Celebrating Music And Art The African Nouveau Way

Perhaps the first thing that catches your eyes when you enter the well designed venue is the dozens of photographers busy capturing portraits or other shots that they will later post on their visually stimulating Instagram accounts and blogs. Or maybe you are an African music lover and you were strictly there for the music, ready to dance the day and night away. Then you were probably right at the front of the stage watching the DJs, artist or band surrounded by other music enthusiasts; groaning anytime there was a technical hitch that interrupted the flow.

The African Nouveau Festival took place at the Ngong Racecourse Waterfront and as promised it brought together crowds of people from Africa and the diaspora on a mission to celebrate and curate all things music, “culi’n’art”, fashion and film.

Food and drinks were also a huge part of the experience. Walking in you would immediately pick up the lovely smell of delicious food wafting through the air. Present to choose from were some of your trusted food joints such as Java, the Concord Hotel and Brew Bistro or newer kids on the block like Chef’s Word among others. This year the festival teamed up with Tusker Lite and other EABL brands such as Ciroc and Don Julio Tequila were also available. You even had the pleasure of having a drink prepared by the Don Julio global brand ambassador Deano Moncrieffe. It was hard to miss the partakers who chose to chill out at the pop up bars sipping on cold cocktails or beers.

Watch some of the highlights from Friday night as captured by lifestyle photographer and film director, KenyanStory


As you continue walking and looking around, taking in all the creative magnificence. You absentmindedly count the number of gorgeous turban-wrapped heads and the well coordinated festival outfits (of course the ladies have gone all out but you’ll occasionally spot a dapper gentleman who knows what’s up!). There is still more to do, which is all fine because you had three whole days to take it all in.

I enjoyed going around the matrix set-up with a friend, although both of us were not patient enough; we were slightly underwhelmed when we got to the end. Back outside the maze, a number of local designers were selling clothes and accessories ranging from hats, kimonos, sunglasses, fanny packs and jewelry. There was truly a wide range to choose from for some retail therapy splurging.

Another interesting addition to this year’s edition of the festival was the live photo shoots which was a collaboration with the British Council through its East Africa Arts Program where designers and photographers worked with models to create a lookbook right at the festival. We can’t wait to see the final product. 

Attending an all weekend festival is no small feat but the organizers and performers made it all worth it.


Images: @Opuch_hill (IG)

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