Jeffrey Kimathi is among the few handfuls of creative Kenyans who work hard to try and make local and African content cool.
His Jamhuri Wear line and neatly designed African print usually etched on his clothing are a testament to cool and might as well be his heart on a sleeve; a heart that truly loves Africa and is proud to do so.
Apart from his clothing line, Kimathi is also one of the proprietors of Dume and Kike, which recently flew in Kenyan-born and London-based DJ Edu for a night of celebration of African music.
The event was aptly dubbed T.I.A – This is Africa.
Why the focus on Africa, you might ask? Answer: the disdain for local content spans all nations within the continent and this ought to be reversed.
The need to celebrate quality content from all the nations in Africa together, has an important unifying factor that would make the resolve of an urban African renaissance even stronger; more of a force to reckon with.
This is Africa. It has unrivalled beauty and soul, that is also depicted in its music. And DJ Edu (Edward Ochieno) of BBC 1xtra turned the tables on the negatives that revolve around TIA at the event on Saturday.
He tied the knot on western influences in music with solid African rhythms. In other words Beyonce’s Run the World was playing on a Lingala base, and Rihanna’s music had a heavy African drum-beat fused into it.
The afro-flavour was scrumptious and this was the basis of TIA this past weekend. Kimathi hopes that eventually, the musical symphony that started in Kenya will grow into a kind of ‘mugithi’ across Africa.
Were you there? What was your experience? Are you proud to be African?