It’s the last week of the month and you don’t know what to do. Your allowance has just streamed into your bank account waiting to be spent. Or for some of us, into our sponsor’s – sorry I mean parent’s account.
Everyone knows August 2017 has been a tense and heartbreaking month in Kenya due to the controversial general elections; the tension even spread to other nations. That’s why we all need a break to let loose. Even if we only have a little loose money.
So the question begs. How will you spend your hard-earned cash this end-month? You’ve probably been to your local club one too many times, even the waiters know you by name and favorite drink.
Deep down, you long for a new experience. Something different and unique from the normal party scene. Basically, a cooler way to spend your money.
Well, thank God for events. The vibrant city of Nairobi is forever brimming with events that make life way more interesting than the normal weekend turn up at Westy. I know my fellow event junkies can testify.
Can I get an AMEN?
No idea of which exciting ones are happening this weekend? Or did I hear you say your allowance hasn’t cashed in yet? Worry not, God still has a plan for you.
Believe it or not, but all these 2017 events are about to enter their second or third editions. Which means they were so epic the first time they just had to be brought back.
Check out these 5 upcoming events in Nairobi that will make your week unforgettable. And probably make you forget what a club is.
1. Sat 26 Aug: Worship in The Wild, Arboretum
Did you know you are the salt of the earth? The lamp that cannot be put under a bowl?
*Inserts deep Biblical Scripture*
Nope, this is not about Salt Bae.
I’m still new to this Christianity thing, but there’s something here. If you’ve ever listened to the Word, it speaks to your inner spirit in such a powerful, almost mystical way that can’t be explained. You need to experience it first-hand to understand.
And no, I’m not trynna convert anyone.
Have you heard about Jesus though?
Enough of party, let’s go worship in the wild. Soak in and dance to live performances by Kenyan gospel artists like Noel Nderitu and electronic DJs like Mike Muema (yup, gospel has that too). They even flew in praise and worship singer Pompi from Zambia – I hear he’s a pretty big deal.
But why else should you spend your Saturday afternoon at this Nairobi live concert? Well, you’ll learn how to be the salt and light the world desperately needs. Or just find out what this God’s love thing is really about.
Si tukutane Arboretum basi. I hear Jesus loves crowds. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
2. Sun 27 Aug : Jazz Attitude, Alchemist
After worshipping in the wild, we’ll be sleeping in on Saturday night. Because Jazz Attitude is back!
The brainchild by Kenyan jazz artist Eddie Grey has truly found its home at the Alchemist bar. After hearing great reviews about the first edition in June, I knew I had to see it for myself last month.
The turnout on that warm Sunday afternoon was insane. Nairobi music lovers and their kids were almost spilling out of The Yard in Westlands. It looked like an intimate version of Blankets and Wine, with revelers sitting on haystacks sipping on local beer.
Funnily, Jazz Attitude isn’t just about jazz music.
On July 23rd, I got to dance wildly to underground Kenyan music. And experience glorious live performances by Ciano Maimba, Sage, Juma Tutu and Swahili Jazz band, Shamsi Music and Maad Orchestra. They were mad you guy!
After two very successful (and entertaining) runs, this Sunday’s special edition 2.5 will be the first one featuring an international act. From what I heard, Guinean artist Sekou Kouyate is a multi-award winning musician and one of the finest kora players in the world.
I mean, it’s not every day that you’re crowned the Jimi Hendrix of Kora.
Introducing Sekou (and his electric kora)
Shamsi Music will be back with their Afrojazz because you can never have enough of Mbithi and the Mboys (inside joke). There will also be plenty of sunny vibes from the soulful band Yellow Light Machine. And hopefully, our favorite African Troubadour Mr. Tetu Shani will perform his just released single Network Failure.
Early birds already got their tickets, don’t miss a regular one on MyMookh.
3. Wed 30 Aug : The Motherboard, Circle Art Gallery
Who says you have to wait for the weekend to enjoy fine Kenyan art?
Some of the most inexpensive events I think, are art exhibitions. They don’t require you to buy anything like in a normal store or Masai Market. You simply walk in and feast your eyes on the delicious art adorning the white walls.
Apart from the regular ones at Alliance Francaise, I haven’t been to many in Nairobi. It’s a shame really. That’s why when I heard of this one, I knew it was a call to finally meet the contemporary Kenyan artist.
