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Discover Kenya's Creative Arts Hub At Biannual Event, Sanaa Culture
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Discover Kenya's Creative Arts Hub At Biannual Event, Sanaa Culture

Picture of Njeri Waweru
Updated: 11 December 2016
Sanaa Culture is a biannual event organized by a group of young creative individuals with a view of promoting culture through arts, music and culture. The last edition was the biggest one yet, with over 100 people in attendance.
Artists showcasing their work | Photography by Dave Ndegwa
Artists showcasing their work | Photography by Dave Ndegwa

The event was an audio visual experience where art was created and enhanced by the performance of a variety of musicians. The event began promptly at noon. The ceiling of the entrance was lined with colorful umbrellas, which against the backdrop of the beautiful lighting led to an explosion of vibrancy. At the end of the aisle, every attendee received a name tag on which they wrote their name and use paint to imprint their thumb. The purpose of the name tag was to encourage interaction among attendees.

From there the area opened up which gave way to an array of art pieces. Every painting featured the mastery and skill of every artist by showcasing his or her best work. The paintings were the focal point of the room such that every attendee was able to view every painting on display.

The Face Painting Corner | Photograph by Dave Ndegwa
The Face Painting Corner | Photograph by Dave Ndegwa

The periphery of the room was lined with designated activities. There was a sketch corner where attendees could sketch each other, often with hilarious results. Drawing cannot be done by everyone but it was a great icebreaker and encouraged attendees to mingle. There was a face painting corner where the team’s resident graphic designer painted the guests’ faces as a way of reliving their childhood; later in the event attendees began to paint each other leading to a beautifully painted crowd.

The event also gives a platform for other creative entrepreneurs to showcase their wares. Bu’s Beads offers handmade jewellery, in the form of bracelets, rings, headbands and necklaces, made from the Maasai* beads that Kenya has become famous for. Lescali offers uniquely designed backpacks.

Photography by Dave Ndegwa                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Royalty by Black vocalist serenading the crowd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Photography by Dave Ndegwa
Photography by Dave Ndegwa

Different musicians took the stage at around 1 pm. Among them were talented instrumentalists as young as twelve years old, bands, rappers and a spoken word artist.

The musicians who took the day was the band named Royalty by Black. Their mission is to use music to empower the young African generation by instilling in them an appreciation of their ancestral past with a focus on developing a future that will be celebrated for years to come. They interacted well with the crowd and even got the crowd to sing along to their music, a feat that is usually difficult to achieve for up-and-coming musicians.

#SelfieNation | Photography by Dave Ndegwa
#SelfieNation | Photography by Dave Ndegwa

Another musician who stood out was Shikkiey, who sings and does spoken word. On this occasion she performed as a spoken word artist. Her voice was strong, her words were clear and sure and her performance was incredible. She was able to capture the crowd’s attention as soon as she got hold of the microphone.

As musicians performed, artists filled with blank canvas with incredible creations that added further dimension to the room. In particular, two artists came together and began painting without expressing their ideas to one another and the result was nothing short of spectacular. Once the performances were over, there was a DJ who took over to maintain the vibrant atmosphere that had been established.

One of the many beautiful paintings at Sanaa Culture | Photography by Dave Ndegwa
One of the many beautiful paintings at Sanaa Culture | Photography by Dave Ndegwa

Snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) were on sale, ensuring that the crowd’s energy was always up. In addition to the event, the Sanaa Culture team debuted their fashion line which so far consists of statement graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts. The line is fresh, fun and urban and one that is here to stay. The line was well-received and many of the samples were sold that afternoon.

By 7 pm, the crowd started to thin out, with attendees leaving with huge grins plastered on their faces. The event is a wonderful way of promoting musicians and artists and can be used to teach the young generation to appreciate the value of the arts.

The next edition will be held on Saturday, October, 17, 2015 at the Village Market, Nairobi and will be free. Be sure to attend it for an unparalleled enjoyable experience.

*Maasai is one of the many tribes that reside in Kenya.

*Sanaa means ‘art’ in Kiswahili.

Beautiful People at Sanaa Culture | Photography by Dave Ndegwa
Beautiful People at Sanaa Culture | Photography by Dave Ndegwa