Every year we start with saying “this year is going to be better than last year! Or this year, I’m going to stick to my resolutions! Basically every year… we start with a whole load of bollocks!
Decided to stay in Nairobi for NYE. Forget going to the coast! 1.) It costs more to go to the coast in December than to go to Dubai and 2.) You’re gonna find Nairobi there. Rather stay in Nairobi and discover new people and have fun driving on empty roads!
Had a polite koroga with family friends and family. Then headed over to Gipsy’s for a private party upstairs. Akinyi had invited me; made a bunch of new friends there. Not much of a sunrise though, it rained all night. Slept through most of the day then went to East FM to host The Rush with Vikash. Went back to work fulltime the next day, 2nd Jan. Found an inbox from one of the founders and directors of Earthdance Global talking about New York based Danielle being in Nairobi and that we have to hook up! Same day Naftali, my work mate, said that CMoncy Images would like to speak with me. So set up a meeting, 3rd Jan and it was about me writing for their magazine “Everything Motorsports Magazine”. Friday morning met up with Danielle at iHub for the launch ofGreen Breakfast Club. It was VERY interesting. Hung out with her the next morning where we talked about the club and life in general and all of a sudden, I’m the Lead Organizer for Nairobi! In the evening met up with a new friend who was down from London, Nazish. Then right after that had rehearsals for a play “Destiny’s Park” that I was going to take part in and straight after a shoot for
CHOMOA. Pilot video and the next few episodes! Next day, 6th Jan, mum’s birthday and first show of the year on XFM. Next morning I got contacted by someone from The Standard Newspaper offering me column but it didn’t go further than that conversation. Insane first days of Januray. Met Jeeshan who was down from Geneva after many years! 12th Jan attended the Kenya Motorsports Federation 2012 Awards, which I was reporting/writing for “Everything Motorsport”. And the month ended on a high note with a Mika Singh concert on the 26th and the first round of the Kenya National Rally Championship 2012 in Kajiado where the 5th Edition that I wrote in was published as well. Side note, I was unbelievably unwell on that weekend and still danced my feet off and covered the rally the next day!
Having Fun Fighting Cancer was a concert/get-together/party and at the same time creating awareness for cancer on 2nd Feb. Media personalities and artists showed up for the event at Alfajiri, shared experiences and pointed out that we need to talk about it and not just sit quiet. Good friend of mine, Neil Thomas launched ““The Forgiveness Project”” in Nairobi at the Tribe Hotel on 8th Feb. You need to check it out for yourself. It really shifts your way of thinking about life and others. Bumped into Aamera after a long while and made new buds with Kui. Riz threw his second event as Kenya Nights Events on 9th Feb at Tree House “Frisky Disco”.
Valentines Eve was spent with Riz and a school mate Sheila, at the Junction Century Cinemax watching Die Hard. Valentine’s Day was blah. I was unwell, but received yellow flowers from a friend, a weird text from an ex and a great dinner with a good friend! February’s highlight had to be… The Zuku Cricket Wars with East FM.
Met so many Bollywood Stars from TV Channels like Colours, Star Plus and more. Meeting Barun Sobti was the best thing ever seeing that I was obsessed with his TV series “Iss Pyar Ko Kya Naam Doo”. Met a childhood friend, Chandni after 13 years! Was so fab to catch up, based in Leicester now. Met a college mate, Vincent who was down from Italy as well. Did the usual Burget Hut meet up with the Sam, Devna, Ian, Oshin and thereafter attended the Peace Festival at KICC where The Forgiveness Project was put up as well, so Neil and I decided to do Sundowners on top of KICC and ended the day with pizza from Naked Pizza! On 27th Feb I was introduced to GLEE!
