Poetry Wonder at the CakeFest254 2016

The Nairobi Cake Festival 2016 was this year held at the Kenya Wildlife Service Grounds!  Unlike last year, this time the weather cooperated.  And the Venue was Fantastic! Once again, I was attending as part of the Cake Providers.  Maureen and I had a really nice tent, Amari Quickbreads was set up for the day, and boy did we serve cake.

Say, “Hi, have some Apple Cinnamon Cake today,” Five times, maybe ten, uhm…twenty, then thirty…At some point, someone was like, say what? Say that again, coz I had messed it up to Apple Cinnamony…Apple Cake…Cinnamon Apple….Cinna….lolz.

I had a blast!

Our Tent was fantabulous, we got loads of visitors wanting to know more about Amari and of course we were representing Cookswell Jikos too.   I want to give a grateful shout out to SafiServe who brought us the blue gloves you see my Sis wearing.  They placed us on top with Food Safety, which is really important. Check out Safi Serve, and learn more about the good work they are doing across Nairobi.

Maureen looking fabulous after a very successful Cake Festival 2016.  She had baked all night before this, and you can’t even tell, right!  Love you, Sis ^_^

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When the cake dishing out exercise was out, I got a chance to check out the competition!  Wow, Bakers have great imagination.  Here are some pieces that jumped out at me.

I got to the Teapot and teacup after someone had a taste! ^_^

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Imagination took over here.  I kept thinking of exotic plants in all the SciFi books I’ve ever read for this one.↑

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The Watermelon Cake that had us all waiting for a piece↓….Just loved how vibrant this cake looked on the inside!  This lady made my day when she decided to cut the cake so we could see the inside.

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Poetry Magic

When the day was over, we decided to walk around and see the show.  While taking cake pictures, this band came on and stole my heart.  I love a good poetry slam session, and this guy delivered.  He was great with the rolling words, his spoken word captured the soul, down to the toes…and the roars when the guitar riffs hit right!  Yeah, I had my guitar fix, and the day was complete!

The Nairobi Cake Festival has grown in the last few years.  This festival is quickly growing into a wonderful creative pool.  Festival goers get to meet Great Big Cake Houses, as well as Small Bakers with Big Dreams just starting out.  I felt inspired walking from tent to tent, seeing so many people with creative ideas, working to showcase their businesses.  Speaking of creative, these guys made me smile.  In a sea of cake, they brought out the jerseys, their art, and a dash of taste. Cocktails anyone?  Loved their flare. Thumbs up pun-tees.com

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Cake Fest 254 2016 in a nutshell?

It was Cake, Celebrating Achievements, Having Fun, Meeting New Friends, Hanging with New Friends, Creativity at its fullest, and of course, Great Music….loving the band at the end!

The Ladies Posing after a Hard Day’s work!

Check out these Links to learn more about Cake Festival Nairobi:

Cake Festival Nairobi

Edumed Trust – It’s all about taking kids to school, join the Cake Festival Next Year.

Safi Serve – These guys are the stuff! We need more of what they’re doing for Restaurants/ Hotels/ Food Industry

Amari Bakery – Plugging the day job here….^_^

Cookswell Jikos



Blog Giveaway – One Ticket to Storymoja Hay Festival 2014

The Storymoja Hay Festival is 7 Days Away..they’re moving very fast, Speeding I tell you….

It’s been an exciting journey on my end.  Going through the program, working with the other interns as we prepare to be part of the festival.  We now have our jobs and know what our roles will be during the festival.  We’re excited to meet you at the festival, and help you out, as you experience the Storymoja Hay Festival.

If you’re coming, and have your ticket, Great! Count the days!

If you’re not convinced and are on the fringe, here are a few things that you mustn’t Miss:


What is a Storymoja Hay Festival Masterclass?

It is an interactive 3 hour session that draws from the Session Leader’s experience to encourage and inspire creatives…Session Leaders are Writers, Poets, Musicians, Filmmakers, Journalists, Illustrators, Affluent Entrepreneurs and many more…brought together by Storymoja Festival

Masterclasses are wonderful for people interested in a particular industry. People who want to learn more about writing both fiction and non-fiction.  There are blogging masterclasses.  There are topics on film, poetry and art, even entrepreneurship.

Expect to see Vuyelwa Maluleke, Chief Nyamweya, Alexander Nderitu, Mathew Shenoda, Dilman Dila, Prajwal Parajuly, Tony Mochama, Jackson Biko, Dizraeli & L-ness and so many more….

