• Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Rhumba Star Mbilia Bel Shakes Nairobi As Carnivore Grounds Roars To Life

Rhumba Star Mbilia Bel Shakes Nairobi As Carnivore Grounds Roars To Life

Last evening, visiting Congolese songstress Mbilia Bela treated her Kenyan fans to more than three hours of a spectacular show that had all the hallmarks of a legendary Rhumba showdown.


The Rhumba luminary, famous for her seminal hit Nairobi, stepped on to the stage a few minutes past 11pm to defeaning cheers and blinding smartphone torchlights from a zhuzhed up crowd that had congregated as early as 5pm at the famous Carnivore Grounds.

Hundreds of Rhumba devotees braved the biting Lang'ata Road cold to watch the Congolese singer put on a show that left masses breathless.


Dressed in an attention-grabbing blue Ankara dress and with sparkly diamond-encrusted accessories, the Kinshasa-bred singer crooned her way into the hearts of her beloved fans as her band, feisty and with impeccable adeptness, strummed away, drummed away and gloriously sang the night into the clouds.

The affectionately-dubbed Queen of Rhumba opened the show with her widely-popular hit 'Nadina' , a song she released in 1994 alongside her late ex-husband and frequent collaborator Tabu Ley Rochereau and got the entire audience on their feet, exhilarated, scrambling to record the precious moment on their phones.

The 63-year old diva showed no signs of aging as her immaculately-preened face glowed under the fluorescent Carnivore Gardens lights, with her shimmering eyes flickering in the shadows, her scarlet-red lips piercing into the audience and her enchanting smile throwing her enthralled fans into a numbing trance.

At some point, a mystery man appeared from the crowd, got up on stage, pulled out a fat wallet and from it, dramatically pulled out over ten Ksh. 1000 notes and gently placed them in Mbilia Bel's cleavage. 

Citizen Radio's 'Roga Roga' host Uncle Fred Machoka also livened up the crowd as he made intermittent appearances on the stage to deafening roars. 

His closeness to Mbilia Bel was openly evident as the duo heaped praises on each other, hugged tightly, exchanged affectionate words and even stole a quick kiss on the cheek. 

Mbilia Bel quickly ran through a repertoire of some of her biggest hits including Eswi Yo Wapi, Sina Makosa and Mobali Na Ngai Wana before she briefly exited the stage to allow her two dancers to put on a hell of a show.

For hours on end, the singing dynamo remained on her feet, buoyant-haired, agile-hipped and velvet-voiced, belting out hit after hit, with every new take eliciting maddening roars from the animated crowd.


Towards the end of the show, and to the audience's amusement, famed Kenyan Afrofusion star Suzanne Owiyo made a surprise appearance before taking the mic and serenading the masses, with the crowd helping her sing along to 'Lo' her collaboration with Mbilia Bel.

The spectacular show went on towards the late hours of the night with the audience showing no signs of tiredness as vintage Mbilia did what she does best - bring the house down.

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