Chris headlines Kenya festival

Christopher Martin will headline the second Umoja Splash Festival scheduled for the KICC Grounds in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 7. He will be accompanied by fellow reggae acts D Major and Future Fambo.

The first event took place in July, also in Nairobi, and featured Jah Cure.

Umoja Splash Festival is an initiative of Kenya’s government, aimed at fostering unity between the country’s tribes who have been involved in outbursts of conflict since the early 1960s.

The main organisers are veteran promoter Kenya Don and Thomas Kwaka, an assistant to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Last July’s show reportedly drew a record 10,000 patrons to Uhuru Gardens, including Nairobi’s Governor Mike Sonko, Members of Parliament and private sector leaders.

Kenya Don has been promoting shows in Africa and United Arab Emirates since 2004. He said getting reggae artistes to perform on the Umoja Splash Festival is significant given his country’s ties with Jamaica.

During the 1950s, Jamaican attorney Dudley Thompson represented Kenyatta’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, against the British Government for his role in the Mau Mau uprising.

Jomo Kenyatta became the first president of Kenya in 1964, one year after the country gained independence from Britain.

Uhuru Kenyatta was in Jamaica in August for a State visit, and paid homage to Pan African leader Marcus Garvey at his National Heroes’ Circle shrine in Kingston. He also attended the Grand Gala at National Stadium, where Rita Marley and Sizzla were presented with the Reggae Icon Awards.

— Howard Campbell