DawaDiaries #2 Christmas Vibes in The Sand


Those of us lucky enough to see the #KilifiNYE warm up party are acutely aware of what’s coming next. This was the kind of confluence of things that can only ever happen at the coast during this one series of hours, days and weeks that inevitably rolls around once a year.


What had even happened? The day seemed to melt, hours turning over into each other met by the sudden onset of the warm breezes off the cove after the sun made her bow. It was hard to even tell where the sound checks had ended and the concert had begun, both things seem to blend together with liquor and sunset.

This of course was helped along by a series of dawas that seemed endless, made up as much of the vibes as they were by the vodka contained within them.


The beats came in with decadent force, spinning us all into frenzy, the dance floor churning up sand with every step, every continuance of the bass line.

This set was different, an expanse for the revellers bringing in Christmas, Jack Rooster and Jinku switching off deftly playing deep into the night as the stars steadily appeared.

Now that we were in it, the possibility of leaving wasn’t on the table, such was the intimacy of the evening.

This all was compounded by Janice Iche breaking up the dance grooves with a series of acoustic neo-soul,jazz and afro-eclecticism, condensing the evening and serving as a delightful respite, a reminder that somehow we’d all wound up in it together, in this spiritually fuelled space. Marushka’s graceful additoin to the conclusion of Janice’s set was a welcome addition to a great session of audible beauty.


Click here to see Janice’s Performance


All things outside of the dance floor seemed to fade away, the crowd  forgetting the past and clinging to every beat as if it were the very last they’d ever hear.

At one point I’d found myself wandered off deep into a path with several that I’d never met before, staring at the torch light spilling out ahead of us before the realization to let go and look up suddenly set in. We huddled in a circle, staring at the glow of the stars for what seemed like hours, echos of afro-house masterfully blended with bhangra by Jack Rooster floating down through the treetops.

It seems ever easier to get lost out here, create a beautiful community such as Romain and Tom have wake up a decade later, still riding the wave that started to swell deep a few years ago.

Will that wave ever break? It seems impossible to tell, but one thing remains for certain, it surely won’t break until days after #KilifiNYE 2016.

The dark minded cynic/emotional refugee in me needed an hour to unwind after the party had ended with the cries of “last call” echoing around the main bar as those who didn’t want the energy to quite end yet took ever more shots of miraa juice and gin.


Will the fears of this year be washed away for good or is this merely a vacation from them? Every set seems to peel away another layer of that darkness, so time and green opaque glasses of dawas will tell I suppose.

So the end thought of the night? If this was the warm up to the warm up’s warm up, then what comes next could kill even the most cynical minded who venture out into the deep forests of Kilifi, whether or not it saves me from myself.

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

  • The Sophisticated Slav / January 13, 2017

    “…so time and green opaque glasses of dawas will tell I suppose.”

    My new answer for everything!