On its 2nd and biggest edition ever, KAN Festival gathered people from all walks of life in Arusha. Tucked away in the lush green and tree hugged corners of MS-Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MSTCDC), the festival was a huge success. During the day, the festival goers had the opportunity to meet with each other and network while enjoying sessions like story-telling, poetry and short films. The sessions were meant to provoke conversations about “development and developmentalism” this year’s theme.
People would gather at different set up stages for various activities. At the Gumzo Square, one of the sessions hosted by Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C a renown poet, author and Pan-Africanist, was more than just story-telling. She emphasized the need for spirituality as apart of development.
Talking about this year’s sub-theme “Development Is People” Mama C encouraged the audience to define what development means to them and participants weighed in. Nakia Brown said, “Development means to me…to have ‘Iwapele’ which is good character…” the audience nodded as others clapped in agreement. More people joined the conversation and Lisa Russell a filmmaker, commented saying that character is indeed everything but “Developing your own character at the same time while understanding how the dynamics of the world works” Russell remarked.
The day would later progress into full blown festival mode in the evening hours as hundreds of festival goers flocked the main stage-Tamasha Stage. This is where performances by artists from all over Africa happened. It didn’t matter whether it was raining or shining, as performers took to the stage, the festival goers partied in high energy; dancing, laughing and jumping in exhilaration. It was magical to watch as people freely expressed themselves through dance.
The crowd raved on as Victor Kunonga all the way from Zimbabwe wowed them with his instrumental genius, as Siti & the band from Zanzibar served the audience with their island wavy moves. While Isabel Novella, a Mozambican award-winning artist took them on a musical journey with her jazzy vocals. The revelers went mad with cheering as Fid Q, with his lyrical prowess, gave the festival goers a performance to remember. He had everyone singing along as they madly jammed to his hip hop- bongo beats.
As I was walking to get myself a drink, I overheard a group of people asking among themselves if the dates for the next festival have been released. Inquiring from the event organizers, I was told the next edition will be on the 28th-30th Jan, 2021. I can’t wait to experience such a festival all over again.
KAN festival is indeed the event to be! See you then…