An Example: 

Masterclass: How to Make Awesome Comics with Chief Nyamweya

Roba v. Poachers Photo Courtesy of thetsunamistudio.com

It is scheduled on Wednesday 17th from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.  If you’re interested in drawing comics or even reading them, sign up for the class and spend these three hours having a conversation with Chief Nyamweya who is a talented and creative illustrator, you’ve read his work, Roba published by The Star newspaper, if not go check it out! You get to ask him questions about his work, the industry, and any other burning questions you might have.  He too will ask you questions.  You’re welcome to having a lively discussion in this space.  If you want to be an illustrator, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about what it takes.

Sign UP Here for this particular Masterclass.

Cost: Kshs. 500 per Masterclass. (On top of your Festival Entrance Fee)

Masterclasses are scheduled for Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 – Friday, September 19th, 2014

Visit this Link for More Masterclasses.  Sign UP now so you don’t miss a Spot.  You don’t want to miss a Discussion with your favorite Writer, Poet, Filmmaker, Journalist, Artist, Musician….so many are coming.

Children’s Program

Joanne Ball-Burgess

This runs from Wednesday September 17th, 2014 to Friday September 19th, September

We’ll have loads of students coming to the Festival and experiencing the different sessions prepared just for them.  There will be stories and songs at the Koko Riko Tent, Dance with Poetry at the Kanga Tent.  The Kanga Tent will have Joanne Ball-Burgess from Bermuda.  She’s an accomplished Dancer and a Sakata Dance Competition Judge.  Don’t miss out on this!

There are Spoken Word sessions with Dizraeli (UK) and L-ness (Kenya)  Find the Careerpedia Tent where students get Tips from Successful Entreprenuers like Rose Maket from Alive & Kicking and Ritesh Doshi (Naked Pizza).  There are so many guests, I can’t name them all, you just have to make it to the festival.  Parents, get your kids to this three-day Program if possible.  The festival is hosting over 2,000 students.  Don’t be left out!!

Cost: Kshs. 1,000 at the GATE.

Weekend Events

WEEKEND Events include The Launch of Diaper Mentality Exhibition and an Exhibition of Our Nairobi: A Westgate Memorial.

Enter the Dome for a Wangari Maathai Memorial Lecture with Professor Wole Soyinka (Nigeria).

The Careerpedia Tent has fun reading sessions.  Have a conversation with Ms. Joanne Ball-Burgess, Shariffa Keshavjee, and Harriet Matsaert.  There will be a children’s book launch happening.   H_ART the Band is in house at the Courtyard discussing poetry with other Kenyan poets.  Teju Cole is in house celebrating Nigerian Writers.  Filmmaker Kenny Man launches her film Beautiful Tree, Severed Roots.  The Drumbeats Romance Series brings a session on How Do Africans Kiss? With the Drumbeats Writers and Editors. (Hot Discussion. Don’t miss it!)

Explore the Program Schedule, it’s packed with amazing events that will leave you excited, inspired, and wanting to change the world! Both on Saturday and Sunday!

I hope that is enough to convince you to come……What?

Not Enough yet?….Well…..

Alright…. how about……

After 7 PM on Saturday, it’s time to Party!!!

Saturday Night, One Time Performance….

One Stage you get SAUTI SOL(Kenya) , DIZRAELI (UK) AND BERRY HEART (Botswana)!!

Sauti Sol – Band

One big stage, all you have to do is bring those books you don’t read in your house, you know the ones on a shelf you pass by everyday without giving them a thought.  Those ones, bring them over and help fill a parked Matatu (public service Van) with books.  The goal is to help Storymoja’s START – A – LIBRARY stock school libraries!! Great Cause right…….(****lost in thought***)

Sorry, I was just imagining @Sauti Sol on stage, singing…Dizraeli…getting down on stage…And Berry Heart…giving a heart stopping performance…yeah, no sleep required on Saturday!!..

The ticket for this Event is separate from your Entrance Fee!


Yeah, I know….but you can just buy the ticket for this which is Kshs. 1,000.  Show up at 7 pm, and experience the concert. (If you do this, we’ll miss you during the day….^_^) So, we hope you get both the day’s ticket and the Concert Ticket.  Support Start-a-Library.

Okay!! Now you really must come to the Festival! #GetFestivalTickets

I really hope to see you guys at the Festival.  We’re counting down the days now. I’m excited, nervous…excited…what about you?  Hey, go get a ticket so we meet there okay.  Ticketsasa.com/ Storymoja Hay FestivalYou don’t want to be left out of this!!

Now for the Blog Giveaway!!

Blog Giveaway

I have the hook-up for one lucky person!  Only one!

Saturday passIt’s a FREE TICKET – SATURDAY EVENTS FROM 9am to 7 pm

This blog is collaborating with a fabulous Online Bakery named Amari Bakery to sponsor one (1)person for the Storymoja Hay Festival Saturday Events.

