August 25, 2010 – On a ragged stretch of sidewalk in St. Mary’s High school opposite to Majengo Slum in Nyeri town, Sprite Urban Expression went down in style and glamour. Hip Hop gun blaze down, free style, graffiti and spoken word were used by the Nyeri youth to express themselves and showcase their talent.
On that torpid chilly Saturday afternoon, Jua Cali ‘King of Genge’ lights up Nyeri loyals and puts up a good performance to spice up Sprite Urban Expression. However, the new kid in the block Joseph Waithaka was the show stopper. Self-described WAFITI wowed Jua Cali with his stage performance and lyrical ability. Jua Cali said,”I am stunned by Joseph’s performance. He is Calif Records material. I am glad to see that Nyeri young men have taken the footsteps of Meja”, he added.
When the freestyle finalists took the stage the crowds erupted with loud howls and start chanting the name of their favorite freestyler. The battle was between Nyeri’s finest Joseph Waithaka and Chege. After three to four rounds of freestyling, AKA Wafiti challenged his fierce opponent to spit a verse in a cappella and he refused to freestyle with an instrumental beat.
As the crowd continued judging the two, the name Wafiti remained louder and later he was announced a winner after Chege conceded defeat. Some of the qualities that made Wafiti to standout were his lyrical chops, charismatic approach and hyper-informed flow.
After being announced the winner of Nyeri Sprite Urban expression freestyler, the Nyeri lyricist said he was happy to be the champion. “I am not going to let down my town in the finals. I am encouraging the youth in Nyeri and other towns to showcase their talent without any fear since it can be a ladder to success in their lives.”
Joseph is a form three student in PCEA RIAMUKURWE Secondary school and mostly does Hip hop Gospel and Genge.
In the Graffiti category Patrick Rukwaro emerged victories. He labeled his artwork ‘Sprite Slam Scoring Nyeri ‘. He further explained that, he used Nyeri the town as a Basketball rim and through this rim, people can see all the activities that were being showcased at the 2010 Sprite slam.
The regional winners will meet in Nairobi for the National finals both in Freestyle and Graffitti competitions. Top freestyle will win a recoding contract for a single at the Calif records.
Sprite Slam connects with teens and young adults through three key pillars:
Urban Expressions: an artistic sub-culture that promotes self expression and creativity through various platforms such as three-on-three basketball or Slamdunk , Spoken word, street dancing, dee-jaying, graffiti , emcee’ing and fashion.
National Basketball Tournament: which will involve (and target) inter-city / high school/ university teams, tournaments, a National basketball tournament, clinics with the local basketball association and elements of Urban expressions (3-on-3 basketball, graffiti and dee-jaying).
NBA International Basketball Camp: in which an NBA star will travel to the participating country, hold local basketball clinics and talent scout from the national basketball tournament. The top player identified will travel to the United States of America for short NBA Basketball Camp to develop their skills.
Coca-Cola works with key stakeholders e.g. local Basketball Federations, the NBA and the Government (Ministry of Sports / Education) to upscale Sprite Slam’s impact and activations countrywide.
Sprite Slam is driven by three self-belief messages:
• I Can Be: This is the first step in self belief. It gives teens and young adults an opportunity to look within themselves and realize they can be more (and achieve their dreams) through Sprite Slam.
• I Will Be: is a futuristic and hopeful expressions of participants who have began to apply themselves as they express their individuality and skill as they seek to be at the top of Sprite Slam.
• I Am: Is the affirmation that participants have as they move on to become the “King of Urban Expression and Basketball in their hood”. Gives teens and young adults the platform to be rewarded for showcasing skill, individuality and self belief.