Nairobi News


Pundit view: Include sports in ‘I am Nairobi festival’

By Kenn Okaka November 11th, 2022 2 min read

The I am Nairobi festival mooted by governor Johnson Sakaja is a welcome idea that we should all strive to ensure is a success.

The festival, the first of its kind, and the governor’s brainchild, will celebrate and appreciate Nairobi’s diverse food, culture, and art.

Being a journalist with a bias for sports and especially football, and as a football official, I urge governor Sakaja to make late night football one of the major events at the festival.

Football is the most popular sport in Kenya and is thus able to attract a large number of enthusiasts, fans, corporate partners, and star players.

Speaking at a meeting with officials from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sakaja said the inaugural edition of the festival would take place in December.

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It would, among other, offer an opportunity to celebrate the globally popularized matatu culture that public transport vehicles are known for.

In this regard, I wish to remind the governor that football is embedded in the very fabric that cuts the cloth for Nairobi and specifically in the Eastlands region,

The governor also says the festival will offer an opportunity for residents to celebrate the vibe of the city.

An open area such as the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) open ground or Uhuru park would be an ideal place to host a night football festival.

Other sports that can attract huge fan base include rugby and basketball.

This will be very successful if the governor includes more stakeholders including sports officials in the city to organize this festival.

Allowing traders to sell their wares all day and night on this special day will also play a major role in bringing numbers to the city on this night.

The governor has stressed that streets will be earmarked to display culture, food, creativity, including matatu awards.

It has long been a point of concern for Nairobi digital creators and photographers about the harassment meted out by council workers on them over the legality of videography and photography within the city and we are glad to note that the county government is working on that.

Other events likely to make the event a success include open-air DJ competitions where winners are awarded.

The organizing committee led by the governor and the able CEC Nominees Susan Silantoya and Brain Mulama should involve transport stakeholders including matatu and taxi owners and operators to provide 24 hours transport on the day.

The success of this event alone can put the governor on a good footing as he strives to transform one of the most popular and important cities in Africa.

The writer is a media consultant