Niniola, Shekhinah and Kelissa Shine at Blankets & Wine in Kenya
Blankets & Wine came back for another edition at Uhuru Gardens and had an impressive lineup including Kelissa (Jamaica), Shekhinah (South Africa), Niniola (Nigeria), Maia & the Big Sky, Odinareh Bingwa, Barak Jacuzzi, Vallerie Muthoni, Berracah and Dave Ndegwa.
One of the things I appreciate about Blankets & Wine is the variety of activities that are at the venue including VR (virtual reality) experience, a solar powered car, silent disco among others. There were tonnes of food and drinks vendors as well at really affordable prices. Getting in was a painless experience which is a great feat considering that most events unfortunately, have issues at the gate.
The venue, Uhuru Gardens, is perfect as it is a great example of the use of a public space for art. There was plenty of room for the different activities and vendors. I especially enjoyed the play area that featured everything from a trampoline to bikes and a pool table. I got to ride one of the bikes, though it was a little tricky considering I haven’t ridden one in a few years. It was still a lot of fun and I appreciate the push to include fun bonding with your family and friends activities at the event.
The VR experience was curated by Black Rhino and it was amazing. There were two experiences: a F1 simulation and a look at the future of advertising. The F1 simulation was paid for and cost Ksh 300 while the 360° ad experience was free. The ad experience was the most interesting to me as I have experienced films and gaming in VR, but I hadn’t experienced what an ad in VR would like. The ad they showed was a Safaricom ad that showcased their different products and I have to say that it portends for exciting possibilities in advertising.
When Blankets & Wine started, you could carry your own food and alcohol, but that has since changed as there was no food or drinks from outside allowed. Thankfully, the food and drinks available at the venue were affordable and I was glad to drink my cider at Ksh 250 a can and there was a 6 pack offer on beers/ciders for Ksh 1300.
The great thing about Blankets & Wine is that it’s an event for discovering new artistes. I honestly did not know majority of the artistes but I’m always up for being introduced to new artistes and they did not disappoint. Some of my favourite performances were from Maia & the Big Sky, Barak Jaccuzzi, Vallerie Muthoni and Berracah. I also enjoyed Jamaican artiste, Kelissa’s set. She has a beautiful voice and set the stage for the main acts of the event.
I will be honest, I went to Blankets & Wine because I’m a huge fan of both Shekhinah and Niniola and I couldn’t wait for their sets. Shekhinah went on first and it was everything I could have hoped for. She sounds amazing live and the crowd was jamming with her and sang along word for word. My best moment was when she performed my favourite song from her, ”Suited”.
There was a one hour DJ interlude by that was really good. I didn’t know who she was till then but she gained a fan after that set. Niniola got on stage and honestly, she is a baddie. She was clad in a black and gold sequin romper that showed off her amazing curves. The woman had got the moves and put on an energetic set featuring amazing dance moves and all her hits including, ”Sicker” and ”Maradona”. I have to say that her set ended abruptly and it was obvious that we all wanted more. Still, it was a memorable performance.
Blankets & Wine continues to set the standard when it comes to festivals and I can easily compare it to international festivals like Afropunk. It’s more than just the music and elevates to curate experiences. The fashion is also elevated from most events with revelers going out of their way to be fashion forward. Honestly, there’s a lot of cool kids at this event. I’m looking forward to the next one and I hope the standards will be maintained.
Photography by Kiarii Kimanihttp://www.mwendengao.com/2017/12/12/niniola-shekhinah-and-kelissa-shine-at-blankets-wine-in-kenyaniniola-shekhinah-and-kelissa-shine-at-blankets-wine-in-kenya/LifestyleBarak Jacuzzi,Berracah and Dave Ndegwa,Blankets & Wine,Festival,Kelissa,Maia & the Big Sky,Niniola,Odinareh Bingwa,Shekhinah,Vallerie Muthoni,Virtual Reality