KOROGA based on a Swahili word that literally translated as ‘stir’ is a Kenyan term for having a cook-out, getting together and sharing a good laugh over a meal and drinks while outdoors.

I get to attend the Koroga Festival held at the Nairobi Arboretum on the 15th of this month.

Koroga Festival_walkwayOn the way to event


Koroga Festival_Tents

Despite its name, Koroga Festival is a music and not food event. There is food though. One thing I learnt from the last event is DO NOT carry any food or drinks (the organizers have conveniently forgotten to mention this in the posters or ads…smh).

If you want to get a seat then you best arrive early. We are late but manage to grab some seats. Carry a picnic mat just in case.

Koroga Festival_HostsThe MCees, Maqbul and Wanjira

Aaron Rimbui a Kenyan pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and producer is first on stage. As he performs I decide to get some food and head to the Kikopey stand. They are selling nyama choma (barbequed meat) a Kenyan delicacy and best part is they let you sample the meat before you buy.

Koroga Festival_Nyama choma


I also pick a burger from the Farmers Choice stall

Koroga Festival_Burger


I get back to watch the last of Aaron’s performance and there is a short interlude before The Villagers Band gets on stage.

Koroga Festival_The Villagers Band1


Koroga Festival_The Villagers Band2


Koroga Festival_The Villagers Band3The Villagers Band their performance is electrifying as usual.


Koroga Festival is a family friendly event; there is a play area for kids. Do keep an eye on them though.

Koroga Festival_Bouncy castle


Koroga Festival_Crowd


There are a couple of stalls selling clothes so if you’re up for a bit of shopping then they have you sorted

Koroga Festival_stalls


Next on stage is Eric Wainaina a Kenyan singer-songwriter.

Koroga Festival_Eric Wainaina1


Koroga Festival_Eric Wainaina2


Koroga Festival_Eric Wainaina3


Koroga Festival_Eric Wainaina4


The last and headlining act is Baaba Maal a Senegalese singer and guitarist. A superstar in his native Senegal, Baaba Maal was not even born to be a performer — in West African culture, tradition dictates that the ancient griot caste must produce the singers and storytellers, and Maal was born in the city of Podor in 1953 into the fisherman’s caste. Despite his parents’ insistence that he become a lawyer, he grew up surrounded by music, absorbing both the traditional sounds of the region as well as American R&B and soul, later discovering jazz and blues. Sample one of his tracks here.

Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal


Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal1


Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal4


Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal5


His band is amazing and super energetic

Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal7     

Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal8


Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal9


Koroga Festival_Baaba Maal3To the right the Kora player, the middle the Djembe drum player. The Djembe drum originally from the Malinke peoples of West Africa, can produce a wide variety of sounds, making it a most versatile drum. The drum is very loud, allowing it to be heard clearly as a solo instrument over a large percussion ensemble. Check out my Instagram to see the amazing skills of the Djembe drummer.

His performance gets most of the crowd standing and would probably want to sing along but cannot since the music is in wolof language.

Hundreds attend the second edition of the Koroga Festival which is dedicated to fathers as the world marks Father’s Day. The guests get to enjoy the music of some of the most well-known performers such as special guest Baaba Maal a multi-award winning artiste from Senegal.

Overall the event is awesome; and thanks to my portable Samsung Galaxy K Zoom Camera phone I am able to effortlessly capture every moment.

Have you been to any music festival recently?


This week I’ll be linking up with;

1. Frank About Croatia in #SundayTraveler

2. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays

3. Budget Travelers Sandbox’s Travel Photo Thursdays

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Koobi Fora Museum & Elephant Fossil site


  1. June 22, 2014 at 9:09 pm — Reply

    This sounds like so much fun, Rachel! That is awesome that you can sample the food before buying it. That burger literally has my mouth watering right now, dear! 🙂

  2. June 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm — Reply

    Oh, Rachael, I was really getting in the mood to read about food festival, when in a second paragraph, you explained that Koroga Festival is not a food festival despite its name :). But then, it turned to be even better event – music with food! I cannot believe that you captured those photos “only” with your phone camera. Awesome!

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm — Reply

      The phone has been super handy..makes a nice change from having to lug around a huge camera

  3. June 23, 2014 at 5:03 am — Reply

    Good food, music and plenty of people – what a lovely event! Everyone seems to be having a blast! 😀

  4. June 23, 2014 at 10:36 am — Reply

    The Koroga Festival looks like so much fun! And that barbecue looks yummy!

  5. June 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    That grill laden with meat is incredible. Is this Koroga a regular event, or does it only take place in June? It really looked like a perfect day, with great food and artists from different parts of Africa.

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm — Reply

      The last edition was on the 13th of April. I am hoping it will become a regular event.

  6. Keniamoja
    June 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm — Reply

    Koroga? never heard of it. The festival looks great, a live concert by Baaba Maal, the drumming – wow!
    Great pictures too, you captured the essence of the event.

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm — Reply

      It just started this year and they have not been advertising much.

  7. June 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm — Reply

    Rachel, That looks like so much fun, and that bbq’d meat looks delicious!

  8. June 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm — Reply

    I love Baaba Maal – you’re so lucky that you got to see him perform live! The vibe at this festival looks so kicked back and relaxed – my kind of scene!

  9. June 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm — Reply

    Wow, what a fun festival, I enjoyed seeing all the highlights and that bbq looks really goooood

  10. June 24, 2014 at 11:37 am — Reply

    This looks like an amazing concert. I love the big colorful photos and the BBQ food looks yummy.

  11. June 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    Looks like a fun day!

  12. June 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm — Reply

    Oh lawd! That BBQ has got me having all kinds of thoughts of a nice T-bone steak. Lovely pictures. This looks like a fun day out!

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm — Reply

      Wishing I could travel back in time and have some more.

  13. June 25, 2014 at 12:05 am — Reply

    Looks like it was a great event! That burger looks delicious too.

  14. June 27, 2014 at 3:33 am — Reply

    There is an eerie glow from the tent tops – you did well with the photographs – I really can feel the mood.

  15. July 13, 2014 at 4:24 pm — Reply

    Interesting that you have a word for hanging out so even though your post mentions festival, I still thought this was going to be a post about a backyard bbq, you and a group of your friends hanging out. Then I read about the tents, food and music. And then I read Baaba Maal was there. So this isn’t some backyard hangout or small festival. He’s one of my favorite Senegalese musicians. My absolute other fave is Youssou N’Dour. I bet the crowd was screaming when he came on stage. Cool fun here, Rachel! Thanks for the music.

    • July 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm — Reply

      I love Youssou N’Dour too! The crowd was definitely hyped when Baaba Maal got on stage.

  16. September 28, 2015 at 7:34 am — Reply

    […] recently (when I was writing this post it was a weekend ago) got to attend the recent Koroga Festival, having missed out on the previous edition featuring Oliver Mtukudzi I really did not want to miss […]

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