A Public Holiday was announced for the 4th of March as Kenyans lined up from the wee hours to elect Kenya’s new President and 5 other appointments. Eg. Govenor, Senetor etc. 6 elections in one day and then Kenya and the world watch for days before the results were final. March 6th marked a year at Radio Africa Limited. Had a lunch with Caroline Mutoko, Lynda Nyangweso, Doctor Love and a few others from work at Taste of China. Was introduced to a Travel Club that sounded more like a Pyramid Scheme, so opted out. Uhuru Kenyatta was declared President on 9th March. I met up with my childhood crush after 14 years! He’s changed quite a bit but yea, the crush is long gone! Met up with Aamera and Kui at ArtCafee, Westgate to discuss our travel plans for the Easter break.
Adventures on Thursday nights at Tree House began! I dragged Kui with me and she had a fab time! That’s the day we met our French Fry, Jennifer! Popped by for Kalekya Mumo’s birthday party on 16th March. Did enough meet ups with Kui and Aamera before our Easter plan. Had brunch with Irfan at Mama’s at ABC Place. BEST Mocha Crepe EVER! Since the election vibe settled down, the KNRC calendar was back in action. Booked my reservation at Green Hills for Round 2 in Nyeri for April. Riz had his third event as Kenya Nights Events at Tree House. He brought down Mirella Kroes for this and it was an epic night on 29th March. I left early though as the girls and I were driving to Baringo the next morning.
Jennifer and I cabbed it to town. Met Aamera there. Kui was waiting in a cab, for us to get there. Kui had like 2 suitcases for a 2 nights 3 days camping trip. Hahaha! Got on to our bus. Drove down to Nakuru. Then had the awesome Carl “Flash” Tundo lend us a car and driver to take us down to Baringo. Had NO IDEA it was THAT FAR!
And then we got to a piece of heaven on Earth. Birds, the lake, our awesome tents, great food and a serene environment. Not gonna give details but it was an awesome trip! Our last day and night was a highlight though. The boat ride during the day was hilarious. Kui is such a star! Met new people, made new friends and stayed up till after 3AM just chatting, and eating and drinking.
Everyone else was so hung over in the morning. We were getting ready to get out of there as we had to get to Nakuru in time to catch the bus back to Nairobi on the 1st of April. For the first time in my life, I got to ride in a helicopter. ALS was kind enough to sponsor my transport to Nyeri for Round 2 of KNRC on the 6th of April. I asked the pilot if we could check out
Karuru Falls, we looked for it, and found it and it was AMAZING!!! Breathe taking (Need to plan a hiking trip for there soon). Landed at OutSpan in Nyeri and then caught a ride with Imran to the service park and the action began! Met with Sean Cardovillis. Flash won that round. Drove back to Nairobi with Farhaaz and Tauseef. Had taken the next day off from work to recover from the manic weekend and a bonus as the next day was a public holiday as President Uhuru Kenyatta was being inaugurated. Went for a house warming party at Jack’s. Met him and friends at Baringo. Following weekend was so much fun. Hung out at Kui’s and then ended up at Gipsy’s and got home at stupid O’ clock! Surpised Tom, Jack’s friend, with cake and a brai at Jack’s place on 23rd April for his birthday. Met up with SAK after ages for lunch. Had a proper catch up after such a long time. East FM’s entire team got together for a Koroga on 26th April at Mystique Gardens. So much fun!
Spent Labor Day with Nestor in the Nairobi National Park. Took 10th May off from work to host the Green Breakfast Club Nairobi. The second event but my first alone. It was a success! And in the afternoon took a chopper to Voi for Round 3 of the Kenya National Rally Championship! Stayed at Voi Wildlife Lodge for 2 nights.
