The Koroga Festival’s 12th edition took place on the 8th of May, at the Arboretum Gardens, where it is usually located. The rainy season caused a slightly muddy situation at the event, resulting to fewer attendance this time around. However, it was still fairly packed. A perfect gift for mothers day, considering children had their own kiddies corner, while parents could comfortably sip some wine while enjoying the festive like environment , and sip wine several people did.
I had previously read about the event’s strict prohibition concerning carrying food and drinks, but nothing could prepare me for the security checks to ensure the same. There were about three different stops I had to make before finally entering-maybe the Westgate Mall could take a tip or two from the organizers of the event. However, it left me wondering, what could be the harm of carrying one drink?
Then an hour later while listening to Maurice Kirya’s fascinating song stories that left my friend and I intriguiged and entertained all throughout his performance, it hit me. Almost everyone was indulging in alcohol. Whether it was wine or beer, there was something most people were sipping on. There were tents for those who wanted to relax on high rise seats and partake in a drink. Most of those appreciating the performances were enjoying bottles of wine. And who could blame them; the Wine Shop was selling wine bottles at an affordable Kshs 1000. You couldn’t look around without noticing several bottles of Carlsberg. And if you craved some Shisha, there were bongs ready to be smoked. Empty bottles of wine and beer were splayed over each table. The alcohol providers probably went home thousands of shillings richer, particularly since nothing was allowed from the outside. It was like one big outdoor barbecue.
Of course, no barbecue would be complete without a meaty aspect, which was provided adequately by Flame Flavours, among other vendors leaving attendees spoiled for choice. Despite the overall appreciation of the alcoholic beverages, there wasn’t a wide spectrum to choose from, leaving an almost green like feel to the event’s atmosphere that resulted from the wet grass coupled with the numerous bottles of Carlsberg.
For those who preferred a more non-alcoholic alternative, there were soft drinks, water, and my personal favorite, coffee, the perfect beverage for warming up in the cool, cloudy weather that almost threatened a rainy downpour over the event. A drink I was eager to go purchase, if I was sure my seat wouldn’t be taken in the process. The mud and grey skies limited the seating arrangements to the available tents, dening many the chance to spread out their Maasai shukas on the ground like they normally do as they enjoy the Koroga festival, leaving any accessible seats on high demand.
The alcohol consumption did die down a little as people stood up and gathered closer to the stage to appreciate the headlining performer Manu Dibango as he played his tunes. The atmosphere was mostly cool, with several wearing more covered, less revealing wear. Seating arrangements throughout the main tent were rather creative from pillows, tires, too wooden like stands. Hay was spread throughout the floor to reduce interaction with the mud, and coupled with the tent hovering above, it made for some nice ambience to sit, relax, and have some tipsy fun with friends and family.