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Video:Akon Thrills Kenyan Fans despite foul weather

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He had all the reasons to abandon his much awaited music concert at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi, but he stayed put.

The international artiste, Senegal-born Akon performed, even after the sound system went off just when he was expected on stage. It was after the last performance by one of the curtain raisers, gospel artiste Juliani.

Then the heavens opened up, not only soaking the ground and drenching the fans who had braved the chilly night to attend, but also threatened to bring down the tents sheltering them from the rains.

Organisers were forced to tear up the tents at the VIP area to free water that had accumulated on the top corners of the tents.

Women wearing heels had to remove their shoes after they got stuck on the soft ground.

Outside the venue, vehicles got stuck in the mud, forcing some fans to cancel their date with Akon.

“This rain is not stopping us. It’s a blessing. After previously missing to come and perform in Kenya, I am here on a night when it’s raining heavily. This is Africa and rain is a blessing,” Akon told his cheering fans.

“We have to forget about the past and think of this party,” he said.

He arrived on Thursday for two concerts: the one on Saturday night and the other yesterday afternoon at the same grounds. Yesterday’s was spared the rains, much as it was not sunny weather either.

The curtain raisers were musicians STL, Juliani, Bamboo, Abbas, Prezzo and Makena — Esther Passaris’ daughter — who held her first live performance in Kenya.

In both shows, Akon performed with a full band for more than an hour, singing his favourite songs to a crowd that was made up of a sizable number of Asians, one of his growing fans bases around the world.

The songs included Locked Up and Lonely from his two albums, 2004’s Trouble and 2006’s Konvicted, that captivated the world, selling about 10 million copies worldwide. Ring-tone sales exceeded 6.5 million downloads.

He ended his performance yesterday with a rendition calling for peace.

The singer is in the country until Wednesday. “I plan to use the days I will be around to listen to music by musicians from East Africa. I will also be receiving music demos,” he told the Nation during an earlier interview.

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Troubled past

Akon is the son of jazz percussionist Mor Thiam. His parents moved to Atlanta and left him with his brother to finish school.

Akon was jailed for three years, and upon release from prison, began writing and recording tracks in a home studio. He released his debut album, Trouble, in June, 2004.

It included hit singles “Locked Up that reached top 10 in the US, as did the song “Lonely”

 Nation

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