by: Candy Ading
aint a picture with me. The field is full of guys and girls with green and red in their hair and a rainbow on their shirts, running in defence or attack as Holi powder flies everywhere. DJ Andy is on the decks playing the best music as Wesley and Jesse from Strathmore dance club are showing us how to move. MC Kidenda is on the mic chocha-ing our dancing skills while word is spreading that Nameless, Mr. Lenny and Wangeci have arrived. Vendors are making sure we’re fueled with treats and clothed in the trendiest looks. Welcome to Elimisha Stratifest.
I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say I expected Stratifest to be good but y’all didn’t need to blow our minds like that!! We were not ready. First of all, lucky are those whose welcome to the event wasn’t a splash of colour. You need to tell the rest of us how you did it. I’m happy to report that my hair, jeans and shoes are saved, my shirt on the other hand… All’s fair in fun and holi wars I guess. I have to admit, there were a lot of moments I forget how uncanny my resemblance was to a clown because of the amount of talent and creativity that kept coming on stage.
A beautiful mash-up of Indian and hip-hop culture was depicted in a routine done by the dance team that ended with confetti and, of course, holi powder. Then came the smooth reggae sounds from 411 to mellow us down help us recharge for the rest of the day. We were blessed with the warm melodies of Tropic Roof and Rozzi @ Work kept that momentum going. Socratess left every lady feeling like Beyonce with her lessons in women empowerment and Kaskazini brought the house down with their hyper-active selves and powerful harmonies. Tunji did not disappoint making the crowd jump to his hit ‘Mats za Ronga’. Our very own Wangeci gave us a treat by performing her new song ‘Used to it’ for the very first time on any stage. She made it clear that she is still one of us with lyrics like, ‘They say no wearing Jeans but I’m used to it’. As if all that was not enough, the Elimisha stratizen team gave us the greatest gift of all; nostalgia. Jamming to hits like ‘Juju’ and ‘Under 18’ live was madness, pure madness. I felt like I was back in class 4 watching the beat because I hadn’t finished my homework fast enough to catch the cartoons. Who knew the legends, Nameless, Jimwat and Mr Lenny had that much energy in them. It was obvious they too were having fun because Nameless kept on asking to do one more song and we did not mind.
But even with all that hype, what touched me most is being in the presence of the beautiful community that is Strathmore. Not only did we come together to help raise fees for the people who would like to keep studying in this beautiful institution because, in the words of Jimwat, ‘fees ni tafash’ but we also showed support for every single person that went on that stage.
From singing Tropic Roof’s not-yet-released original ‘Kuja polepole’ word for word to pulling people to our friends’ vending stands. From lovingly calling Enoque Wambua Uncle Wavinya after his dedication song, to his niece to cheering contestants at the sac race and egg races. To top it all off, our president was among the participants in a raffle held by Qwetu Housing and won a full month’s stay at the hostels. He gave these winnings to a beneficiary of Elimisha Stratizen inspiring the Qwetu management to extend the price to a year’s stay. I’ve never been more proud to be part of any community. We should do this again sometime, what do you say?