01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Kenya, the new Celebrity-ville 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Kenya, the new Celebrity-ville


I am the saddest kind of celebrity groupie. A typical product of the celebrity obsessed generation. My friend told me perhaps it's time to drop it, let it go, grow up and stop trying to keep up with Kanye West, Lady Gaga and The Hills.

It all started with Madonna and today I'm still riveted by celebs of varying worthiness from Rhianna to Kloe and Kourtney Kardashien (sp?). Working in London had its upside - you occasionally saw someone famous. My latest triumph was seeing Felicity Kendall at Heathrow in July - or at least I could have sworn it was her?! It is a little compulsive. My husband despairs when I flick onto Channel E! when I think he is not looking and he then flicks back to Supersports 2 or BBC Knowledge - normally Top Gear. We then reach deadlock and try to find a compromise along the MM1/MM2 film and series channels. I can't bear sitcoms. We agree on watching House, but it is getting a little repetitive as it's on every single night.

(we finally capitulated and got DSTV back when we finished watching all 5 series of The Wire).

Anyway, I digress. The point is that I've heard rumours that we've had lots of celebs coming through Kenya recently, and I have succeeded in missing them all in my little expat housewife bubble. Apparently Brad and Angelina have been holidaying here recently (and I thought they had split up!!), plus Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher on safari. I think that in another life I might have liked to have been a paparazzi photographer.

The biggest/latest let down was that Akon was here last weekend. My friend even had tickets for the MAMA - MTV Africa Music Awards at Kasarani Stadium where he was due to be appearing and we didn't go. We had a middle aged moment and panicked about getting across town on Saturday night, doing battle with horrendous Thika Road roadworks, probably having to stay away from home in a hotel (Safari Park?) because driving for one hour back at the dead of night was not a good idea.

On Saturday I listened to the radio to try and ascertain whether Akon had arrived - this was a deal breaker for me, because while it would have been fun watching the Kenyan stars, Nameless, STL, Wahu etc. it is Akon that I am a fan of.

Sadly bad boy Akon's track record is not good as he has let Kenya down 3 times in the past by cancelling visits at the last minute. Once bitten, twice shy Radio presenters played his visit down saying, 'we are not bothered if he comes or not, we still have Wyclef Jean' but in my opinion Akon is HUGE and is allowed to cancel once or twice since he is pretty busy Criss-crossing the globe and doing 'collabos' with massive stars. Even my kids know every single one of his songs.

In fact, I learned on Sunday that he did arrive and visited Starehe boys school to give them a motivational speech about working hard and following your dreams. He had an entourage of 25, most of them minders. The visiting celebs all stayed at Tribe Hotel in Village Market.

I tried to find out about a rumoured Akon concert to be staged at The Carnivore on Sunday that I had read about in the newspaper, but drew a rather sad blank. I had imagined dragging my reluctant husband and slightly more enthusiastic 3 kids with me. I wondered if 4 year old kids go to music concerts?

In the end my friend gave her Saturday night MTV award tickets away to people who really, really wanted to go - they said the evening was fab.

We did drive past the Carnivore on Langata Road on Sunday, and didn't see any crowds or hear Akon's music pumping, so have a feeling we didn't miss anything there.

I am now back to scanning DSTV and hoping I haven't missed the screening of the MAMA awards on TV. Hey ho.

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