Event: Storymoja Hay Festival

Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Location: Nairobi National Museum

Time: 9 am to 6 pm.

There are night events, as the Sauti Sol concert is scheduled for 7 pm. (This is a separate charge however. (It is not included in our free ticket.)

What to do:

Answer the Following Two questions to the best of your ability:

1. What Type of Oven does  Amari Bakery use?

(Answer should be the type of Oven and the Name of the Company.)

2. Tell us Why You REALLY, REALLY Want to go to the Storymoja Hay Festival.  Impress us with your answer!

Amari Bakery and I will choose the winner and Make an Announcement by Friday September 12th, 2014.

1 (One) Free Ticket

Don’t worry, the winner will get their ticket delivered personally by me or the Amari Bakery Rep.  Here’s a picture of the Ticket!

Let’s go!

Ticket Available through collaboration with:

Amari Logo

The Nairobi 2014 Cake Fest & An Orange Tag Woman

Krumble’s Cake Stand

All you can eat Cakes @ the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014

This weekend, I got to attend and participate in the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014.  If you love Cake, this is the place you should have been on Saturday, 6/28/2014.  Tickets were Kshs. 600 – Adults and Kshs. 350 for kids for Advance Tickets, but Kshs. 750 for Adults and Kshs. 450 for kids, at the entrance on the day of the festival.  The cost was worth it, as the moment you enter the festival, it was an all you can eat cake buffet.  There are loads of Cake Houses and Bakers in Nairobi, and most of them were present.  If you got in, you got to eat free cake from each cake house…, as much as you wanted.

About the Cake Festival

The festival is a premier industry event in Nairobi! It offers a unique opportunity for industry gurus; home based traders, as well as starters to not only open up their service to thousands of visitors but also establish links in the industry under one forum from hospitality, wedding business, catering, latest cakes, designs and dessert to beverage and kitchen equipment. The festival is enriched with healthy options, education about the industry & wide range of opportunities that draw thousands of visitors.  All this makes it the perfect place to reach the retail or food service.


Kate’s Bakers Cakes

1. Eating Free Cake!  The bakers participating had gone all out.  There were cakes with different flavors, small and big, cupcakes, cookies, too sweet, too healthy, just right…if you can think of it, it was there.  My favorite cakes were from the Valentine Cake House.  Those guys really nailed the White Forest, it was amazing!!

2. Of course, I wasn’t there just to eat Cake…, I was also helping out at the Cookswell Jikos Stand.  They were showcasing Charcoal Ovens and Amari Bakery got to use one of them to bake cupcakes.  I met Teddy Kinyanjui from Cookswell and his staff.  Great guys, we ate baked sausages for lunch..lolz.  We gave cake to hundreds of people, at first I stumbled through explanations on the merits of cooking with a Cookswell Charcoal Oven as well as the merits of getting a class from Amari Bakery. Exif_JPEG_420 But, an hour into it, I’d become a pro…”Hello, would you love a taste of our cakes? These tasty treats were baked using a Cookswell Charcoal Oven.  It’s economical, and gives you the same results as an electrical jiko.  Would you like to see how it works?  If you’d like one, here’s a card, call and you’ll get it delivered right at home.  You can call us, Amari Bakery, and we’ll train you/show you how to use one if you’re unsure….”  Yeah, something like that.  I usually have to work at talking to people, so this was good practice.  I got to meet loads of people, some funny, others interesting, others skeptical, all in all, Nairobians Love Cake!!


Hmmm…I got there all excited for cake but, my joys were dampened by a woman who was holding an orange Baker’s tag hostage.   We had tickets, bought in advance and everything, but when it was time to get a tag that said I was working at one of the stands, it turned into a mini-struggle.  Mostly, she had the tag, and wouldn’t give it to me.

Photo28560It started with me running into one of the security men called in to keep everyone safe and running smoothly.  He asked me for a tag, and I showed him my ticket.  He directed me to the entrance tent where I was to get an orange tag to say I was also working at the festival.  The guys at the entrance tent were very helpful, telling me to find a woman who was responsible for the tags.  I went back to find her, but she was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly, the field was evacuated for security checks and weighing competing cakes.

On the way back in, I met with her finally, and she refused to give me the tag.  The Cookswell Jikos Rep., Teddy,  kept telling them I’m working with him, but she just wouldn’t listen.  Alas, we’d met with one of those ladies who just want to make the day turn into a nightmare for you.  I’m not sure why she was acting this way, but I thought it was wrong.  I might have been a newbie at the festival, and working for someone else, but I had a valid ticket, paid for in the right channels.  She was treating me like I’d stolen the ticket or something, and if it had gotten worse, I think those G-men in black suits would have G-forced me out while I was still holding my Valid Ticket.  When she finally relented, my mood for cake was seriously in the dumps.

