The much anticipated NiShowPower concert, which was scheduled to kick off a youth voter registration campaign, has been cancelled following vandalism and arson.
Top Kenyan artists Dela, Juliani, Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo, Sarabi, and Sauti Sol were scheduled to play free of charge to support this initiative.
Over 4,000 youth were expected to attend the function, and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec was expected to attend the event.
Event organisers have condemned the vandalism, saying that they have lost thousands of shillings following the crime.
“The Society for International Development and The Institute for Social Accountability condemn the overnight arson and vandalism at the NiShowPower concert and voter registration drive last night. Like other civic organisations and prominent artists, we have lost thousands of shillings worth of property,” read a statement from the event organisers.
The NiShowPower team also pointed out that the vandalism had a greater consequence: it blocked youth from registering as voters.
“The destruction of equipment and voter education materials has effectively blocked the thousands of young Kenyan men and women from registering to vote today.”
Expressing concern about the violent act, the NiShowPower organisers warned that if such violent acts were condoned, this trend could spell out doom for Kenya.
“The fact that it took place on the University of Nairobi grounds a few weeks after a controversial and violent student election should not be lost. The country is slowly losing the democratic space to have credible and effective elections months from the next General Elections. Left uninterrupted, the escalating violence shall leave many Kenyans unable to run party campaigns, seek election and vote for the leaders of their choice.”
To combat this worrying trend, they called for multi-sector collaboration.
“We call on the state, IEBC, all political parties and civic education organisations to quickly come together and interrupt this spiral to violence.”