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Simama concert 15th October 2006 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gig Spy   
Saturday, 16 December 2006

Monday 16 October 2006 must have been a very busy day for President Kibaki. A day earlier, hundreds of us had converged at NPC (Nairobi Pentecostal Church) Karen for a concert dubbed Simama to stand up against poverty and had each sent him a postcard.

The postcard contained instructions in point form regarding poverty eradication and what exactly he should do about it. We demanded in one point – that he stop using our hard earned money to pay off foreign debt. A few points later, we added that he demand that donors (the one’s whose debts he wasn’t going to pay) make good on their promises and fund poverty eradication in this country (I don’t envy the man).
Let’s talk about the concert though. The sound played a big role in making it an earth moving experience literary. Walking down the center isle I felt my clothes vibrating from the sheer blast from the speakers. They had been stacked one on top of the other forming some tower of sorts and they weren’t in short supply either.
The performers were the usual suspects though there seemed to be a blend of diverse styles; from Jemimah Thiong’o and VUC; to Rufftone, Fatmode and the like. I felt that the sound really let most of them down especially those who attempted live performances (a great many just hyped the crowd while songs from their cds played in the background). Though loud, it wasn’t clear for some reason. I’m no sound expert but a number of people were talking about an echo in the hall, as being the cause of the problem. You couldn’t quite get what the person on the mike was saying and a few in the crowd drifted. As a result quite a few side shows were put on by people trying to amuse themselves. One reggae group appeared to me to have been given the onerous task of coming up with the theme song. Besides the sound really letting them down, the lyrics suggested they’d done it at a moments notice. Phrases like “why we afi suffer” and “why we afi cry” were all over the place and it seemed like some obvious words you’d put together if such a song was demanded of you, pronto.
I’m not as young as I used to be and I kept asking the name of the artist on stage. I won’t forget referring to a dude called “A Star” as Esther. Incidentally I sat next to a friend called Esther and she was thoroughly amused by my knowledge of gospel artists (she found it more amusing than the concert). Dance troupes had an easy time since the sound suited them rather well. DITTO and Incense especially had exceptionally good performances. I was outside the hall for long moments so there are quite a few performances that I missed and won’t be able to comment about.
There was a preaching session but most of us couldn’t make out what was being said. This caused lots of movement in and out of the hall. I can’t remember if it was before or after the preaching but we all stood up (literary) against poverty. We made certain declarations and I remember we chanted something like “no more poverty in the name of Jesus”! As we chanted, I remembered the words of Jesus to Judas and I quote “you’ll always have the poor among you”. I think it was after a couple of chants or so, needless to say I stopped chanting. I guess this was prompted by my skepticism of the UN and Church doing a collabo. I felt that one was going to dictate terms since each has its own distinct mandate and approach on issues. I’ll give my ideological arguments a rest and take you back to the concert.
There were numerous performances after all the talking and chanting was done. I think the Voices United Choir (VUC) was the last group to perform and they really “niced up the place”. I always contend that if you’re going to have VUC perform, don’t combine them with a myriad other performers. I tend to like it when they take the central role in events. This may be partly influenced by my age and musical preference.
When all was said and done, I’d done my part in this long and protracted war against poverty. I understand the idea was to get a record number of people stand up against poverty. There weren’t that many of us but I understand there were numerous other people around the world doing the same thing. I hope that it did some good. I actually hope our postcards got past the gates of state house (after being sniffed for all manner of security risks). If the declarations we made are followed to the letter, poverty will be history by the year 2015. Poverty eradication begins at home and I am on the forefront, fighting poverty in my own life. Will you join me? Send donations to.......

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 September 2008 )
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