By Caroline Nyanga
Fireworks lit up the dark skies above the Kenyatta International Conference Centre as the hour struck midnight and thousands at the Groove concert welcomed the New Year.
Inside the expansive grounds, over 20,000 fans danced and celebrated while others who could not access the venue stood on the streets singing: "Happy New Year" in unison. The Groove concert was a sold out affair with hundreds of gospel fans locked out to avoid any mishap. Jimmy Gait
The side-walks of KICC were a beehive of activity from as early as 7:00pm. Excited Kenyans from all walks of life sauntered to watch was indeed the party of all New Year parties — the Groove Concert.
Fans arrived early in large numbers dressed to the nines. And celebrities were not left behind. Mellow-voiced gospel singer Neema, Ngashville, Eric Omondi, Dunco, Jimmy Gait, Rufftone, Holy Dave, DNA, Tanzania’s queen of gospel Rose Muhando, Daddy Owen, MOG, Webi, Blood Shed Rock band, A-star, Isaac Kahora, Kambua, Walson, Gravity, Masha Mapenzi and Alemba all came in style.
This show featured a good mix of the old and new artistes.
Others present included Homeboyz DJs Mo, Sadiq and Dee who churned out the sounds of MOG, Jimmy Gait, Ngashville, Chit Chat, Kirk Franklin among others as revellers danced.
At around 9 O’clock, the venue was filled to the rafters with no space left for more fans. Hardbodyz bouncers had a rough time controlling the excited crowd who swayed back and forth to the beats from their favourite artistes.
Event MC’s Alemba and A-star begun the show by introducing mellow-voiced gospel singer Neema N’talel on stage.
In a tight fitting trouser and a matching top, she performed five songs backed up by Zidi The Band. At some point gospel rapper Rigga joined her on stage and the mood grew more festive.
When the MCs announced that MOG next on stage, fans went wild. The popular singers did not let them down as they wowed the crowd with hits Don’t Let Him Go, Zing Zing, and Wedding Day before counting down the seconds to the New Year. As the hour struck midnight, fireworks rignited in the air as revellers screamed and hugged each other joyously. Shouts of ‘Happy New Year!’ and ‘Amen!’ could be heard all over.
Soon after ushering the New Year, the man of the moment, Daddy Owen aka King of Kapungala stepped on stage to entertain the enthralled audience. And he did not disappoint. His husky vocals and great stage act endeared him to fans. Daddy Owen hit the mark with single, Shillingi Ya Kenya followed by System Ya Kapungala.
To keep the fire-burning singer Jimmy Gait took the centrestage with Muhadhara and Huratiti as Daddy Owen bowed out. He worked up the crowd who sang along his hits.
"Bwana Asifiwe — Happy New Year!" shouted Tanzania’s queen of gospel music Rose Muhando.
She brought down the roof with her hits like Nibebe, Hatumo and Si Salama.
Muhando showcased her dancing prowess when she took off her her heels to dance.
Her worship songs drove some fans to shed happy tears as they sang along.
Others performers included Rufftone, Holy Dave, DNA, Ngashville, Dunco, Webi, Blood Shed Rock band, A-star, Isaac Kahora, Kambua, Walson, Gravity, Masha Mapenzi and Alemba.
The show went on until 5am. The event organised by Mo Sound Entertainment was the official launch of The Groove Awards 2010 event.
According to Groove Award CEO Kevin Mulei, the end year event will be an annual event featuring different artistes.
"When you pray hard to God and ask Him to make you event successful, He will never fail you," he said.
He also mentions the support Mavuno church including the artistes involved as a major factor.
"Their commitment and attitude in ensuring that their fans out there get access to them went down well."
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