You may know Michael Soi as the guy who makes those eccentric colorful bags that Nairobi and even Tokyo love. His signature paintings include intricately patterned lines you’ve probably never seen anywhere else. He has also a thing for painting women, and on women.
Oh, and he’s pretty uncensored too. His naked art isn’t afraid of baring society as it is.
“The Motherboard” will be opening on Wednesday night at Circle Art Gallery along James Gichuru Road, Lavington. Other than seeing a new place in Nairobi, you’ll also get to see the eccentric man himself and find out why he loves painting African women so much. And don’t be surprised to spot a woman carrying another woman’s face, or luscious bum by her side.
If you miss the opening night, you can catch the free art exhibition until 16 September 2017.
4. Fri 1 Sep : Twice Upon Yesterday, Treehouse
Here’s another Nairobi event that was so good it had to come back. Twice Upon Yesterday was introduced in June by hot Kenyan boy band Third Hand Music (okay, I may have a crush on one of them). Now the second edition will also be hosted by Jamhuri Festival at the famous Tree House in Westlands.
On Friday night, you’ll get watch the newest Nu Nairobi stars in the Kenyan music scene burn up the wooden stage. I’m talking about Steph Kapela, Swigga & The Movement, Le Band, Phil The Music (the guy of Shape of You Kikuyu remix) among others. And of course, Third Hand Music.
Psst, have you seen this?
I don’t know about you, but it’s always exciting to discover new upcoming artists for yourself before others catch on. Especially when it’s live.
You still have enough time to go tell your friends about it. I suggest buying advance or squad tickets online. Because like Lil Dicky said, you gotta save dat money.
This is the ultimate Friday night plan if you’re not coming for this next event.
5. Fri 1 – Sun 3 Sep : Nyege Nyege Festival, Jinja
Nyege Nyege – The feeling of a sudden uncontrollable urge to move, shake or dance.
Imagine this. Three full days of non-stop live music. Camping on the shores of River Nile’s source with galaxies of stars as your blanket. That is just a taste of Nyege Nyege.
You may call this the African Coachella. Because unlike the rest, this once in a year event brings together party people from all corners of East Africa and the world. Yes, you’ll get to meet music and event junkies like you from Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and of course (insert accent) Uganda.
Wanna know more? The three-day music festival will feature, hear this, 200 local and international artists and bands. Representing the 254 during this third edition will be Tiao, DJ Lasta, Suraj, Eddie Grey aka Maad Jikoni, Nu Fvnk, Jinku and Ukweli from EA WAVE among others. The list is too long people.
Am I the only one who feels like crying? Someone must be chopping onions nearby.
But the sauce doesn’t start in Jinja. You can hop on the Nyege Nyege party bus on Thursday 31st August for 10 hours of mad road-trip fun. It’s kinda like traveling to Mombasa with your best friends for a whole day – before SGR happened.
Unlike your favorite music festival (that you attend on YouTube), enter party beast mode from Friday all the way to Sunday. Then come back with a massive hangover on Monday after the most epic weekend of your life. I bet most of us will be feeling be like high school kids going back to boarding school after the August holidays.
Not an event in Nairobi you say? The party bus pickup will be at Alchemist Bar at 6 pm. Boom!
There’s even a warm-up party this Saturday at the local.
I honestly can’t think of a more unforgettable way to spend your savings or loose cash this year. You now have the perfect excuse to cross borders and visit the land of matoke. And the Great Rolex – the food, not the watch.
So book that return bus ticket with your full squad for a definite road trip. Oh, and don’t forget to get your season ticket and camping tent for 2. Advance tickets are available until Wednesday 30th September.
Let’s go nyege nyege!
Whoo! That was one long list. Feel like you’re spoilt for choice? I know what you mean. That’s how I feel every other week.
Chances to enjoy unique Nairobi events like these don’t come very often. Especially not when they perfectly coincide with your pay check. Or monthly allowance.
So experience something different from the mundane club turn up this end-month. The waiters need a break too. There’s a lot of underground Nu Afrikan music to discover, and a free opportunity to fall in love with
God exquisite Kenyan art.
Now, which Nairobi event are you carrying all your friends along to?