April 6, 2011 – Revellers ditched their blankets and wine on the grass to ‘move to the beat’ at the foot of the Mamba Village stage on Sunday, courtesy of energetic performances by Thandiswa Mazwai and Makadem.
Musicians Lulu and Harry Kimani set the tone right with their soul stirring display of acoustics when the show kicked off at 1pm, as thousands – and I kid you not – strolled into the expansive lush grounds.
They strummed the hot sun into the background and got live music lovers literally thirsty, and not just for more music.
The sound was near perfect. I moved closer to the stage when Thandiswa started crooning the classic ‘Nizalwa Ngobani’, which before I was educated I thought was…not hers. It felt like a soundtrack as I walked down a spectator hill naturally designed like one of the faces of the Colosseum, to the front of the stage.
Minister Any’ang’ Nyong’o’s daughter Zawadi was right at the front, dancing next to award-winning movie director Wanuri Kahiu. Musicians Muthoni Ndong’a and Sautisol’s Chimano were also not too far from the front, while MTV VJ Emukule Ekirapa struggled to get the perfect shot of the South African diva.
Sporting a braided Mohawk, single dreadlock side burns and short nappy hair on the sides Thandiswa performed hits like ‘Ndilinde’ and ‘Ingoma’ before winding up with ‘Lahlumlenze’, which dragged on like a lingala song to give space for the ‘foot-stamp’ dance. (I think in Zulu it’s called Ukuxhentsa).
Makadem was up next, in a jungle green jumpsuit that mentally prepared the crowd to up the tempo.
This was the first of four Blankets and Wine events that will be sponsored by KCB Advantage Banking in 2011, and true to form their green attire and massive tent stood out.
Cushions, duvets and men and women in their Sunday best were strewn all over the Leisure Garden and it was easier and less tiring to walk around bare-foot.
For about 6 hours, the venue resembled a miniature Utopia.
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