As we get ready to hit the road this week to Jinja Uganda for Nyege Nyege Festival 2017, we rekindle some of the fond memories from last year!
Friday 2nd September,
Fellow writer, Bazuli Bemhlaba put it so perfectly: “I was blown away. The festival occurs at an abandoned hotel which is a huge maze like thing that gets you lost but not really. I mean it. The hotel is completely covered in plant life of all kinds that it possible for you to lose your sense of direction and finding it again, till it becomes home. Bonus, it’s located right at the source of the Nile! \0/ I was sold at this point already. The stage set up, camp sites, food stands all seemingly had positions so perfect on location. It was amazing to just see. When the people began to flow in, NyegeNyege reached perfection in its vibration. People from ALL OVER AFRICA and the world arrived. Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Congo, South Africa, France, Britain, Canada. It was a global scenario.”
The food tents, trucks, art tents and other product tents encircle the crowd as you make your way down the main stage. And although I appear to be the only person not chain-smoking spliffs / cigarettes, the mood is beginning to pacify me, too: Nairobi city feels very far away; I have stopped checking my phone.
I’m here for something I have read about but not yet seen. After missing last year’s first edition of the festival, I am more than excited to see what this year has in store.
Schlachtofbronx from Germany played in Nairobi last year, and it’s the German duo I am now waiting to see, amid a transfixing quantity of festival goers before me. Sadly, I get word they will play tomorrow night. It is no unkept secret the crowd from Nu Nairobi can’t wait for this guys to rock Uganda.
More than 10 acts rock today amidst breaks of Rolex, Club, Bell, Nile and Waragi beer and liquor breaks.
DJ Monroe from Kenya is lighting up the second stage even as Uganda’s DJ Crisio takes us south with the humming beats of the House Music. But the night definitely belonged to this Korean DJ who made sure the night became day with heavy dancing—the whole crowd was drawn to its feet in a visible wave, like fallen dominoes getting up again.
Photos credited to: © Sam Mulwa