This is a vote of thanks following last Saturday’s birthday Party of Vivian Atieno, our daughter who has just turned 18. On behalf of my family, I take this opportunity to thank all Kenyan and Swedish friends who attended the Party and made the event a big success. Your presence at the Party, the conversations we had, the pieces of advice our daughter received from well-wishers, the numerous birthday presents, the social interactions and the mood of conviviality that dominated the atmosphere will remain embedded in our memories for ever.
Specifically, I wish to thank all friends who helped with cooking food thereby lifting the burden of feeding 123 guests. Here, many thanks to Josephine, Margaret, Joyce, Lillian, Monica, Lenza, Mama Abdulahi and Caroline, for the enormous amount of work which made the ultimate difference.
Lots of gratitude to Laban who helped with coordination at the hall, Albert who helped with transportation of items to the main hall in Tensta, Marky (the MC) and Oti who both helped with last minute shopping and emergency transport, all the good friends who took over practical work in the kitchen, the good Samaritans who helped with minding of little children around the hall and all kind hearted people who assisted with serving the numerous guests who all had a good time. My family was deeply humbled by your solidarity and your names will remain in the good family books long after Atieno has moved on with her life.
I also take this opportunity to thank DJ Gideon for taking his time to wire the music and to entertain the audience well into the night together with little DJ Daddy Cool who took control of the situation to show the audience the art of spinning by the new generation. I was completely taken aback that at his tender age, DJ Daddy Cool had basically mastered the art of D-Jeying. It was a brief moment when a keen observer could notice Kenya talent in the making. A lot of gratitude to Paparazzi Keegan who took over the camera work and ensured that key scenes were captured for posterity. Many thanks to Mzee Otieno Opee for fatherly advice.
Likewise, kudos to; Moses Trubadur for his live music interlude which thrilled the crowd, Jack-Joel and Crew for their wonderful composition to the birthday girl and Josephine for prayers and role in the cutting of the birthday cake.
Many thanks to Jared (who arrived from Paris and came directly to the Party), Councilor Daniel, Munala wa Munala, Man Nzoro, Kip, Ngugi, William and all those who constituted the “Last men standing” at the end of the Party. I cannot name everybody but without your in-put, the winding up process during the wee hours of the morning could have been much more complicated.
For those who could not make it because of various reasons, there is always next time. I sincerely accept your apologies relayed via telephone, SMS, email and word of mouth. For those who sent presents, I can assure you that your parcels were well received and thank you very much. For friends who failed to get invitations because of technical reasons, do not take it personal because I was dealing with a large number of people. You remain my friends and let us take up debate.
So far, this was the biggest birthday Party the family has ever organized and, naturally, we had our own internal challenges. A lot of lessons were learnt in the process which could help in the future or shared from within. If anything went wrong, it was unintentional and we take responsibility. For everything that went right, it was all a product of team-work because the family could not pull this alone.
I had hoped for more social engagements with friends whom I have not been in contact with for some time but unfortunately, a lot of things were happening at the same time. I have in mind friends like Nyakwar Oyundi, Jared A, Odada, Flo, the Njengas, Nelly, Mama Mberi, DJ Jimmy, Manto, Rukia, Lucy, the two Jackies, Mama Moni, Queen, Tarus, Makan, Otieno Opee, Ken, Dan, Johnny, Taabu, J. Nganga, Sheila and many others. There was just no time and I hope for further contacts so that we can catch up on numerous pending issues.
A “Thank you” message would be incomplete without mentioning the many youths who turned up to give Atieno company and to keep the Party young as members of the “other generation” began to give room. Lastly, many thanks to Mama Rania, a close family friend.
Let us continue to build a strong Network because the biggest lesson leant during the event and which will continue to vibrate in the air is that we need each other. It is the time you took to attend that made the Party a success and for this, thank you very much.