The much awaited Airtel Sondeka festival opened Friday night at the Elephant, on Kanjata Road, Groganville Estate. The theme for this years festival was #WeAreTheOnes which means creatives (artists and innovators) are the ones championing the Creative revolution not only for wealth and job creation but also to address societal challenges.
The festival opened on Friday night with performances from Uganda’s MC slim who uses his voice control in variation to perform poetry, mixed with musical interludes to suit delivery of his different messages be it empowerment love or political stand.Sondeka Festival also gave Platinum Dance Crew a chance to dazzle,the dance group hails from Kibera.Later into the night Santuri Band’s Makadem performed alongside Sonku Phiri, deejays Ay and Issak, Giovani Kiyingi and Mim Suleiman.Bebgatronics also dazzled the crowd with their nu-disco combining benga, disco, and soul with electronic music but not before Sarabi Band warmed up the crowd with a teaser performance.However, Jojo Abot stole the show,soon as she grabbed the microphone the crowd went berserk with guys singing and dancing along to her lyrics.The opening night was hosted by one David Muriethi.
The festival resumed on Saturday noon at the Arboretum on Saturday 12th with music performances on two stages named Creatives Garage (CG) Stage and Santuri Stage.
Revelers were treated to Afro fusion by artiste Makadem and hip-hop by Octopizzo who has just launched his second album “Long distance paper chaser.”Into the night Dj Raoul performed in Africa for the very first time.Other performances were from Msafiri Zawose, scion of a famous musical family who has kept the traditional Gogo style alive and plays a variety of instruments like the marimba, Zeze (two-stringed violin) and the ngoma (drums).Muthoni Drummer Queen proved she is still the queen after bringing the house down later in the evening.
The climax of the festival,Sunday had performances from Kenya’s own Fena Gitu,Urban Soul singer-songwriter and producer who started as a back-up singer for Muthoni the Drummer Queen before launching her own career in 2010. She has produced hits like Jabulani,Fenamenal and Brikicho.
Later part of the afternoon,Jazz trumpeter Christine Kamau entertained fans at Santuri Stage.Christine, who grew up and started music in Nakuru before enrolling at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music, has one album released in 2012 to her name, “This is for you” a fusion of jazz with African elements like benga and rhumba.
Sondeka Festival this year supported the charity My Mind, My Funk, an organisation that makes mental health information and support accessible to the public and is run by the mental health activist and blogger Sitawa Wafula.
The festival brings all forms of creativity into one space to collaborate and showcase skills and innovative ideas.Over 100 performing groups, and a similar number of innovators from East and Southern Africa have participated in the past two editions of the Sondeka Festivals.
Sondeka Festival indeed lived up to it’s expectations.