While the other legends were covering the Maurice Kirya show, I was sent across the border to grace the Mafikizolo concert. The South African duo was set to put Kenyans on fire at ‘Blankets and Wine’, a monthly picnic-style music festival. Kenya is all kinds of cool…and it is dotted with all kinds of fancy English things. Names of places here: Eastlands, Norkfolk towers, Westlands, Eastleigh, Parklands, Karen. So it is safe to say people, I’m in the UK. Sir Sleek is in the UK.
Because of the people’s love for parre, the government decreed in 1953 that more clubs and bars be opened up to keep us, the hard-working wanainchi, fully oiled. So there’s this spot with 451 bars and clubs next to each other. They call it Westlands. Wastelands. For now though, let’s focus on the Mafikizolo show.
Think of Blankets and Wine as a classy Kigunda showcasing different musicians but instead of sweaty fans in vests and with unshaven armpits, you have families with picnic baskets seated, watching and making family conversation. Even other kinds of hoity revelers come but not in vests. In other things. You basically need to carry a blanket and wine.
We booked our tickets online and come picnic time, the skies suddenly got moody. It rained. And rained. But my peeps and I braved the rain, got soaked but made it to the venue, Mamba Village. We found people huddled under the few tents there but the stage was set-up and final tweaking was going on. Think open grounds, no buildings, rain pouring; not cool. Mafikizolo then got onto stage with enough energy to power our country. And somehow everyone present forgot about the rain and made a mad-dash towards the stage. You gotta love Kenyans. My peeps and I were among the first to get to the stage…so the entire show, if we so chose, we could have looked up and seen the South African sensation’s drawers. But we focused more on joining the rest of the revelers in letting out harmonized ecstatic screams…
And scream we did. Mafikizolo really brought it. This was their second concert after a 4-year break, the first went down in England. They had 3 dancers with all the good dance moves of ‘So you think you can dance’ and the pretty faces from Nivea adverts. Happy, energetic dancers with pretty faces; this is probably what those guys who blow themselves up are promised.
The singers were kind enough to tell us what each song meant, before busting moves and making our female companions desert us. Then, in sync, we all did the shuffle. Them on stage, us on the grass down there. You may want to write down the fact that that awesome jam of theirs ‘Udakwa Njalo’, the one we all sing along to at weddings, means ‘You drink too much’. When you Ugandans style up kama sisi wa Kenya, maybe Mafikizolo will also come there.