1st and 2nd March: Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair by KNOB Digital.

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I first came to take note of KNOB Digital from their founding and hosting of the Mekatilili Trade Fair in Kilifi. For Coast people, the name Mekatilili evokes strong emotion. It stirs in us a sense of identity and a push for recognition for Coastal contribution to the larger entity called Kenya. Mekatilili Trade Fair was started on 20th July, 2021 by a group of Kilifi youth. The idea came on the backdrop of another, Mekatilili Awards, meant to recognize and reward artists, creatives and businesspeople contributing to the preservation of Pwani culture and heritage. With the support of stakeholders, the Trade Fair offered an opportunity to link diverse and unique business ventures to consumers both within and outside Kilifi.

Now on a steady rising graph, KNOB Digital brings you Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair. I interviewed Emmanuel Baraka, Chairperson of the organising committee, who told me more about Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair, plus the event’s program. Emmanuel Baraka, “The Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair is a unique event that aims to showcase innovative products and services while also recognizing outstanding achievements in various industries such as technology and Innovation, art, entrepreneurship, marine, and many more. It provides a platform for businesses to network, explore new opportunities, and celebrate success. The event takes place over two days and combines the excitement of a Trade fair with the glamour of a gala night making it a must-attend event on the social calendar.

Day 1: Nunua Kilifi Trade fair 

The trade fair is divided into three phases: Soko Choyo (Morning Market: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM), Soko Jeuri (Midday Market: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM), and Soko ya Mekatilili (Afternoon Market: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM).

In the Soko Choyo phase (Morning Market: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM), exhibitors and partners have the opportunity to engage in direct trade and networking. This is a great time to explore potential collaborations and experience the diverse offerings of our exhibitors in a more intimate setting before the larger crowds arrive.

Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair: Deputy Governor Hon. Flora Mbetse Chibule meeting an exhibitor at the past Trade Fair.

During the Soko Jeuri phase (Midday Market: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM), exhibitors focus on engaging with attendees. This is the perfect time to showcase products or services and interact with potential clients. Attendees can explore the trade fair, interact with exhibitors, and discover unique finds and services.

The Soko ya Mekatilili phase (Afternoon Market: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM) is the grand finale of the trade fair. Attendance increases, and there is music, live MC announcements, and a captivating runway show. Ushers will guide attendees through each booth, ensuring a seamless and engaging experience. This phase is a celebration of culture, creativity, and commerce.

Each “soko” offers a distinct flavor and opportunity to engage, from quiet morning trades to the bustling finale with entertainment and fashion highlights. Whether you’re here to network, trade, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone at our event. 

Day 2: Gala Night – Celebrating Excellence and Achievement

Arrival and Opening Activities (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM): 

The evening begins with an exciting and engaging atmosphere, designed to immediately captivate attendees. As guests arrive, they are invited to participate in a variety of interactive activities that set the stage for an unforgettable night. These activities include glamorous photoshoots on the red carpet, venue-wide photoshoots to capture every moment, and press interviews to allow guests to share their expectations and insights, adding depth to the narrative of the evening

Event Kickoff with Performances (7:30 PM – 8:00 PM):

As attendees finish socializing and getting to know each other, the focus shifts to the stage for the formal introduction, which sets the tone for the rest of the event and provides an overview of what will happen. This segment is punctuated by a series of performances, each carefully selected to resonate with the theme and spirit of the event. These acts, which comprise a variety of artistic expressions, including music and theater, promise to captivate the audience with their powerful messages, which align with the event’s theme and reflect its core values.

A highlight of the evening is the exclusive screening segment, where special content, such as short films, documentaries, or performances, curated specifically for this event, is showcased. This segment offers a moment of collective experience, as attendees are drawn into stories, achievements, or artistic expressions that reflect the event’s purpose of promoting cultural diversity and ambition to inspire creativity. During this time, attendees can find inspiration, reflect on the event’s themes, and develop a deeper connection to the purpose of the night.

Entertainment Segment (8:30 PM – 9:00 PM): 

Building on the momentum, the entertainment segment is included to provide a break from the main program and to entertain the audience. It features a diverse mix of acts that are designed to delight and charm the attendees. This part of the evening promises to be a dynamic showcase of talent, featuring a variety of acts, including high-energy dance numbers and soulful musical pieces. There will be something to appeal to every attendee’s taste.

The heart of the event unfolds as we proceed to the announcement of nominees and the subsequent awarding ceremony. This hour is dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of the distinguished nominees across various categories such as arts, entrepreneurship, and community service. The awarding ceremony not only honors their outstanding efforts but also highlights their significant impact on their respective fields. It serves as an inspiration for all present, showcasing the power of hard work and dedication. It’s a moment of recognition, pride, and collective celebration symbolizing the purpose of the entire event.

After the awarding segment concludes, the event transitions into a series of reflective speeches from honored guests, winners, and organizers. These speeches provide a moment to ponder the evening’s significance, the journey that led to this point, and the future directions inspired by the night’s revelations. They offer an opportunity for individuals to express their gratitude, share their vision, and strengthen the sense of community. Following the speeches, guests are invited to depart at their leisure, allowing them to reflect on the evening’s experiences and continue conversations sparked by the event. This departure signifies the conclusion of the formal proceedings, but the impact of the evening will continue to resonate in memories and discussions long after the last farewell.

As the curtain falls on the Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair, participants leave inspired, enriched, and armed with newfound knowledge, connections, and entrepreneurial zeal. This extraordinary two-day event highlights the transformative power of innovation, celebrates achievements, and unites visionaries from across industries. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, an established business leader, or an enthusiast seeking inspiration, the Tuza Gala Awards and Nunua Kilifi Trade Fair promises an unforgettable experience like no other. Mark your calendars and join us on this remarkable journey of discovery, growth, and celebration. Together, let’s shape a vibrant future of entrepreneurship.”

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