Arusha. Alikiba was forced to ‘Seduce’ the audience thrice, Aslay made a statement as a solo artiste and Ben Pol went on some kamikaze mission as he threw himself to an ecstatic audience. Warning, don’t try this again Ben!
This was the Tigo Fiesta at its best as it proved to be the toast of the weekend at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium.
The northern tourist circuit had been granted a rare opportunity to kick start the annual fanfare that hosts the cream of the industry, one that for the past three years has gone to Mwanza.
The usually quiet environs of the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium burst into life with plenty of activity as petty businessmen cashed in on their merchandise which featured some of the handmade crafts to the Maasai Shuka.
With billboards strategically places at almost every corner of A -Town, there was an air of longing from the residents as PA systems boomed announcements on the streets.
Revellers, mainly youth, had come from almost every corner of the rapidly tourist city to witness this entertainment spectacle that attracts tens of thousands annually.
And here they were, swapping the mundane trappings of their daily lives to rub shoulders with the super stars that on an ordinary day they would only see on Televisions and social media.
They had travelled from far and near to have a glimpse of their homemade stars especially the ‘Weusi’ who are identified as Arusha born with a brand of hip hop that has kept them rooted to their humble beginnings.
Apart from the home grown talent the lineup was rich with artistes such as Vanessa Mdee, Nandy, Ben Pol, Country Boy, Rich Mavoko, Shilole, and Saida Karoli putting up one of the best shows that Arusha has seen in recent times. To most Bongo Flava artistes it is a season to stand up and get counted and it is not a surprise that many of them release hit singles towards the season’s events. It was perhaps Dogo Aslay’s night to host his peers in what to some was a statement of intent that he has finally come of age and can hold out on his own as a solo artiste after taking a break from the Yamoto Band.
He struck a code with the audience straight away with songs such as ‘Mhudumu’, ‘Mama’ , ‘Likizo’ plus several others as the over 10,000 audience went into frenzy.
The years of transition under the tutelage of Mkubwa Fella have really turned him into a darling of many as they sang and dance along with him.
It was a return on the big stage for Linah who welcomed her first baby several months ago and it seems she is ready to let it fly.
She might not the same starlets that was introduced to this very stage a couple of years ago she showed that she still has what it takes to survive the rigors of the game.
Though her baby fat is still evident she showed that she was putting in some work as she didn’t hold back an inch.
The night however went to the usual suspects with Alikiba being on top of his craft as he took his fans down a road to familiar, one that made them brave the chill of Arusha.
And they made him do it their style as they requested for his current hit song three times, and even then they couldn’t get enough of him.
Vanessa Mdee after the recent break up with beau Jux was up to her penchant of skimpy dressing even when the weather dictated against it. The fans just didn’t care all they wanted was her music.
Feza Kessy, yes, that chic from Big Brother Africa. She, too, is on a root towards revival as she got on stage wrapped in a Maasai Shuka, as usual with her trademark tinted hair, this time it was blonde!
There was a plus for the organisers as security was at its best as the demons of the past were finally banished.
The mobile money ticketing system too was another as it didn’t require festival goers to stand in long queues as it has been in the past.
This could only be the beginning of the Tigo Fiesta with next stop being Musoma a town that missed out on the action last year, but there is every evidence that by the end of the nine weeks Tanzania will have got the best of Bong Flava.