It is not everyday that an international artist graces an event on the Kenyan soil, but thanks to corporate sponsors, Safaricom, Coca-Cola, Extreme Media and the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Nairobi got a taste of the ridiculously successful and ultra-talented high energy afro fusion artist, Oliver Mtukudzi.
Oliver, or “Tuku” as he is popularly known by his fans, was in Kenya on Friday September 25 and 26th for a charity event to raise funds for the Gender Violence and Recovery Center at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital.
The fund raising concert took place at the Nairobi Arboretum on Friday, where the Sarakasi Dancers performed alongside him.
On Saturday, Tuku performed at the Club Afrique, Westlands to a full to capacity crowd of Kenyans. The show started promptly at 8:30pm with curtain raisers Muthoni and then followed by Makedem who both tickled the crowd with their soulful African inspired performances.
Tuku took to the stage dressed in an all white linen outfit looking the perfect part. Tuku, who is Zimbwabean born, started performing back in the 1970s, and has since then perfected the art and style of entertaining global audiences. Backed by a great competent band, Tuku’s performance, both song and dance was commanding and well choreographed.
Tuku opened the show with a magical rhythm and carefree strumming of his guitar that left the audiences in awe and amazement. Tuku’s style is that of ensuring the audience is well entertained, as he also enjoys his moment.
After a stunning performance of three tracks, Tuku upped the tempo by churning out the popular tracks, Tsika Dzedu, Rirongere and Mabas in quick succession to each other. The climax was when he performaed the hit track Todii as the tempo went from gear 1 to 8! There was something about this song that everybody seemed to love and even more surprising was the fact that this is the song that separated the Kenyans from Zimbabweans in the crowd; The Kenyans in the crowd could only sing when it was time to sing the chorus while the Zimbabweans, who were strategically standing right next to the stage, could sing along to the whole song even all the other songs.
It was pretty amazing how the band members could crisscross from playing the drums, shakers, the marimba to doing some very interesting dance moves. The dancing looked was lingala with a twist of Zulu dance incorporated in it.
Considering that most of the songs lasted at least ten minute each, the dancing became even more vigorous with each successive song. Before anyone noticed Tuku had performed for over two hours and there was no sign of him cooling down. Totally awesome!!
Unfortunately, all good things do come to an end! The concert came to an abrupt end as Tuku and the band made a quick exit catching everyone off their guard. Without any vote of thanks speech, just a bow, they left. Elvis has left the building!
No sooner had he made his way off stage than the crowd chanted them back onto stage. Angela Anguwenyi was now on stage trying to calm down the still energized crowd, but to no avail. The chanting then changed to haki yetu, haki yetu – typical Kenyan style!
“Crunk up the volume” Angela called on to the Dj. It was really over and the crowd had to except and warm up to the Gauo song the Dj was playing.
Until the next time Tuku graces us with his presence, I highly suggest –get a hold of any one of his albums and experience him for yourself.
If you missed it, you missed out.