What is your involvement with Elimu?
I’m the bandleader of Elimu, and my role obviously making sure everything runs smoothly, on the road, and make sure everyone gets out on time which never happens, and also making sure that the mas camp and pre-planning and mas camp opening are hopefully a big success.
How long have you been with Elimu?
Can’t remember it has been so long now, I would imagine 13/14 years now.
What do you do when you are not working with Elimu?
Day job, I have to earn some money somewhere, and I’m what they call a body shop manager for Volkswagen.
Can you describe carnival day from your point of view, from when you wake up to when you go to bed?
Hectic, tiring, stressful, but great fun afterwards, the great thing about carnival, and the whole preparing it is stressful, it is difficult and it is sometimes trying, especially when you dealing with people and their needs and wants are much more greater than yours, somehow, afterwards, after a few days or weeks, it becomes wow, that was fantastic, and also seeing the creation from start, something that you nurture and you grow and you put that person with that person, and that person get with that person, and at the end although it is very hectic, it comes 1, and that is the beauty of it, and that is the enjoyment, I like to see people enjoying themselves when we out on the road, absolutely fantastic seeing everybody, all the arguments are forgotten,all the difficulties are forgotten.
What does Elimu mean to you?
Elimu means to me, it’s the name Elimu which is an old Swahili saying. For knowledge and education, it means exactly that to me because what Elimu has done, they have attracted a lot of people, they are very family orientated, that’s what attracted me to Elimu in the first place, and the first time I encounter Elimu was when my daughter was 9 or 10 at a time, and their school was invited to join ELimu, and prior to that I was not a carnival person, and I bought her to carnival since that day, and since then I never looked back.
It is the enjoyment of Elimu knowing that it is a traditional carnival band, and it encourage and caress you people, and get them involved in the arts.
How as Elimu affected your life?
Can you see my hair, can you see how much grey hair, but no apart from that, the stress and the pain and the anguish, during the course of the year, and also leading up to the month of July and August, which is very, very stressful, but it’s also a great deal of fulfilment, and excitement.
What is the fulfilment?
Basically, working 12 months of the year, all round planning, getting from the designers, to work with the constructionist, sorting out the music and the lorry, getting all those people from different parts and different professions coming together, and working together and achieving a great things afterwards, enjoying 2 days of carnival, via the costumes, the music, and seeing all those people on the road, 3-500 people enjoying it.
The onlookers make me feel brilliant.