A blogger, a driver and a photographer walk into a field.
No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s a subtle clever way to manipulate you- my audience- into thinking I’ve achieved the level of wit only befitting those greats, kina Magunga and Biko. But alas, I have not. And we actually didn’t walk into the field. We drove into it and- parked the car.
Technically, we were all drivers, I was the only amateur photographer of the trio (although amateur is a gross exaggeration) and I was also the only blogger.
The name’s Nairobi Pedestrian. I suspect you’ve heard of me: YOU ARE ON MY BLOG.
Anyway, after the car was parked in a convoluted parking system that only Kafka would appreciate, we all emerged from the dredges of the trials of parallel parking and walked to the entrance. I was already bothered about my spending since tickets were retailing for Sh1000.
Luckily, depending on how you look at it, I encountered some magazine staff who were selling their tickets at half price. I immediately jumped on their “offer” the moment I confirmed the authenticity of the tickets. Go me! The curmudgeon Kenyan spirit lives strong!
So we stood in line to have our tickets processed and were given colour coded bracelets corresponding with the kind of money we were willing to shelf for our tickets. It did momentarily occur to me that I should have gotten half a wrist band.
After all the payment hullabaloo, we finally walked in with the fanfare of Cinderella walking into the ball.
Difference is, nobody noticed. Or cared.
The Concours d’Elegance is an event meant to celebrate the artistry that can only be found in vintage cars. The 2017 edition had a record setting- number- of entries and all of them were as breath-taking as my mama’s chilli stew.
We started with the bikes display. Two seater, ball-munching, skirt-raising, panty-wetting monsters that all stood with thinly veiled veneers of self-importance. They were the diamond in a cluster of pearls. Giant beasts of beauty, artwork and horsepower. I can already feel my tummy rumble. From modern to ancient models, they all stood there at attention, just waiting to capture the eye of the next Mark Getty. And they did. Definitely.
The next Mark Getty
In our little trio of a powerpuff girl and the rowdy ruff boys, was one actual pro photographer. I haven’t asked for his permission while writing this so I shall refer to him as the next Mark Getty.
(As for all the other photographers in my life, I have names for you too. Yes, you brother. And you Gaelle. And the rest of you- don’t worry. You spesho.)
Mark Getty the Next was quick to whip out his camera. A Nikon that seemed more like a work out device than a camera. Bitch was HEAVY.
Mark Getty the Next was as fast to the shutter as Leo DiCaprio was to draw his gun in Gangs of New York (before he was shot). Crouching in positions only photographer yoga instructors would know, he captured the best angles for the most eye catching bikes. Jumping from one to the next with the enthusiasm of my pet cat when he is playing with my toes.
As Mark Getty the Next had two spare cameras, the driver and I each got one. I had a Nikon something and I couldn’t be bothered what make the driver had. All I cared about was how awesome I looked on that gizmo.
The driver had an eye for detail, lighting and an ear for my instruction. To be completely honest, I was the one with the eye. But don’t tell him that. (For some reason that was whispered in my head).
Anyway, The Driver looked around at all the vibrating half cars and damn near drooled. I drooled too. I may think MotoGP is a glorified sprint (Team F1 forever! Believe me, there is actually no battle) but those monsters were making my lady bits act a flutter. With more colour variation than a spectrum, they could have turned the head of a colour blind person whose ears had taste.
The driver was preoccupied with capturing the emblems of the monsters. Davidson’s wings and BMW’s checker boxes seemed to be getting his boxers in a twist. Until I stood next to a cherry red number that had his tongue rolling out.
(This will probably be the longest piece because I grew up an only child for 16 years and may or may not have narcissistic personality disorder.)
So I was there for the cars. But since I was attending with the driver and Mark Getty the Next, I was also equipped with a camera and I had a blast with it.
From capturing the flowing angles from the glistening bodywork of a Jaguar F-Type to the rambunctious appearance of a Mustang 62, I clicked away at my shutter until my arm protested carrying the camera for any longer.
But I took it all in. The overpriced snacks, the evasive celebrities, the shy entrants, the over-enthusiastic entrants, the comic effects guys in costumes, the amazing cars, the shitty cars, the meh cars, the trying-too-hard cars, the senseless fashion show, Nyashinski’s underrated performance, Nyashinski’s underrated encore, the unexpected black out, the disappointment of the party ending before dark, the insane traffic jams and the fact that I STILL DID NOT APPEAR AS BEST DRESSED IN THE PAPERS.
I wasn’t particularly dressed to the nines considering I was getting to the gig at three o’clock ya Mwafrika (almost 4pm). I’d had sixteen changes of outfits before leaving the house and so I had held the incurable hope that perhaps in 2017 I would finally appear in the papers or blogs among the best dressed at Concours ranks. But alas this time there wasn’t even so much as a keen fashion photographer as had been the case the past three years. Well inasmuch as there was the delightful satisfaction of the Model T not winning this year, I was still miffed that I wasn’t best dressed yet.
All uncredited photos by Your’s Truly, Gideon Noriega and Gilbert Githinji.
Should you want to view more photos of the cars, DM me on my social media pages.
I also apologise for taking so long to publish this. Have been swamped with work, then I fell sick and have had plenty of logistical constraints.