Saturday, 17TH, FEB, 2018 was the date
A date that the little beautiful dusty town-voi- and her people will certainly remember.
This was the first time an art expo was held in the town, based in the Tsavo Region, Taita Taveta County-Kenya. An event deemed so ‘unlike’ this town as most would say, and of course as many would least expect as well.
Under the umbrella of My tribe is art and courtesy of the Mango development, a committee of art enthusiasts and development- oriented people had been working days on end to actualize this goal of having a platform for the artistes to showcase various talents, connect, learn and share, and while at it involving the community art large, foster unity and the banner of art
With a section of the team working late into the night under the leadership of the founding director Rachael Mwakazi, to polish on the preparations and have final touches , across the the entire team, one aim remained unshaken, to make the day a success.
And yes it was.
Ar’t the wake of dawn and Roughly an hour after the first rays had pierced through the expansive beautiful hills of Taita Taveta, hills that became a natural backdrop , guest started streaming in, an inclusion of both visual artist , performing artists as well as the general audience at large.
Ar’t the entrance the large paintings positioned along the front fences said hello and welcomed the guest that had started streaming in by 8.O’Clock
Ar’t the heart of Tabasamu restaurant lay the stage that suffered at the feet of various performer swhile the extactic audience enjoyed and cheered to their performances scheduled for both the morning an afternoon sessions.
With about 6 hours into the day, Voi’s blazing sun definitly couldnt miss the show. And defianlty, it showed it’s presence,baking red, the brown earth as if to arrogantly remind the artistes that it was the most beautiful yet hottest piece of art on display for the day
Around the centre stage, amazingingly beautiful pieces of art rested on the Easels comfortably as though they her found home at last. The seemed alive. Distinguishing some from real people would have been a challenge. interestingly in some corners, distingusihing real faces from caricaturers was challange too.
Well, there was beauty and diversity from edge to edge and it seems nothing else would blend this together other than art.
The branded umbrellas became a place refuge, saving most from the sun.
For both sessions there was an array of exhibitions in different categories, from dance, music, art, spoken word, acrobats, tae kwondo among others. These categories had attracted and featured over 50 acts dristibuted across howwver with a good chunk being be the visual artistes.
Ultimo dancers, TNT dancers and Sting classic had energized performances on the dance category. The Lions Of Tsavo (LOT )music group brought did not disappoint on the rap scene either. Roy Mwakazi in a polished Free style exuded confidence and mastery of swahili language . Mwazindika group from Taita, reminded us of our roots with every bit of the cultural drums, the dancing women and their bear feat hitting the heated grounds reminded us of the resilience of the African woman. And well a mention of Culture without the word Masai doesn’t seem comply, and in this edition as they reached for the sky in their globally renowned high jump dance moves, we couldn’t help but think of the heights that art could potentially take us as a people.
The MCees, Mandel, Marox and ben alongside DJ Papi, in their turns and amid breaks, cordinated the act professionally ann while maintaining to their best, the tempo all through
The Day event culminated a aroung five, usherring in the night even that had it’s fair share of hiccups and most importantly lots of lessons to learn from especially to the organizing committee.
Prominently featuring however were the young artistes especially college students unlike the day’s event that have a vibrant mix of various demographics, the gala night commenced slightly behind schedule at the destined venue- the palatable vacani resort.
Visual artsites continued with the dispalys at the garden that also held the runway, cum stage for the night event. Every stroke of panit on canvas seemed perfect, the charcoal pen and pencil on paper stayed disciplined to the artisted. The details were incredible, shots by the photographers revealed perfect intentions.
More, local artistes gracing the stage to belt ought vocals, recite,dance to salsa , rap and get comic before the fashion show which was the highlight of the night courtesy of Kinini creations steered by Abigail a young and upcoming fashion designer.
The event at large culminated slightly before the stroke of mid-night.
Virtually every piece of art and act evoked some sense of emotion in some kind of way best explicable to those who attended and actually saw, touched or heard.
As a first of it’s kind, and with an enthusiastic team, there is no doubt that a whole lot of good awaits in the near future as the message remains clearer that your tribe and my tribe should always be art.
This is How it went down. PHOTO CREDIT-KILLIAN MWALASHA
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