April 22, 2010 – His name is Mpanda Ngazi and though he was not completely himself when he got to the stage of the Sprite Slam over the weekend, he was clearly the illest free-styler that anyone at the UoN sports grounds had ever seen! Before then, of course…
You don’t know him. The 22-year-old went head to head with all the other contestants, numbering about 12, and came out shining – combining wit, with disses, and rhyming all the above together to leave everyone covering their mouths to either gasp or not laugh too loudly.
Clad in a pale yellow sweater with light blue jeans and a chipped rabbit tooth, Mpanda Ngazi was the darling of the crowd.
He outdid Point Black, Mwafrika and Abbas Kubaff – making them each a little pink – and secured a promise from Abbas that they would record a track together.
“That is exactly what we wanted to do,” said Maureen Sika, Brand Manager – Kenya for Coca-Cola East and Central Africa. She was speaking of a campaign the company has to give the up and coming nearly revolutionary youth a chance to express themselves.
Apart from free-styling, the campaign involves graffiti competitions, 3 on 3 basketball and dance-offs.
“There is a generation of alternative talent lying latent in community youth. Sprite offers an opportunity for these individuals to positively express…without boundaries,” Sika added.
The MCs DNG and Point Blank were outstanding and matched by Eve D-Souza and Styles at the dance-offs. Basically everyone there was bringing it down.
Redsan performed quite a number of his hit songs, while Abbas, and Jua Cali were not to be left behind.
The day-long event was attended by hundreds of young people, and apart from a strange mini-stampede for Sprite, all else was hunky dory.
We do need some new slam dunkers though, only one and a half of them were of repute at the inaugural Sprite event. There are several other regional events coming up in Nyeri, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kisii, Mombasa and Nairobi once again; so any interested parties will have a chance to take part.
Mpanda Ngazi won a phone by the way.