Ali Kiba and Kidum leave fans asking for more: PHOTOS


The ninth Koroga Festival edition, saw an incredibly large turnout of revellers make their way to the Nairobi Arboretum grounds on Sunday.

This was in part due to the lineup of artistes who would perform at the jamboree that included Kidum and Ali Kiba. The two have contrasting experiences when it comes to live performing.

Whereas Kidum has probably known little but performing with a live band, Ali Kiba had confessed during his press conference, and the pre-event interviews, that he wasn’t so much used to using live instruments in his shows.

Indeed it would be his first live performance with a band in Nairobi. Another performer who sang at the concert was Atemi Oyungu.

Kidum has been absent from the mainstream entertainment scene, but he has still been performing in small pubs; which was the genesis of his musical journey. If one thought he has lost his touch or was rusty in his performing act, they could not be further from the truth.

He gave a totally gripping and enjoyable performance.

Kidum is remarkably agile, for a man his age and size (41, and being slightly on the heavier side). His band is still as extraordinary.


The crowd so loved his initial performance, that he was called back for an encore. When he came back on stage this was what he had to say,

“You know I love Kenya. That is why on Monday I’m taking a letter to the President to ask to be granted Kenyan citizenship.”

His classics still struck a chord with the cheering fans; most enjoyed among them being “Haturudi Nyuma”, “Nitafanya” and “Enjoy”.

Then the baton was passed to the Tanzanian who was the headliner. The anticipation for him to get on stage was almost palpable.

Although it took approximately two minutes after his name was mentioned, while the band jammed to provide a soundtrack for his entry to stage, the fans had already started sounding their disdain at their wait.

To put things into perspective, Ali Kiba has not done a live show in Nairobi in the longest time (even Google doesn’t seem to have this information and Coke Studio is technically a recorded performance).

When he did talk to the fans, while still backstage, it was like adrenaline and insanity had been pushed into overdrive in the fans, and all inhibitions they had preserved were forgotten when he finally got on stage.

His dancers were the perfect supplement to his performance, with the singer seeking to cement his music with dance moves.

He didn’t sound like he wasn’t used to a live band, and his chemistry with the band flawed almost seamlessly. He sounded for the most part, like the music on the records. Definitely the highlight of his performance was when he tore off his shirt after request from the female fans.

The guys then got treated to a dance-off by four female fans, trying to outdo each to the singer’s “Chekecha Cheketua” song. The crowd also sang along to “Mwana”, “Cinderella” and “Single Boy/Single Girl”, as they showed their adoration for the Bongo Flavour giant.

And when the performance was finally done, people were still buzzing about the experience.

Perhaps for the next Koroga, the organisers will seek to enlarge the performances dome. On this occasion it was too crowded, even though there were screens on the outside.

This writer had to help a lady who almost fainted inside the dome. Security was much tighter but still fun was had by all.