What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of an “all exclusive women dance party?” Silence.
For most, the idea of an all women’s dance party is so foreign that crossing the mental bridge to comprehend this reality is almost impossible. However, it is about time we rewrite the rules of Nairobi’s party life.
The agenda for the third edition of the ‘Strictly Silk’ party, which took place two weeks ago at Ikigai in Nairobi's Westlands was very clear, an all-round fun experience for women by women. And this is in fact an understatement because it was everything I expected it to be and much more.
Not only did they partner with taxi-hailiing Uber for safe transit but was also a St John ambulance on standby in case of medical emergencies. It was pretty obvious that careful and deliberate decisions were made to ensure we were well taken care of.
The set-up was perfect. Fairy lights that turned to beautiful stars at night adorned the white tents that housed different vendors ranging from food, cocktails, beauty, African fashion and body art, just to mention a few.
There were also benches and high tables that were strategically placed so that although it was a full house, we were not crowded at a central point.
Not everyone drinks cocktails, but those who do like them fancy. The first stop as you entered the garden was a cocktail bar and I particularly enjoyed the sweet hibiscus cocktail.
“This is fresh homemade hibiscus extract,” the vendor explained while holding a jar full of a deep red liquid, which mixed gloriously with gin on ice and herbs. It was sweet and tangy.
For those who love indulging in the favour of life through food, the options present were so reasonably priced for such a bougie event that it took all my discipline not to buy everything.
We ordered different delicacies and I thought my sautéed potatoes with barbecue pork tasted so good till I tried the mbuzi from my friend’s plate. Indeed, we use our friends and loved ones as the royal tasters of our private monarchies. And in taster’s own words, “I am proud of the food choices I’ve made today.”
The music set the mood for good vibes. There was a line-up of female DJs who kept us thoroughly entertained. We danced like no one was watching. Never have I ever seen so many beautiful women and all at once. Their personalities shone through their expressive make-up and outfits. We were free.
Conversations on social media after the party exposed larger issues. We are not living in a post-feminism society and despite all the accomplishments we have made, arguments are still reduced to man versus woman. Anyone who thinks otherwise is speaking from a place of privilege. It is OK to like and want nice things and we don’t need to compare our desires with men as the metric.
Now, think of the times you’ve made yourself and others proud. It was refreshing to see women holding each other down and building networks.
This party has definitely opened a door to an incredible room we did not know existed. At the end of the night, I wanted more!