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Lots of ‘matata’ at Hakuna Matata festival

Touted as East Africa’s best party event for crossing into 2016, Hakuna Matata Festival in Naivasha had promised a new year’s eve party unlike any experienced before.

It was going to be crazy and “happening” at every minute of the gig. With a deejay line up that had the names of almost every “spin master” on the Kenyan scene, and one of the finest musicians on the continent, the event looked more than enticing on paper (or print). And the crowd came out as best as they could.

However there were a few “hiccups”. Upon reaching the venue, those who had travelled distances of varying lengths, there was a notification from security that no drinks or snacks from outside would be allowed in to the venue.


This, as sudden as it was, was not the most shocking part of the announcement. It was that you either had to finish up what you had carried or throw it away.

You could not even leave it in your vehicle, because if you did that then the vehicle could not go into the secured parking area inside. It is fine that the organizers would have this policy, what is not okay is to spring up these surprise declaration on paying customers.

For those who couldn’t let go of their drinks, they went on to finish it before entry, which left them sloshed even before getting in. Others just threw it away, since there was no provision for the items to be kept safely away for retrieval later.

This has been a tendency (no food or drinks allowed) of late in Kenyan events as was experienced during the Pope’s visit and some public functions. Again they are not announced prior to the point of entry.

That tickets were already on offer for purchase online, terms and conditions should have been put up before purchase.

The area around the gate to Manera Farm looked more like the party venue, with scores of people and vehicles there.

The guys inside the bash were having fun. No doubt. And when Patoranking came on stage, the mood was carefree and merry making. So carefree, in fact that the stage became an exhibition of raunchy behavior.


And who better to lead the cause than Huddah Monroe aka The Boss Lady herself? She was part of Patoranking’s entourage I guess as a “cultural ambassador”.

She laid the foundation for the younger girls to follow, and they took it to the next level. Maybe because of what had been “no drinks allowed” policy outside, we’ll blame their blatant behavior on the alcohol, although the dress code would say otherwise.


It’s amazing how every deejay has nowadays become a hype man. People don’t go to listen to the rumblings of the one person thinking that just by speaking on the mic for up to ten minutes, we would have more fun than listening to our favorite track.

That one would even go ahead to silence the music while trying get us in to the party mood is flabbergasting!

Yes, I used a big word, because that is a really big confusion I am having with these kinds of deejays.

Just play the music, and if the people aren’t feeling it, you probably just need to switch to some other songs that people will better respond to.

Was it a good new year’s bash in the end? Yeah, it had many moments of wow and spazz (in the good and not so good way), but I wouldn’t say it was the best new year’s party in East Africa. But there’s yet hope for the team to put up a better one.