The Star (Nairobi)

1 January 2013

Kenya: Asian Scene 2012 Year in Review

The year gone by was special in many ways for you and me. Where there were celebrations, there were sad moments, but what remains is the determination to make another year memorable. So let's begin the journey for the year gone by for the Asian Scene.

January kicked off with the harvest festival for the Sikh community at the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple Nairobi and ushered in a sign of prosperity ahead. February quickly moved into the romantic mood of Valentine's Day and some party time. First the team of UK Bhangra's biggest artiste Jassi Sidhu and Bups Sagoo had a successful concert on February 12. Then one of Radio Africa Group's very own got engaged. Kamal Vekaria, Producer and Business Development Manager of SBT Africa got engaged to a wonderful lady Dr Dibeshree on February 26.

East FM announced and conducted a power packed Season 2 of the Sun Gold Sunrice Superchef competition in March. The stakes were higher as contestants came in from Mombasa and it came down to which gender is a better cook. Eventually it was Charandeep Singh Kalsi who shocked the ladies and took the title. To close off the month was an unforgettable concert by Rani's Productions on March 31 they brought in India's favorite singer Kailash Kher and his band.

The month of May brought in two big firsts. One was the announcement of Kenya's first Asian lady, Sonia Birdi as the aspirant for Makadara, Nairobi. This "Iron Lady" gave an exclusive interview and has been rallying support for her bid. On the travel side, Kenya Airways opened its 57th destination, New Delhi and the inaugural trip and hospitality extended to the media was overwhelming.

June opened up with news of East FM's top Radio Jockey, Gupz Saund who is a successful DJ and singer moving on to a bigger record label and venturing into the musical scene. And like they say, the show must go on, there was an extravagant fashion show held by the label Bawree which showcased wonderful Indian designs in the new style of heavy prints and fabric on June 16.

Indian Poet Surjit Patar performed in July. The show was organized by the iSikh. Then East FM held another competition. It was bigger and bolder because it brought together the professional chefs from various establishments. This Sun Gold Sunrice SuperChef Pro competition came to a nail biting finish and believe it or not it was a dessert dish that separated the chef from the super chef, Chef Joseph Macharia on July 3. The month ended with one of the biggest fashion house's in Nairobi conducting an amazing and professional fashion show. Just Like That hosted top designers from around the world including Kenya for the Trendz Fashion Festival.

A team of young professionals put together a musical drama Nakshatra in August while a larger team brought in the SAMOSA festival on September 29. The Hindu festival of Navratri was held with pomp and flare especially as East FM followed the crowd at various venues sponsored by Bidco Oil Refineries Ltd and Capwell Industries Ltd. My judging experience came to a test at the Thika Temple when we had to select the best dressed person and it was a tough task because the traditional outfits there were plenty on October 19. Then came the Pearl Rice Karoga Competition, where the East FM presenter Aleem Manji and his team were crowned winners on October 5.

UK's biggest rap artist Yo Yo Honey Singh proved that he has loyal teenage fans in Nairobi at the Carnivore in November. Worthy of note is the Hindu Religious and Service Centre in collaboration with the Hindu Council of Kenya who have been dedicating almost all their weekends to major tree planting exercises all over the country. Thank you for all your support through the last year and I look forward to another exciting year with you, Happy New Year.

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