Thankfully, things looked up when I had to concentrate on serving cake and selling Charcoal Ovens.

View from the Cookswell Jikos Stand

What do I take out of these Festival?

People getting Cake
People getting Cake

1. It is a great opportunity for Bakers.  If you want to open a Bakery or have one and would love exposure, join the Nairobi Cake Festival next year.  Get people to taste your cakes, and know more about you.  There are hundreds of  people who show up for the festival, and if they taste your products and love them, then they’ll want to buy more cakes from you at a later date.

2.  It is a fun opportunity to taste cake for FREE.  Granted the cost of the ticket might be a bit steep, but on the brighter side, you get to eat Cake as much as you want.  Imagine close to one hundred tents, each one serving you up a slice of cake for free.

3. The Cake Festival is also a way to give back.  They sponsor kids to go to school from the proceeds of the festival.  So, joining, and attending, you’re helping a child who needs education.

Elly in Nairobi Thoughts:

I’m Volunteering for the Storymoja Hay Festival in September.  I made a vow not to be what that woman at the Cake Fest was to me.  I’ll seriously work at not becoming the source of negativity for someone coming to enjoy their day at the festival.  It is worse when that person has bought a ticket, and was just hoping for a good time.  This just reminds me that I’ll help anyone who wants to start a movement on Good Customer Service in Kenya.  Anyone interested in starting a Customer Service Training School, Kenya needs you!  This isn’t the first time I’ve been punished for spending money.  It’s like the staff in any given company just takes it out on you if you ask one simple question, or don’t know the rules, they take your head off like you’re bothering them. From Bank Tellers, Phone Company Customer Care, Electricity Company Customer Care, and now Festival Ticketing people….someone help Nairobi.

So, will I go next year?  Maybe, possibly just as a visitor, and not a participant. I’d like to forget my run-in with Orange Tag Woman.

My Nairobi, My City : Maureen Kamari

Mo in deep thoughtOur first Interview on the My Nairobi, My City goes to someone I know very well.  Her name is Maureen Kamari and she’s the founder and owner of Amari Bakery in Nairobi.  She was born in Nairobi, grew up in the Waithaka/Riruta area.  Her primary education was in Nairobi Primary School, which she remembers fondly because she made lasting friendships.  She left the city for a few years, and did her high school and college abroad.  She returned six years ago to start a business in this beautiful sunny city.  Here’s what she has to say about her Nairobi.

Elly in Nairobi: Describe your Nairobi?  How do you see Nairobi from your perspective?

Maureen: My Nairobi is beautiful, grimy, busy, fashionable, tough and oh so loveable.

Elly in Nairobi: What is your favorite place/ spot in Nairobi city?

Maureen: Driving in a car in Nairobi, listening to music and watching all the activity in the city as I go by.

Elly in Nairobi: How would you describe yourself in Nairobi city?

Maureen: When I’m in Nairobi, I feel excited, motivated, renewed & inspired.  All those things rolled into one.

Elly in Nairobi: What feeling does Nairobi give you?

Maureen: I feel nostalgic, hopeful and happiness because to me, Nairobi is home, and the place I’m most comfortable. 

Elly in Nairobi: How do you feel about your fellow Nairobians?

Maureen: I feel one with them, although there are times I don’t always understand them, I feel our unity as a city is unquestionable.   When it comes to certain situations you always feel you can find another Nairobian who’ll understand it.

Elly in Nairobi: What is the best thing about Nairobi? What is the Worst?

Maureen: The Best is the People.  Nairobians are so open-minded and just energetic.  The Worst thing about Nairobi is the Corruption.

Elly in Nairobi: Tell us more about what you do and how that has changed your view of the city?

Maureen: I bake.  I run a small business in Nairobi.  I have met amazing people that inspire me to do great things and who keep me  going even when I feel I’m going to give up.  They’ll come into my shop and tell me, “This is a great job you’re doing, great job, keep going. We like coming here and seeing you doing well.” And that keeps me motivated.

Elly in Nairobi: What would you tell others about your Nairobi?

Maureen: She’s the best city ever!  But you have to be build tough to survive her.


Nduts yellow cake

She’s made me cakes for my birthday since I can remember and that always makes me feel very special. Maureen’s Bakery is located along Kikuyu Road in Nairobi.  Visit her shop or order cakes online and she’ll deliver to you.




Amari Bakery, Kikuyu Road, Beulah Plaza, shop no. 2.

Visit her website: http://www.amari.co.ke or her blog http://www.quickbreads.blogspot.com

Do you have questions? Ask them and we’ll get the answers for you.