(Pictures by Rizwan Ibrahim)

Being Kenyan to the very core I have to admit I had never bothered with the concept of Halloween or playing dress up. I mean there were better ways to spend my cash than on mindless costumes and decor.
That all changed when I moved to South Africa.
In SA I began celebrating Halloween like I do Diwali, Christmas and Idd and Halloween became as important a holiday in my life as the above mentioned. Every year costumes were planned, decorations organized, trick or treating treats bought and jack O lanterns carved out of pumpkins.

My best friend Aliya and I would painstakingly plan, make, buy or steal our costumes and waited each year with bated breath for the 31st of October.
Halloween slowly became the best holiday/ celebration in my opinion as it is the only holiday where you are permitted to get you freak on-outside of the bedroom-and since I am a kid stuck in a woman’s body I am enthusiastic about any ‘holiday’ that gets me to play dress up and eat candy.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I returned to Kenya and re-discovered that Halloween was only enjoyed by children under ten. I drowned my sorrows in a tub of ice cream and decided if I got fat I could always end up as a giant pumpkin at my niece’s party.
Then a couple of years ago Aliya called me up shrieking on the phone that she had discovered a Halloween party by a group called 6am and we had to check it out. Apparently ‘The 6am’ group annually hosted their Trick O Treat do.

What had initially begun as an experimental jaunt for us has now become a tradition and ever since 2007 we have been loyal connoisseurs of the 6am Halloween do’s titled ‘Trick or Treat’.
This year 6 am held their event at the Nairobi national Museum and with beats and sets streaming from South Africa’s DJ Fresh and our own local talent like the fabulous DJ Drazen, the awesome Mikhail Kuzi, the talented DJ K and ultra-cool DJ Vapor.

(Dj Drazen and Dj Fresh-Pictures by Rizwan Ibrahim)

From the moment we walked into the venue we were blown away. Sure the pesky under age kids who kept trying to get in and kept getting carded were a hurdle (please stay home next time if you are under 18 as you won’t be allowed in so why bother and spoil our fun?), but once you clambered over them and got to the gates you wouldn’t believe you were at the museum.

 It was completely transformed with bits and bobs of spooky decorations artfully strewn about-I especially loved that the dance-floor was constructed under a huge spider web and large fake spiders posed on tents, the web, the stage and the entrance (very scary for a friend of mine who suffered from arachnophobia) all added to the daunting theme .
From ghouls, to witches, to pirates, fairies, naughty school girls, vampires, cowboys, lady gaga, devils-all examples of the dead, funky and freaky were on display. I happened to bump into a pirate dressed up as Jack Sparrow but who preferred to be known as Black Sparrow aka John Muigai, who told me he had been planning his outfit for ages and stayed in character the whole time. There were moments he ‘ahoy matey’d’ me and asked me “to walk the plank”.
An axe murderer told me he had saved up for months to create his costume which consisted of fake blood, white butcher overalls and a large plastic axe and that’s when I realized that Kenyans had finally embraced Halloween thanks to 6am who provided a platform for the brave enough to express their creativity.
As for the sets: our boys did us proud, I got there when DJ Drazen was spinning his set and we immediately made a bee line for the floor. DJ Fresh was a true surprise and delight as he didn’t just stick to house but played the biggest hits from Taio Cruz, to Lady Gaga, to Rihanna always mixing it up with funky beats and Kwaito. Plus he played for more than two hours which was a true pleasure.


6am’s Dj Drazen said this was the reason they brought him down as “we ha[d] been focusing on international acts so to make it a big treat we decided to make it extra Fresh”.
Kuzi, K and Vapour also brought their A game and I had to drag my friends away from the dance floor or we’d have never made it home.
Speaking to Dj Drazen and DJ Barney Barrow from 6am after the event I couldn’t help wondering what made them pick Halloween to highlight as it had never been popular and Drazen said “ Halloween is the biggest fancy dress night of the year and they didn’t want to miss out on it” as dozens of people wanted to dress up and party but never had anywhere to show off their costumes.
So what next for 6am? Here’s an exclusive: Mark your calendars this 4th of December as they will be bringing down Oliver Huntenmann from Germany. Huntenmann is one of the best producers and DJs on techno/minimal and electronic. And their legendary New Year’s eve party is also in the works and the boys tell me they will be bringing down Kyau and Albert, one of the biggest trance duos in the world.
Sounds like they have a lot of tricks up their sleeves and I can’t wait for the next one.


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