Until the day you travel abroad, you may never quite appreciate that you are a Kenyan, and that being Kenyan is a special.
This is why.
When you travel to Europe, America, or even just west of Kenya to central African states, the big question you may have to contend with is: Where do you come from? To which, you will quickly answer: “I am from Kenya.”
Let’s assume you are visiting the USA, and want to tell them more about your land. You will quickly be interrupted with.. “Oh, Kenya, that’s the country with the best runners in the world!” To which you will glow with pride, and proudly answer “Yes!” even if your best sprint is to catch the remote control!
What of those of us who have visited neighboring Uganda, or Rwanda or Tanzania? There is one experience in Tanzania that I will never forget. We went window shopping in the border town of LungaLunga and in the Kenyan way, we bargained so hard that the seller only remarked “You Kenyans are too stubborn! Either buy or go away!” We only laughed, but the lady was too upset.
Now …we want you to start celebrating yourself. You are Kenyan for a reason. And this is one of the reasons I want you to hit Yetu Festival like there is no tomorrow. To tell yourself that you are the greatest.The best. There is only one Kenya. And one Kenyanness, which is Yetu for life.
Kenya has some of the most unique musicians for miles. There were days back in the 1990s when if you did not listen to a Them Mushrooms, then you are nothing. Their songs were household hits. We had to learn them word for word to fit in with the big peers. This group will be all yours at the Yetu Festival on Saturday. I would personally want them to sing the Wazee Tukatike song that got every limb dancing.
This is one festival that will get both the old and new musicians standing shoulder to shoulder. Sample the likes of Amos and Josh, very fresh in the industry, and still so appealing across many ages and genres. These two, they are a fine cut. The day I heard them sing a dirge as if it is the best love song in the world? Wacha tu. When they grab those microphones, men, you can be assured of a soulfest. There is something uniquely mature, yet still ruddy about them.
Then my crush from back in the day. Eric Wainaina. Any day. I would sit and listen to the Five Alive songs over and over until the cassette tape almost talked at me! Yaani it was that serious.
I knew the whole crowd by their two names, never mind that now I have forgotten. I had their black and white picture, carefully cut out from a weekend newspaper, and firmly pasted on my bedroom wall. That’s how powerful their voices resonated to my life!
Then I was so disappointed when he grew dreadlocks. I mean, this well read, well groomed gentleman with rasta? But his voice..*sigh*..it would calm all those inner doubts.
You are not Kenyan enough if you don’t know his song, our unofficial anthem, Mkenya Daima. Please Eric, promise you will sing this one on Saturday?
What of Nameless, the man who finally came to be called Mathenge? Talent, brains, name it. His songs from the days of Hot Stepper to where he is now? Wow, talk about progress. There is a way Nameless commands presence on stage.
Have you met the Love Child? I am talking about Wyre. Our very own Reggae super star.
Who said our talent is less than the global best? What you will need to do is to go see for yourself.
These are only a tip of the Yetu Festival iceberg. You need to reminisce the days of The Bold And Beautiful, Santa barbara and Good Times the television shows. What of wearing sagging jeans, rocking the dungarees, and those Chicago Bulls Teeshirts? You need time out to laugh these good ol’ days! And the Yetu Festival is where real stars, great food, fun, drinks and dancing and loads of interesting Kenyans meeting up.
Get your tickets today – go on to www.yetufestival.co.ke