To her peers, Faith Magati, an upcoming Eldoret-based female deejay is a big deal. They call her DJ Zu and every time she takes on a set, she seems to have some magic, an aura to hypnotise her fans. She is a star.
And so when the Twaweza Live local talent auditions were called at the Boma Inn hotel – Eldoret, DJ Zu stood to be counted. She didn’t disappoint. Perplexed by her work, celebrated singer Naiboi, Mordechai Mwinyi of H_Art the Band and music producer Eric Musyoka stood there in disbelieve as DJ Zu, oozing talent, took the challenge impressively with her head high.
DJ Zu was just one of the hundreds who showed up for the auditions that even saw a 75-year-old woman, Rhoda Chekosgei, give it a shot. Not even Janet Kipruto, a Kalenjin gospel artiste from Elgeyo Marakwet, who is visually-impaired, was to be left out.
This was the first of the Twaweza Live concert was held as all roads led to the Eldoret Sports Club for a grand climax on Saturday evening, that after a week-long of activities.
Kenyan artistes that lined up performances include, Sweet Star, Josephat Koech, Mercy Masika, Vivian, Naiboi, Nyashinski, and Redsan.
Twaweza Live is a seven-month campaign that will see Safaricom engage with communities across Kenya through free medical camps, campus takeovers, great device offers, talent search activities, youth mentorship programmes and music concerts.
“Twaweza live is not only about music but it is a campaign that will see us traverse all the regions of this country and establish legacy projects in each region that will change and positively impact the lives of the communities there,” said Sylvia Mulinge, director, Consumer Business, Safaricom.
On Saturday night, energy levels at the Ngong Racecourse were through the roof as the first TGR festival took place. The stunning DJ Dii warmed up the decks ahead of DJ Protégé who kept revellers on their toes, literally.
Although the event started six hours late, the show picked up in momentum in anticipation of the main act, South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest. It is still unclear whether delays were due to the main act Cassper Nyovest's lateness or disorganisation on the part of the organisers.
The four-hour show hosted by Chipukeezy and Shaffie Weru featured Steph Kapela, Fena Gitu, Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo and the main act, Cassper Nyovest.
The show ashamedly kicked off after midnight and artistes had to perform shorter sets all through, and hurriedly. The first star to hit the stage was Steph Kapela. Arguably the most vocally versatile artiste in Nairobi whose vocal prowess is unmatched, he gave a 40 minutes stunning performance doing his major hits. He was joined on stage by Barak Jacuzzi.
Shortly afterwards, Fena Gitu took to stage and 'killed' the show by her mastery of switching genres in her music. She had the crowd singing along to all her lyrics and to top it all up she released her newest single, Miss Me with That.
Msupa S also had a stint on stage as Chipukeezy invited her on stage and performed their collabo with Khaligraph jones. One of the most anticipated performances were between Khaligraph Jones and Octoppizzo. The two big hip-hop heads in Kenya going head to head on the same stage, it was surely something that everybody was interested in seeing.
At exactly 1.15am, Khaligraph appeared on staged flanked by his big brother Span KOB, both in full combat regalia. He delivered a world-class performance featuring some of his greatest tracks including Omollo, Toa Tint. He even brought on Sauti Sol for their collaboration Rewind.
Celebrating 10 years as a rapper, Octopizzo performed on the TGR stage in an all-white ensemble and neck pieces that glittered in the bright lights.
The Level Up star kicked off his performance with remarks on the headlining act’s lateness and taking jabs at Khaligraph all through his performance.
The high mood and the hype that Khaligraph had created sort of died down a little as his performance seemed to lack it's usual thrill.
Speaking to the crowd, Octopizzo insisted that South African mega-star Cassper Nyovest should apologise to fans for his late arrival. However, when the South African took to the stage, he cared little about giving Octopizzo any focus.