The theme of the event was Art and Dignity. The forum’s main aim was to influence the youth that are talented in arts and art professionals to promote dignity in society through art and to portray in their art the fundamental aspect of our human existence, in addition to educating African youth with the understanding of the human person so that they can have the capacity and ability to express the dignity of a human person in art.
The event was graced by artists and speakers from different areas of art.
|Kevin Hiuhu is also known to many as Kevin Grands is a Nairobi-born and based rapper, producer and engineer working under the indie label ID37 Music. During the event he shared his life story, struggles, and success story with the audience as a way of encouraging the youth to never give up on their dreams. [https://about.me/kevingrands ]|
|Monaja Kamenchu is known to many as Monaja Monj. He is a performing artist. During AAF 2016, he spoke to the youth about never giving up on their dreams and about the beauty in the struggle. In addition to his art, Monaja has also dabbled in event management; hosting the event “Nairobi’s Finest” from October 2010 to September 2011. The event was his brainchild and he co-owned it with the manager of the same venue.Monaja presently has a mixtape and it’s available on demand. One can get a digital copy by sending 327 KES (via M-Pesa) and his/her e-mail address to 0723745703 or call the same and get it delivered (around Nairobi) for 400 KES.|
|Maddo is the artist name of Paul Kelemba ( http://sasahivi.com/sasahivi-media-services/publishing-department/its-a-madd-madd-world.html), one of Kenya’s most outstanding cartoon artists. He graced the stage alongside his daughter Evelyn Kelemba and her friend Linda Kemoli. Mr. Kelemba is most known in Kenya for his weekly contributions to the Standard Newspaper. The weekly ‘It’s a Madd, Madd World’ is his flagship and appears in its Saturday edition. On stage they spoke about the importance of art and how anyone can be their own artist–they don’t have to be like others because everyone is different. They also spoke about how art can be used to educate people.|
Kelvin Kimathi, also known as Dj Velko, is a young, talented, and upcoming Dj who is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also known as ‘the one hand Dj’ as he was born with Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that affects the movement and co-ordination and in his case it affected the left side of his body, more noticeably his left hand and leg but that has not stopped him from pursuing his dream of being a DJ.
Dj Velko shared his story during the AAF2016 and how he has never been bothered by his condition and when people resorted to hurtful comments about his condition, as they thought these comments would get under his skin. Instead of letting these comments dent his self-esteem, used them as motivation. Before exiting the stage he left us with one quote “Never make excuses, find your weakness and make it your goldmine” [http://www.artisttrove.com/artist/389557261119632/Dj+Velko]
Mr. Lenny, born Lenson Njuki, is the son of Dr Leonard who sang the famous Nyayo Philosophy song. He hopped from one group to the other from 1999-2002 until he released his first single, Cash Money, which became a big hit with Ogopa Deejays. He also hooked up with Indiginas and he featured in his song M.O.U which was also a big hit. Another big hit he featured on was Juju by Nameless.
He was one of the main entertainers during the AAF2016 and amazed the audience by performing his hit singles such as Juju, Leo, and M.O.U. Other than performing, he also shared with the audience his story and how success does not come easy.
He is currently a children’s event organizer, and a farmer.[https://www.facebook.com/notes/onefm-971/spotlight-on-mr-lenny/204584246234748/]
There were a number of singers who performed during AAF2016 some were
Hodari Band is a boys club that responds to the concern of parents for worthwhile and enriching activities for their children during their free time (after school, on weekends and during the term holidays)[http://www.hodariclub.or.ke/ ]
Solitude, a boys group which was represented by Felix Mogendi, opened the event by singing the Kenyan National Anthem and later sang a hit Sauti Sol song.
There were performances by our own Bonnie Bell Kemunto and Edward Gwambo, who are World Youth Alliance members and dignity defenders, and also the August Band who sang songs in their mother tongue with the theme ‘Art and Dignity’
The Academy of Dance and Art first opened its doors in September 2009 and is now in its sixth year of operations. They now have 250 pupils who come to the Studio for Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap classes. In addition to this they teach at various schools around Nairobi. The aim is for the students to have fun whilst learning the discipline dance gives but that we can also lay the foundations for students to take this to a professional level.
The dancers from Dance School together with Cybernatics dancers performed during the event and were able to portray their skills and pass a message of Art and Dignity to the youth through their performance.
There was food by Fatsos’ Café and Restaurant. The event was very successful as artists who participated during the photo contest together with other artists and photographers were able to show case their work.
Tessy Aura uses her poetry as a means of questioning the many beliefs she has, the beliefs that we as a people uphold–a habit she has had ever since she learned how to say “why?” Her poetry is a mini-revolution interrogating the relevance and the truth of these norms we as a society hold, albeit positive or negative.
Janet Mumo is a young lady with a positive attitude towards life and strong standing on women rights her inspiration is being a woman with a great vision. Her poetry is geared towards promoting the dignity of the human person as the basis for human rights.
We appreciate all the artists, performances and displays, showcased at the Africa Arts Forum 2016.