Nairobi News


Bongo star Alikiba to headline the inaugural Safari Centre Rally Festival

Tanzanian singer-songwriter Alikiba is set to headline the upcoming Safari Centre Rally Festival, the culmination of this year’s World Rally Championship in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The three-day fun-filled event, scheduled from June 22 to 25 will see the artist also kick off his anticipated tour.

Sponsored by Safari Centre, the travel convenience mall along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and in partnership with Eagle One Consultancies LTD will also see dozens of local artistes from various genres perform.

Apart from Alikiba, who will perform on Friday 23 June, organisers of the event assured fans of the ultimate Mugithi experience on June 24, while Sol Generation artistes will entertain fans on Sunday, June 25.

The mall, which is also celebrating its first anniversary, has become a popular stop for motorists along the highway and will be a resting place for thousands of rally enthusiasts who will be gracing the international event

Safari Centre Property Manager Derrick Ngokonyo says the centre will use its vast 15 acres to provide fun and games for children and sleeping tents to give participants a home-away-from-home experience.

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He said that Safari Centre, Naivasha is home to several household brands including among others Naivas Supermarket, Dr Mattress, Pharmaplus, Shell, Curio Shops, Artcaffe, Simbisa Brands and provides families with a healthy shopping experience.

“There will be tents for those who want to rest on site. Visitors can also take a break and relax in our premium Loo4U toilets with sparkling clean toilets and hot showers for all genders and ages. Electric vehicle charging points are also available for all-electric vehicle owners,” said Ngokonyo.

Michael Njenga, CEO of Eagle One Consultancies LTD, added that the festival is expected to add flair to the World Rally Championship, away from the traditional speed thrills, and bring harmony between age groups.

“The rally is no longer just for old people. Young people have embraced sport and music, which is a universal language, and will not only bridge the gap but also add flavour to the global event,” said Njenga.

The festival is expected to attract close to 15,000 people and provides between 150 and 200 local people with casual jobs. Tickets are currently on sale with early bird VIP tickets starting at Sh2,500 while regular tickets start at Sh1,000 daily from Friday. Thursday is free!

The Safari Rally was first held in 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and retained this name until 1974 when it became the Kenya Safari Rally. It then evolved into today’s WRC.

The Safari Rally is currently the most popular event on the WRC calendar, alongside the 1,000 Lakes of Finland and Monte Carlo.

This year’s rally promises to be a straight fight between Finland’s Kalle Rovanpera and Ogier, the 2021 winner and current WRC leader.

Both winners of the previous two editions will be driving Toyota GRs. Kenya won the bid to host the championship for five years until 2026.

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