Quite a long way to go with vibe of the city

This year's Nairobi festival was good-ish, but last year's took the cake

In Summary

• I saw some people online bashing the event, talking about how ‘kienyeji’ it was

• There was teen trouble and missing kids, but the performances and food were lit

Members of the public converge at Uhuru Park to watch the World Cup 2022 final match between France and Argentina during the Nairobi festival on December 18, 2022.
Members of the public converge at Uhuru Park to watch the World Cup 2022 final match between France and Argentina during the Nairobi festival on December 18, 2022.
Image: FILE

This year’s Nairobi festival was good, but last year was definitely better than this second edition.

Perhaps, you might be feeling different as you might have experienced it in a better way than I did.

I do not mean to say that the team at the county did not put in their best. They definitely did.

I also do not mean to say that I did not enjoy the event.

The performances were actually my highlight for the festival, followed closely by the food.

The entertainment on Saturday was actually the real deal, and some of the food vendors made really nice food, but some prices were crazy. 

The vending street was also not that bad.

I managed to peep the kiddy zone and it was actually a vibe. A lot of young people — not kids, people who are old enough to be in jobs —came out to let their inner child happy.

Overall, the event was average, according to me.

I saw some people bashing the event online, talking about how ‘kienyeji’ it was, but it really wasn’t that bad, except from the teenagers, who kind of caused a bit of trouble on the last day.

This is inside the event and also in town, but security inside the festival was not all that bad.

During the week, the event was okay, but on the last day, since entry was free, it was a little chaotic at the entrance and also inside the park.

Until you attended the event, I do not think it is justified to judge the festival on the outside.

I even actually believe that it was up to oneself to make the experience worthwhile.

A number of things, however, really disturbed me a lot, and hence why I compared it to the first edition.

Of course I mentioned the craziness at the entrance, which I think can be managed way better with more entry checkpoints.

I also think this year, the food vendors were more as compared to last year, or perhaps the number was the same, but this year precisely there was a lot of disorganisation.

I pulled up with a couple of friends who felt the same, but we made it work for ourselves.

Something else that was also hard to ignore was the number of children who kept getting lost, especially on Sunday evening at the closing ceremony.

The performance literally turned into an announcement platform for lost children and at this point it was past 7pm.

Which made me wonder why were kids still out past 5pm at a festival?

Where I grew up, we would be in the house before the sun set, but again one would argue this is a new generation and times have changed.

Well, that is a discussion for another day.

Some children were even left at the mercy of their elder siblings, but the level of irresponsibility was really alarming.

I even remember a young lady, probably in her teens, came on stage to look for her sibling, but as soon as they music came on, she started dancing and like quickly forgot who she was looking for.

The MC was even amazed and called on the DJ to cut the music.

I just do not know how teens think nowadays, but we can talk about this later.

Lest I forget, some sentiments that were made by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that actually took me by surprise, but I will not go deep into it. 

Overall, the experience was great. It was like those reunions and festivals you see in black movies, but Kenyan, of course.

The first edition definitely set the pace, and I think the team at the county should consider going over and above for subsequent editions. 

Let’s meet next year, probably the same time, but definitely the same place.

As they say, the Nairobi festival is definitely the vibe of the city.

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