Tuesday, December 09, 2008
For the few of you who didn’t attend the Generation Jipange (which evolved into G-Pange all in one day) concert/launch last Saturday, you probably missed being part of the largest music concert gathering in the history of the Kenyan entertainment scene. According to my calculations, there were kitu 65 thousand peeps up in there.
I won’t use this platform to talk about the performances coz the entire launch was aired live on NTV (big up to 'em on that one), but I have to mention that JuaCali still rox more than any other artist in Kenya! So much so, that Mr. Vegas was actually his curtain raiser. Though I also have to big up the organizers of the event for managing such a mammoth crowd of youth.
Anywayz; so after a couple of sizzling hot performances, the Show Stopper, the dapper rapper from Jamaica, Mr. Vegas, checked in on stage at exactly 4:30pm. In true Jamaican dancehall performance style he upped the ante and teased us (the crowd) with an energetic intro. And then he completely lost the plot.
Five minutes into his show Mr. Vegas looked like a puppy that had been abandoned by its mum. He couldn’t connect with the crowd. He tried to play hit after hit, but simply couldn’t get the crowd on its feet. And when he did play a song the crowd got warmed up to, he cut it off! He literally ‘killed us with it then.’ Our heads were held low with disappointment by this rude Jamaican bwoy’s performance.
What cut? I think Mr. Vegas wasn’t briefed that Kenyan’s are not a dancehall crowd per se, but more inclined towards Reggae. He also didn’t understand that Kenyans like artists to perform songs as they sound, as one teenie put it, “on the CD.” He kinda discovered that when he challenged the crowd about their Reggae knowledge, by asking them to sing along to I Wayne's monster hit ‘Can’t Satisfy Her’ - to which they responded to the chorus in sonorous unison. Vegas was awed and at the same time confused by this response. It dawned on him that this was a diehard Reggae crowd, and he was a studio dancehall artist. He had to think fast. His solution? Sing reggae songs. And attempt to sing he did; even if it was not his own composition. In fact, he didn’t take any chances; he belted out Bob Marley tunes with more fervour than Ziggy. This blogger had the opportunity of meeting the dancehall great Sean Paul later on that evening and raised the issue of Mr. Vegas’ performance. According to Sean Paul, Mr. Vegas suffered from a severe ‘fever’ earlier this year and that could’ve affected him somewhat. Sean Paul declined to divulge details as exactly what he meant by fever.
At the end, it was left to JuaCali to save the day after Mr. Vegas left the stage still confused, not sure why he couldn’t connect with the Kenyan crowd.
What’s G-Pange All About?
G-Pange is a re-awakening of the Kenyan youth by tackling real issues that affect their lives. G-Pange is defined by 5 key pillars, or the 5 Geez:
1. G-fahamishe: Every day presents different opportunities. Be aware of what is happening around you, look for the opportunities, learn from your mistakes and live every day to the fullest.
2. G-Amini: Believe in yourself. You are the master of your own destiny. You have the power to change your life today. With faith in yourself, you can move mountains.
3. G-Inue: Focus on your strengths. Remember we are all different and there’s a perfect place in this world for every one of us to succeed. The best football team is not made of strikers alone.
4. G-Jue Hali Yako: Always knowing your HIV status, (and your partner too!) will help you plan for a better future. Whatever your status, you’ll be empowered to make smart choices to stay healthy.
5. G-Tafutie Skillz: Whichever career you choose in life, remember to continuously improve your skills. The time you put into developing your skills will always pay off in the long run.