I had not planned to attend Koroga this time round. I like D’Banj’s (the main act) music but I can hardly call myself a fan. My friend (Thanks Leyla!) had a ticket available and I am never one to say no to free tickets to an event so of course I took her up on her offer.
Getting inside the venue was a much more straightforward affair in comparison to last time. The queue was short albeit with a very curious system of letting people in. You get your luggage scanned (remember no food or drinks from the outside) then wait at the entrance until the person ahead of you had walked into the venue. Also instead of being able to get your bag over the barrier, you walk to the entrance then walk back to the luggage scanner to pick up your luggage. Meanwhile nobody else is let in during the process.
As usual, we got there a bit late, the first act was already on stage. We couldn’t find a place to sit but we’d carried a mat so we sat in the fringes of the tent. The weather was kind this time, it was overcast but it did not rain so our spot worked well.
On stage was the Nairobi Horns, they claim to be Nairobi’s Funkiest Horn Section, I can give them that given that I don’t know of any others.
They performed covers of popular local and international songs and towards the tail end of their set they did a Tribute to Big Kev . Their performance was beautiful.
It costs Kshs 2 per minute to charge your phone and they have all sorts of different cables for any type of phone.
Next up was a troupe of dancers, I must have missed when they were announced coz I didn’t hear their name. They kept us entertained as we waited for one of the major acts Eric Wainaina.
Right before Eric Wainaina got on stage, Amina and Maqbull (the emcees) asked us to stand up for the national anthem. The last time I regularly sang the national anthem was back in high school. They got members of the audience volunteer to go on stage and sing all the 3 verses of the anthem in Swahili. An act that was rewarded with an airtime voucher.
I love Eric Wainaina and it has been a while since I saw him perform live so this was quite a treat for me. He sang crowd favourites like Sawa Sawa, Dek Dek. Riitwa Riaku accompanied by his amazing band.
Of course his set would not be complete until he sang the one song every Kenyan knows, Daima Mkenya.
In addition to the oldies, he performed a couple of songs off his new album. It will be out on the 1st of September. I quite enjoyed them, they were a bit different from his usual style but I’ll sure be looking out for his music when it is out. Eric Wainaina is a talented performer and just when I thought things couldn’t get any better he so brought Wyre into the stage to perform one of the songs from his new album.
Food was in plenty at Koroga and so were places to shop. You could get anything from a juicy burger to house slippers.
Don’t be stuck looking for the bathroom if you need to wash your hands to take a bite, there’s a handy hand washing station at the venue.
The Lifebuoy people were once again sponsors of Koroga, I got more soap and hand sanitizers to add to my collection.
Have a cup of coffee to keep you warm in this Kenyan ‘winter’
Turborg were the official sponsors for the event which means they were they only beer you could get at the venue. I am not much of a drinker let alone a beer drinker so this did not bother me much. If you are a beer drinker and love Facebook and Instagram then this might have been the perfect event for you. They had an offer where if you took a photo with a bottle of Tuborg and used their hashtag you get a free beer for every 15 likes.
You could get other drinks, in the Singleton bar.
There wasn’t as long an interlude between the 2nd last performance and the main act – D’Banj. The Nigerian singer-songwriter has won several music awards, including Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009, Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, and Evolution Award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards. With such an impressive resume, D’Banj was guaranteed to rock the festival.
D’Banj got on stage just before 6 and this time having learnt my lesson from the previous show I had secured myself a spot right next to the stage. D’Banj had quite an elaborate entrance with his hype man working up the crowd for a good five minutes before he finally made an appearance.
Things got quite heated so he ended up removing his jacket.
I for one thoroughly enjoyed his performance. I had planned to leave my prime spot right next to the stage after a couple of minutes but I ended up staying for his whole set. He seems to be a fan of well-endowed women and would periodically call a woman to join him on stage. He then asked the woman to help him wipe off his sweat then proceed to throw the sweaty towels to the crowd. I am sure someone probably kept the towels as a souvenir.
I love that he indulged the crowd and would take selfies with the people at the front.
I tried to stay a bit longer so as to avoid the horrible traffic out of the venue but I wasn’t successful. Also there was no entry into the venue past 6pm and if you were to have left by then then you wouldn’t be allowed back in. I think that is really dumb policy. If you’ve paid 2500 for a ticket then you have every right to re-enter the venue as many times as you want.