Time: 6.00pm. Yours truly is hovering around the Alliance gardens listening to the mugithi inside, wishing and hoping I will get a good seat. “unaenda madam” asks a taxi driver now that am just pacing up and down at the taxi bay. The reason why am so restless at 6pm in the evening is one, its six and the play was to start and six yet am still outside; two, my fellow play watcher is nowhere near the gardens and three Nairobi has rained an hour before the event and since the play is on open ground missing a seat on the shaded shed will make for one wet valentine (literary). Tell me these are not enough reasons to get one worried and I will show you enemies of my happiness.
Time: 6:15pm. Decision: have a comfortable wait. The guards check my bags at the door and in I go. We all seem to be reading from the same script because all the back seats are taken which also happens to be the shaded area. I take the first seat in the unshaded area and do a quick prayer for God to hold the rain for at least six hours otherwise I knew of people who would have danced in the rain.
Time: 6:50pm. The event starts after many minutes of mic check. The mics still decide the checks are not enough and we spend 10 more minutes doing more mic checks. No complain though from this end we shall blame it all on the rain. The host Njomo Nyathira did the intro greetings and after a few minutes of silence for the fallen Kabete Mp George Muchai (RIP) the show is ready for take-off.
First on stage is Professor honorable mheshimiwa Dr. Hannington Mugweru. I am looking for the old owner of the old voice on radio but neither does anyone one old enter the stage nor does he use a walking stick as I imagined he would. He is as tall as the first Sudanese you’ll meet with today and the godpapa (what’s the English name for this?) He had on made him look like a light Salva Kiir Mayardit- the South Sudan president. The man is as funny as he is tall and made for a very good opening act. He leaves the stage all lit up a feat all the others work hard to maintain.
Mr. and Mrs. Wagithomo picked up from the Dr. and they do not disappoint either. The two gel quite well on stage and with their lyrical jokes they manage to keep the lit fire burning and an already good night even better. And can Mrs. Wagithomo dance or dance? I’ll leave that there.
You must have heard Daddy Owen’s campaign on the differently abled (if you have not now you know) and that is who Kikuyu legendary musician Wanganangu is. You cannot talk about old kikuyu music without mentioning him and his great songs. The man is blind but can still play the accordion and belt a number very well. His voice may be shaky from the old age but for someone who has been around for the while he has been it was an honor to witness this legend’s performance.
The last time I watched Thingira , Zedee-she of the Churchill show- was present and she talked about scratching (in kikuyu it sounds better and funnier). This time round the lady was talking about Bochori (whats the English name for this too?). The sexual innuendos from her performance were exhilarating. It’s no wonder the lady behind me repeated “ Ngai, this lady is mad” more than five times in her performance and that I can attest she meant as a compliment.
Kamande wa Kioi as promised was next on stage and from his performance one thing was in no doubt. The guy LOVES the president His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta. If you were there feel free to expound on his performance (ha!) He made us dance too a welcome gesture after 4 hrs. of sitting.
Baba yao (waititu) was around and he got to welcome the next act. This was not before people’s demand for a speech from him (how else do we confirm we are Kenyans). He introduced Mwana Mwende of Coro fm and she followed Zedee’s path. Ladies, Ladies, what can’t we use to refer to sex? Well at least they were funny while at it.
The show stopper and the evening’s best act was Muthee Kiengei -he of Kameme Fm-. The name Muthee (kikuyu for old) should not fool you about his age neither about his jokes. He was a perfect example of saving the last for the best and the screams as his punchlines dropped could attest to this (thank you for making sure I will be holding to no bars as I use the matatus). I wished we could extend his time on stage for a while longer but since my organizational role was only attendance, all I could do was wish and we all know about horses and wishes.
Time 11.15 pm: the show comes to an end and a few drizzles help chase the people who wait until the last minute.
Overall: the show was a thumbs up save for the few technical hitches which we all agreed to blame on the rain. To the management don’t promise us an act and fail to deliver and give no explanation. The crowd around me was asking for JJ whose only appearance was on the poster.