Dawa Diaries NYE 2016/17

Seth Schwartz


Oh and the question arises again hitting down on my head like a wave even as I nurse my aching mind over a solitary egg and bacon sandwich washed down with a dawa.

I don’t think I can take off my sunglasses, not that I’m sure I could handle anything at this moment anyway.

What a strange and beautiful night it had been. For me, with my perpetual angst that never quite subsides, New Year’s I could always either take or leave. It always undersold it’s own hype and got dashed upon her own expectations.

Not last night; this was one that the party goers who made the far journey down the rough road and through the bamboo tunnel by the entrance got to experience in a sort of tumble wash style night. By that I simply mean that sensation was everywhere, even from down on the Musafir where I idly sipped gin tonics for sundowners it could be sensed, drums floated ever out from above the tree tops and down across the night waters.


The hilltop….glowed I guess? The whole night is hard to describe, such was te level of mix and matched memories, intimate moments interspersed with pounding hardline EDM beats shot out like a cannon from five meter high walls of speakers.

The night was a decadence, and as is with all things decadent they become harder to describe the wider lens you use on them.

Seth Schwartz

Seth Schwartz

In that vein there was a clear highlight that shone out brightest for this tired-eyed and deeply hungover writer (although, props to all the acts that spun last night).

The peak of course was Seth Schwarz, who played a simply blazing set somewhere before midnight and carried it over into the New Year.

The beats seemed to rise and rise, well beyond reverberation, becoming a fine hum that grew into crecsendo as the countdown commenced sending sweat covered arms higher and higher; dirt caked feet trampling the sand ever harder.


Somewhere in that hour that I was on the dance floor I lost all track of everything, the sound becoming somewhere close to transcendent, each kick of the bass seemed to carry it’s own weight and meaning and my feet went numb.

After I left the floor, I was in a state of terminal shock. I couldn’t quite recover from the meditation like high I’d just experienced.

So, I sat there, staring blankly around at the faces of friends, each of us sweating like a politician in pubic as we clutched dawas and mojitos under the hanging lights near the LED octupus in the tree.

Was it the best party I’d ever been to? These things are desperately hard to quantify, but in the moments that one hand touched the speaker while dancing with a bikini-clad ball of energy in the front row; I thought that it could be.

That’s my lasting impression of #KilifiNYE 2016: that if everyone had one moment like the dozens that I experienced over those fourteen hours of madness, then all the revellers would have left with some positive note that could well carry over for the rest of this weird year 2017.

Eventually the buzz of dawas will fade but the vibe just might not.
All images courtesy of Biko Wesa

Alex Roberts
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Alex Roberts is a Nairobi based freelance journalist who, when not writing rants, beautiful articles or screaming at Trump on Facebook is pursuing a masters degree at USIU