancers Saintz 3: 16, Rachel VUC, Allan Aron, rock band Ueta, Number B, Eunice Njeri, Kera, Exodus, Ham-kay and Rock of Ages.

"Niaje wazeia? Asante for keeping us in your prayers," shouts secular turned gospel artiste, Juliani. He hits the stage and entertains with his hits Mahewa, Hela, Biceps and soon has the crowd dancing along.

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But before he could perform one last song, one of the MC’s, Kanjii Mbugua, gets on stage and whispers something in Juliani’s ear. Juliani quickly cuts his set short and exits the stage as the crowd is left wondering what Kanjii was on about.

A few more sound tests follow as Mo Sounds fills the interruption with music. Then, finally, the man who everyone has been waiting for… Kirk Franklin, gets on stage brimming with energy — the crowd goes wild. He showcases some of his dance moves and wows the crowd with his powerful vocals.

Kirk the launches into his hits, Hosanna, Revolution, Looking for You, September, Hero, I like Me, Help Me Believe, Lovely Day and Imagine Me using different styles ranging from hip hop, reggae, rock, soul, R&B to Acapella. He also plays the piano as he sings adding a classical twist to the gospel beat.

The crowd is fascinating and uplifted as they sing along word for word.

Kirk used the opportunity to pray and dismiss earlier rumours about cancelling the Kenyan show. "Kenyans are too important to me and in the eyes of God to be ignored," he says amid cheers.

Sponsors included Mavuno, ICJ, Intercontinental, KCB, Citizen, Resolution Health, Hot 96, Silverbird, MO Sound, MCSK, Ultra Printer among others.

Gate collection went towards buying beds for 3,500 prisoners in Kenya. The event was indeed worth it.

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