Alex Boye Performs at A Taste of Kenya
A Taste of Kenya. Alex Boye. Seemed like a logical combination, right? Not so. When we decided to do the event, we reached out to two amazing performers, Cactus Jack and Jennifer Marco, who both suggested we reach out to Alex. I took a chance and emailed his people via his website, but didn’t receive a response. So, I just left it up to fate, and boy did fate intervene! A few weeks later, my friend Heather messaged me and said, “Will Moses be awake the night he arrives in the U.S.?” We had decided to fly Moses to the U.S. for a few weeks for different events and meetings that we were putting on, and it turned out that Alex Boye was doing a free concert the night Moses was arriving, and that she had free tickets.
“Yes, Moses will be awake, and will be there in a shuka!” Bless his heart, even though he was exhausted from 30 hours of international travel from Kenya, he got dressed up and we headed downtown to the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City. The opening act was a jazz band that put us both to sleep, but then Alex took the stage. I knew (KNEW) that if Alex saw Moses in his Maasai shuka that it would be game over. Except he didn’t see him. We didn’t know what to do after the concert and waited around for a bit to see if Alex would come out, but he didn’t. So finally Moses took the reigns and said, “He’s still in the theater so let’s just go in.”
We went back into the auditorium and saw Alex and crew cleaning up the stage. As we walked towards them, suddenly Alex saw Moses and it was like everything went into slow motion as he yelled, “MAASAI!” and jumped off the stage. The next few minutes were a blur, as we met Alex and made arrangements for Moses to join him in filming a video the next day.
Alex Boye Meets Moses Masoi
I had mentioned A Taste of Kenya to Alex and he thought he would be out of town for it, so that pretty much ended that conversation, but we still had the next day to look forward to. I think Moses was in a shuka more during those first few days in the U.S. than he is during a month in Kenya, but he was a great sport about it.
The next day we met Alex at a drum shop in Salt Lake to film the video. To my knowledge, it was never released to the public, but it was a really fun morning. After we wrapped up, we talked and brainstormed about doing another video where Alex would be able to wear the traditional Maasai clothing, and agreed that we would text and set a date. Little did we know what was going to be in the works over the next few weeks!
Alex Boye and Lemarti
The days went by, and we started planning a concert to be held on The Maasai Mara. I had become friends with Stephen Leken on Facebook, a very popular Maasai Gospel singer. We were also able to have another singer, Pastor Ben, whom we later began working with on projects in his community.
Then, one day, Moses said, “I wonder if we could get Lemarti to perform.” Lemarti is a Samburu performer with a Bob Marley Reggae vibe, and we listen to his music a lot on our expeditions. It turned out that Lemarti was in the U.S. at the time, so Moses started chatting with him, and finally we came up with an agreement for him to perform at the concert. We were at a Mexican restaurant when it all came together. Suddenly, Moses got a very funny look on his face. He turned his phone around, and showed me the Alex Boye video “Circle of Life” featuring LEMARTI. What?! How was this happening?!
But first, we had A Taste of Kenya to host, and the week of the event, Alex called me and we arranged to film Promised Land the day of the event. It would include shukas, a potbelly pig, searching for Al Fox Carraway, and walking around downtown Salt Lake City. Behind the scenes, it was hilarious watching people get all excited about the pig, and want to pet the pig, when there were two Africans in full shuka (the Maasai dress) standing there. I heard maybe one person say, “I think that’s Alex Boye.”
The best part of the day was ending up at A Taste of Kenya, and surprising the attendees with the news that they were going to be in an Alex Boye video that night! We had amazing performers at that event. Cactus Jack and Jenn Marco both performed, along with WOFA Afro Fusion. We wound up the night singing Karaoke and dancing and it was a really fun party.
Lemarti Performs on the Maasai Mara
After wrapping up A Taste of Kenya, we headed TO Kenya with our team, and drove the to Maasai Mara for a concert with Lemarti. Lemarti is the most popular and well-known performer among the Maasai and Samburu tribes in Kenya. Literally, every ringtone you hear is a Lemarti song.
And we were bringing him to the Maasai Mara for a free concert to kick-off our plan to build the Emparnat Cultural Centre. This was a huge deal for the community, and we had hundreds of people coming, including government officials and community leaders.
Lemarti brought Resh, Saning'o, and Jeff Ole Kishau with him, and after performing, they decided to stay with our team and spend a few days on safari with us. It was incredible. Lemarti brought his guitar on our game drive, and we all sang "Jambo Bwana" over a picnic lunch looking out over the greater Maasai Mara.
On every expedition, we try to bring in something unique, that is beyond what our team expects. We've had Lemarti join us on another expedition as well, and his music has become the background for a lot of 100 Humanitarians International videos. Someday, we will get him to the United States to perform at Humanijam, and you'll get to meet the "Bob Marley of Kenya."