That had to have been the best rally I had been to ever since I started covering rallies. I got to flag off a couple of cars. Go to the Super Special Stage where I made new friends and got sneak shots of me taken by a photographer. Hahaha! So much fun and what an electrifying environment! Few days later got bad news that Jennifer got robbed and so she decided she’s gonna leave Kenya met up with her a couple of days to talk things out and help her understand that no matter where she goes, anything could happen. Even in Ethiopia, where she eventually went for a few weeks. Even got her to come home for lunch. Anyway. I went for the Opening of Emerald Garden on UN Avenue. Bumped into many people there. I was officially on leave for two weeks from the 20th of May! On 22nd May went with the girls for the Mexican Photography Launch at Zapata in Westlands. My leave was about meeting friends and doing stuff I don’t get to do when you’re at work from 8-5. Another Burger Hut day with Sam and the gang on 25th May. Riz had his 4th event at Tree House, Groove Cube the same night. I remember ordering coffee and sitting with a bunch of friends the entire night. Hehehe. Getting old yo.
Madarka Day was a nice day to just lay in bed and do nothing. However, a week later, I zeroed my bank account by spending way too much at the Middle East Exhibition! Got awesome stuff but yea, it hit a nerve later in the month. 8th June will always be a highlight of the year! It was the first SuperChef of the season. Later that evening attended the Prog.Res.Sive concert at the Kenya National Theatre, courtyard. Went with Lionel and met up with Calvin, George and Andrew there. It was such a beautiful night.
From there went over to the first Tree House event that Kenya Nights organized. Thibo Tazz was brought down from South Africa and it was such a killer night. Plus Thibo’s such a hottie! 😉 Riz left for Sweden the next day. Had the most epic show on XFM that month. Also fell really ill at some point. Watched Man Of steel with Kaleyke Mumo at IMAX! Never ever watch a 3D movie at any other cinema! IMAX is the real deal!
6th July was the craziest day for me. we had the IIFA Awards live from Macau, Superchef Finals were taking place at the Village Market and I had to MC at the Murfy’s Flaw Charity Event at Crooked Q’s that evening. So I was rushing and panicking and all that stuff. But had SO MUCH FUN MC’ing for the event. It was for a great cause ater all! 🙂 Ramadhan started on the 10th of July, which also marked a year for me as a presenter on East FM. On 19th July I was lucky enough to re-visit the coast even though it was work based. Arrived in Mombasa on the evening of the 19th. Kunjan picked me up, was sweet to have brought me snacks and water for to break my fast. Checked into the hotel and dashed over to Caribou Restaurant where we were hosting a family for an Iftar.
The next afternoon we were at Nakumatt Nyali for the Ramadhan Raha Roadshow with Bidco Oil Refineries Ltd. Flying back to Nairobi on the 21st was a nightmare! Our flight was supposed to take off at 6PM, we left at 12.30AM! Not even gonna talk about the whole ordeal, but never ever flying with “Fly 540”! 28th July was Kamal Vekaria’s Wedding Reception so went for that and ended the month with interviewing Shweta Subrum.
Woohoo!!! My birthday month! Eid-Ul-Fitr was on 9th August. Took my aunts, mum and cousin to watch Chennai Express. Average movie. I’ll never forget the day there was a cat in the engine! A lot of work related stuff went on in between and then it was my biiiiiiiirrrrrrrttttttthhhhhhhddddddaaaaayyyyyyyy!!! 😀 Went for dinner and Nairobi Live with Riz and great friends at Tree House, where Iddi Achieng sang for me! And then we went to Havana then home! The next night I got to meet
Benny Dayal and watched Salim and Suleiman Merchant perform live! And met Jamila Mohammed of NTV, FINALLY at the event! and it was her birthday on the 24th! So she was with me at midnight 🙂 Got to interview Usman Rehman and the month ended with the worst concert I have ever been to in my life, Edward Maya.
September started with a Burget Hut meet up with the gang. On the 7th of September I flew off to the Maasai Mara for the first time ever and flew back the next day! It was such an epic experience! On the 10th attended the Oktoberfest Press Launch. Couple of days later started to fall sick. SuperChef Junior, first round started on the 14th, where I fell sick again. Stubborn as hell I am, still went for Earthdance 2013. Left home at around 11pm and got home at like 9am. Still did The Remedy on XFM.
Went for the HayFest Meet and Greet with the stars at the Natinoal Museum where I was honored to meet President Obama’s sister, Auma.
