Despite his best efforts, Jah Cure’s sold out performance at the Umoja Splash Festival elicits its fair share of flaws and mixed reactions from fans.
The standing ovation given to Jah Cure as he ambled onto the Uhuru Gardens stage was rapturous – he hadn’t done anything, at least not yet this evening; the reception was given merely because of Jah Cure’s full Maasai regalia and the crowd’s long wait for the sweetest voice in reggae music star and king of lover’s rock to take the stage.
An overwhelming sight to behold, the stage became alive with the Maasai morans jumps and warrior shouts the punctuated the air amidst the sweet vocals of Jah Cure, his back up vocalist, Klyve (Ruel Moncrieffe), who had done back up vocals for Etana on the same venue a few months back and the band.
Sound glitches, long queues and alcohol running out forgotten, to glance around at the faces of the audience was to experience human emotion from across the spectrum in their purest form. Tears streamed down the face of a woman, her devotion to Jah Cure unwavering and devoid of hype as she sang along to ‘Call On Me.’ Two guys salute in awe through ‘Rasta’ and a sizeable crowd sings along to ‘Respect.’
When it comes to the Cure, there is no middle ground with his fans – you either love his music unquestioningly or not. And although that fact did not sit well when he came back after he had changed from his Maasai outfit, some of his not so loyal fans questioned why he took so long to get back on stage and why he let the crowd sing to his hits more than he did.
Days before the concert Jah Cure was involved in a clean up exercise, visited the Maasai land and toured different tourism attraction sites. He did meet and greets at local popular joints and his 2019 Royal Soldier first album listening party is set to be followed after the concert at a popular joint in Nairobi, with the album release date which he announced officially at the press conference in Nairobi) slated for August 30 2019.
Personally, the concert wasn’t a dull affair exactly, or a boring one, nor has it in any way affected my love for Jah Cure’s music. It was unpredictable, and perhaps that’s the intention of this music, after all.To witness the hypnotic and unintelligible hold of Jah Cure over his fans and the fascination that comes from seeing the man whose music you grew up listening to was a truly a unique experience. “Unpredictable,” as Jah Cure claimed.
Exiting Uhuru Gardens in the wee hours of morning, we are left consoled with the memory of perhaps the greatest sold out reggae concert by a young veteran artist of our generation while wondering what could have been.
The concert was also graced by a number of homegrown entertainers.