The 14th edition of Koroga Festival was quite funny, and not just because my friends kept asking me who the hell San Fan Thomas is, and why a 24-year-old millennial such as myself had any business knowing any of his songs. It was funny because everyone kept calling it the “sponsors edition”. Haha, trust Nairobians aki.
I however did not see them, the said sponsors, or if they were around they were probably hiding somewhere at the back because millennial come with too much energy, and they probably just want to sit down and drink Tusker brown bottle.
The reason this particular Koroga was so great was the balance it brought with it, young and old all came together to experience two completely different generations of music merge into what was the most exciting event I have ever been to.
Starting us off was the mellow voiced Gilad, with his ever charming mannerisms giving us Nyota Ya Bahari, Salama, before he was joined by the lovely Dela to bring us Nakuahidi, and even if it seemed like the crowd was unmoved at this point, just wait until Unajua came on, even those guys in the portable toilets started swarming in. We didn't mind it, the more the merrier.
Following shortly was DJ Styles, and wueh we were not ready for this, I mean this guy played everything! From roots reggae to riddims , old school hip hop to pop punk, this guy was it. It was a great opportunity to prepare us for what was coming ahead, 3 hours straight of non-stop cardio.
San Fan Thomas graced the stage in the smoothest way, coming in with nothing but his guitar, he has aged well. For 64 he is just as trim and energetic as when I saw him for the first time zombie dancing in Noa, and as soon as he cued his band for Neng Makassi, the crowd went berserk, even the weird Nigerians waiting for ladies by the washrooms so they could hit on them were in full sight.
And sing along Nairobi did, you danced to Ndombolo and when the style was finished you go back back to your original ways but it didn't matter because the music was in you and no one cared enough to judge. African Typique Collection followed, Sabina and Si Tcha shortly after followed by a few that probably 5 people knew about before the electric finale that was Noa
Fans stormed the stage to join the legend in song and dance, as the crowd mimed and clapped along to his famous line, “Are you ready now” to which everyone responded “yeeeees.”
And just like that he was gone, Oskido followed shortly after with his mix that some, and we are not saying who, thought he should have emailed. Understandable, San Fan Thomas was a tough act to follow, but we still enjoyed dancing to Tsa Mandebele.