The second annual event, held on August 16th 2008 during the International Youth Day as one amazing and phenomenal show a community that was healing after the effects of the Post Election Violence experienced. Our working partnership with Nokia Research Africa, which had just set up and begun operations in Nairobi and was working with The Slumcode Group to reach the Huruma Community richly enhanced the day’s activities and preparation.
Slumfest Two taught major lessons in communication, presentations, planning and execution as we had to work to standards of a major multinational while just 2 and a half year old as a community youth led organization in Huruma Slums of Nairobi – Kenya.
The carefully crafted theme, “Our place, Our people, Our potential” was well thought of by Albert Nashon – Founder The Slumcode Group who had an heart breaking experience in the hands of fellow Kenyans turned vigilante groups as a result of the tribal anarchy and ethnic cleansing many faced in a country and place they had only called home since independence. The need to reconcile and preach peace and cohesion was top priority and the Slumfest – an initiative of The Slumcode group did not disappoint. The call to recognize, appreciate and accept each other as One people, One land and the greater possibility of what we can achieve as a team was emphasized on by all speakers and artists.
Safaricom Kenya, Global Peace Festival Foundation, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Alliance Francaise and Hope World Wide Kenya joined other youth exhibitors in a show attended by over 1,200 people at Daima Primary School – Huruma.
The huge performance stage and air cracking sound of music provided by Live Gigs was a crowd puller and when local artists like Ekko Dydda, Yunasi and Pili Pili went on stage the crowds were tantalized. Many upcoming artists had just launched their career into the public domain – thanks to the Grand occasion.
Caroline Mutoko – Queen of Radio and Jalang’o both of Radio Africa’s KISS100 surprised the participants by heeding tour invitation to venture into Huruma in her sleek Mercedez Benz and gave wide coverage on her morning breakfast show. The Star newspaper also ran a feature on this great community initiative. She said, “I am impressed young people can pull such a move and bring many large corporate organizations to Huruma where youth can easily connect and share the experience” and Jussi Impio – Nokia Research Africa – Team Leader from Finland, was pretty elated at the success. He said, “ This is what we do best to connect youth to resources and help them realize their potential to achieve results, we are proud to work with Slumcode on this.”
Sarah Ochwada, Miss Catholic University of East Africa – 2008 together with her Mate were also in attendance and has since been a dedicated fan of Slumcode and Slumfest which earned her the position of Goodwill Ambassador to The Slumcode Group in 2011.
And one point is true, there is no limit to what a creative mind can achieve if guided and resources made available at the very opportune moment. If youth are given a chance, they can manage their own affairs and support grass root initiatives into major profitable and sustainable ventures – to paraphrase Madam Anna Tibaijuka – Former UN Habitat in Charge. On this philosophy – The Slumcode Group is based and Slumfest will continue to grow. See you all at Slumfest Three in 2009.