- It is not only the Luo festival that faces boycotts and rebellion. Jalang’o’s eatery business is also facing a black and bleak future as yet another movement lobbying Luo’s and Luhya’s in Nairobi to resist Jalang’o’s Wapek restaurant in CBD gains pace. A spot check by The Weekly Vision on a busy Wednesday afternoon revealed empty tables as word circulated that “Baba’s enemy is our enemy, choices have consequences”
Rebel Langata MP Felix Odiwor aka Jalang’o is a politician under siege from both the ODM party and the larger Luo community. The bone of contention is his latest political move to technically defect from the Azimio Coalition to Kenya Kwanza of President William Ruto. The political divorce between Jalang’o and ODM leader Raila Odinga has become noisy and messy with Raila’s supporters announcing a boycott of Jalang’o’s annual Luo Festival scheduled for 29th April 2023 at the Ngong Racecourse and his eatery, Wapek restaurant on Mama Ngina Street in Nairobi.
The Luo Festival which is the brainchild of Jalang’o is a one-day cultural event that seeks to celebrate the Luo culture and lifestyle. The occasion has been graced by Raila Odinga in the past and other Luo MPs, Senators, Governors, businessmen and the general public.
Last year’s festival recorded 5,000 attendees with 10 Luo bands performing live. According to Jalang’o, he spent Ksh.10m to organize the event, he also raised over Ksh. 20m experts say for the one-day event. Following the fallout between him and Raila Odinga, the event is said to have received a low response with the majority of Luos vowing to resist until Jalang’o apologizes to Baba.
Sources say ticket sales were so low, just 1% of what was expected a few weeks to the big day, instead of the expected 5,000 in ticket sales. Already a massive movement known as “Resist Luo Festival” is calling on the Luo community not to buy tickets and the response has been devastating on Jalango’s part. Sources say that Luo Musicians who had been invited by Jalang’o to grace the event now fear performing because of the fear of being seen as anti-Raila. On social media platforms, the musicians have been warned that should they dare perform at the event then their live performances shall be boycotted across the county.
But it is not only the Luo festival that faces boycotts and rebellion. Jalang’o’s eatery business is also facing a black and bleak future as yet another movement lobbying Luo’s and Luhya’s in Nairobi to resist Jalang’o’s Wapek restaurant in CBD gains pace. A spot check by The Weekly Vision on a busy Wednesday afternoon revealed empty tables as word circulated that “Baba’s enemy is our enemy, choices have consequences”.
There has been a serious social media drive calling on Baba’s supporters to boycott Wapek. The calls seem to have been received well as the place continues to record very low sales. We confirmed that the former busy eatery was indeed deserted, we only found four tables occupied. The restaurant draws clients majorly from the Luhya and Luo middle class who frequent the place for fish and ugali.
When Jalan’go opened the restaurant, he hosted Raila Odinga who appealed to people from the Western to frequent the hotel for fish and ugali and to promote Jalang’o. The “resist Wapek” movement has affected the business which sources say could soon close shop. Sources have confirmed to The Weekly Vision that Jalang’o has called off the Luo festival since invited musicians fear facing the wrath of their fans, a move that could end their music career prematurely. Some Luos have been sending a warning to club owners who will attempt to host any musician who will participate in the Luo festival with unspecified consequences.