So Oktoberfest 2013, StroryMoja HayFest 2013 and SuperChef Junior were all happening on the same weekend. Aside SuperChef, the other events were 3-4 days long. 21st September marks a historic day in Kenya, but not historic in the best way. But the most terrifying. the rest of the month went into recovering and counseling sessions and stuff.
Went back to work on the 2nd of October. Slap bang right into it. Off for meetings and what not. Met Aamera and Kui after a long while on the 7th at Azalea. Met with Neil after months as well. I guess everyone was just concerned about my well being. Highlight for me was MC’ing for Wamathai October at the Louis Leakey Auditorium. Such fun. And thereafter had dinner with Lynda Nyangweso then went to Tree House for the Kenya Nights One Night in Berlin Event. Another highlight for me was when
Dj Pinkz came down to Nairobi and insisted to see me before leaving. He surprised me with a card that friends in the UK has signed for me with wishes and so much love. It was the best moment ever! Ahhhh then FINALLY got out of Nairobi! Went camping with Rahim, Imran and Nimra! Went to Thomson Falls in Nyahururu! It was such a beautiful experience! Especially seeing that the trip was really a photographers expedition. I did however learn quite a bit about my little handy camera 🙂 On the 24th went to watch the Vagina Monologues. WOW! That was an epic night! And the month ended with watching Jane Bussmann in Nairobi. October seemed like a pretty good month, didn’t it? 🙂
November was about blogging. Everyday. For the whole month! At first it was like yea yea yea and venting and stuff. And then I started playing around with WordPress and made it a little more exciting for myself and for those who like to read my blog. On the 8th we had a surprise Koroga for the East FM November babies, Aleem, Rajesh, Riya and Kunjan. Interviewed Young Archie. Went for Nimra’s Graduation. Went on leave from the 17th to the 22nd with two weekends in between. Leave was amazing. Went for a Rotary Dinner with Aamera and Kui. Hung out with Jentta Barry. Partied with
my beste Faheem on the 22nd and 23rd. Riz’s friend Jojo came down from Sweden and stayed with us for some weeks. 24th was Riz’s birthday. Same night we had an insecurity issue at home. The Classic Rally was going on that week as well… Ian Duncan and Aamar Slatch won it for Kenya! And then partied on the 29th for Kenya Nights 4th Anniversary!
I usually LOVE December! Nairobians go away on holiday, leaving roads clear and friends from around the world come down to revisit home! It’s rather quiet in terms of events, as everything happens at the coast!
Got to meet Kiran Shah, the stuntman and actor from Hollywood 😛 Had a Skype chat with Danielle from New York after a very long time, regarding Green Breakfast Club. Interviewed Ali Romeo. Met up with Andrew after a long while as well. Went for dinner with Jack and harry after a long while. Went to the Christmas Cract Fair on Saturday the 7th for a couple of hours. Hung out at Zorba – The Greek! Went for the Lock and Key party the same night. Heep’s of fun. Must say the US Marines sure know how to party! Watched The Hobbit with Chantal and Zane. Covered live from the Hockey Stadium for the All Asian Cup Tournament for East FM. My first road show since Westgate. Got a sore throat again! And we Radio Africa closed offices officially on the evening of the 20th. Kudos to Rufus for throwing a kick-ass party! Though I worked throughout the holidays on air. I was lucky enough to get the last weekend of the year off. And I used this opportunity to close a of chapters that had to be shut in 2013 and not carried into 2014. And that felt amazing! The year ended with me and mum having dinner together and popping non-alcoholic champagne at midnight at her friends house 🙂
I felt that in 2013, I didn’t achieve much. And I still feel like that. But I’ll leave this open for you to comment on, and maybe help me point out things that I don’t see. All I can really say about 2013 is that it taught more lessons and helped polish life up a little bit.
Hoping and praying that 2014 will be a great year and will be the year where people make things happen for themselves. Not sit and wait for it to happen.