Pomp and Dance – Blood Donations in Nyeri

All roads in Nyeri last Saturday, led to the Ihururu Stadium where a local gospel artist, Esther Wahome led throngs of people to a unique hip hop concert. The aim of the concert was to celebrate her 20 years in the music industry and promote blood donation among residents in the interior of Nyeri County. Esther has partnered with HWWK over the past few years to champion blood donation. She agreed to join forces during her 20 years in music celebration to promote this effort even more.

The event held in Wahome’s home town, brought together other local artists who came in solidarity of their colleague.  This initiative attracted hundreds of residents who learned about the event through local media and advertising posters.  Population Service International (PSI) provided media coverage and all participants interviewed confirmed that they learned about the event through the media. Liberty Africa Technologies Ltd also helped sponsor the event.

Young and old alike were caught up in dance and sashay despite torrents of rain which at some point threatened to disrupt the event. The blood donation event in Nyeri was spearheaded by HWWK and Embu Regional Blood Bank. Despite the cold and wet weather and the event being deep in the interior of the province, 38 pints of blood were donated. HWWK mobilizers braved the heavy rains as they educated the audience, most of whom were local villagers, on the importance of blood donation. With the NBTS slogan high up on a banner “It’s safe and it saves”, scores of people showed interest to donate blood despite this being a new concept in their rural location.

In her welcome speech, Esther, commonly known as “Kuna dawa” (the name of one of her popular hits), said she has received several awards recognizing her promotion of blood donation. She encouraged the crowd to follow her example and donate blood. She further lauded HWWK for its great involvement in mobilizing blood donors in the country.

The following day the event moved on to Nanyuki Stadium. The stadium was packed with thousands of people who also braved a heavy downpour towards the end. They expressed their eagerness to celebrate the gospel heroine as well as promote blood donation. Despite the cold weather and shortage of technical staff, fifty three pints of blood were collected in Nanyuki.

Joan Wangithi, a girl in her early 20s, told HWWK that this was her fifth time to donate. She pointed out that she gets a lot of pleasure in donating blood, ”It’s gratifying  to know I have helped save someone’s life.” In her efforts to promote blood donation, she has joined the Kenya Red Cross and Mt. Kenya Blood Initiative where she is an active member.

Among the key musicians who flanked Esther were Jimmy Gaits, Emmy Kosgei, and Mbuvi, among others. The 20 years celebrations are expected to go on in different towns until December 2011.

The next stop is Meru and Maua on 3rd and 4th September 2011 respectively.