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Kenya food didn’t make me miss home — Koker

Nigerian singer, Olayiwola Kokumo, popularly known as Koker, speaks to JOY MARCUS about fond memories of his trip to Kenya

What country did you have your most memorable travel experience?

That would be Kenya, a country in East Africa, with its coastline on the Indian Ocean. I travelled to the country in 2017.

What was the purpose of your trip?

I had a few musical performances there and I stayed at a very beautiful hotel for about a week.

What was the first thing that impressed you about the country?

They have very good foods which are only slightly different from Nigerian food. When I tasted their food, I didn’t feel like I was far from home. I ate a very tasty meal that had vegetable leaves in it but I can’t remember the name right now. Meanwhile, they are very peaceful people and they have some basic amenities like electricity. They also pay attention to details.

What did you see in Kenya that you would love to have replicated in Nigeria?

There is nothing in particular that I would love to see replicated in Nigeria but their level of organisation is to be emulated. Kenya is a great place and I had a very fantastic time during the period I stayed there.

What can Kenya learn from us or vice versa?

We can learn a whole lot from Kenya such as how to utilise our resources and generate income for the country and not focus on irrelevant things that don’t help us in anyway. Meanwhile, Kenya can also learn a great deal from us, especially in the entertainment industry because Nigerian entertainment is fast rising and I think there is hardly any country that doesn’t know our music or musicians. We are marketing our sound worldwide which is a proof that we can take our culture to the international level and people will love it even if they don’t understand the language.

What can you say about their music industry?

Kenya’s music industry is growing fast and I will confidently say that Africa, in general, is doing great in that aspect. Kenya’s hip hop music is growing really fast with brilliant musical acts, who are doing great music. I would say Kenyan music is great.

What can you say about Kenyan culture?

I didn’t pay much attention to that but I perceived that they still maintain their unique African culture.

While you were in Kenya, how did you move around?

I had a car allocated to me and I have one or two friends over there that helped me to move around.

Did you visit any interesting places while you were there?

Yes, I did. I went to one of their malls though I can’t remember the name now and I visited some exquisite restaurants too.

Were there any downsides to your trip?

There is none that I can think of.

Were the people friendly towards you?

Yes, they were very friendly towards me. Kenyans are very nice and accommodating.

Did you experience any culture shock?

No, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

What was the highlight of your trip?

I was happy that the purpose of my trip was successful and I met a lot of new people. I also did a lot of networking. It was a very memorable trip and I would love to travel to the country again.

How well do they know about our musicians?

They know a lot about our music and our musicians because Nigeria is the giant of Africa and we are number one in the continental music industry.

What other places would you like to visit?

I would like to visit Madrid, Tanzania and a couple of other interesting places.

Did you buy anything for keepsake during your trip?

No, I didn’t but the next time I visit the country, I would definitely buy something.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to embark on a trip?

Plan and organise well. Get information about the place you are going to and prepare yourself. Get ready to explore and enjoy your trip but be very conscious of your environment.

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