Sigalagala Festival

Sigalagala was a cultural festival hosted by The GoDown in November of 2007 in recognition of the rich contribution of African women in the arts. A celebration in music and the visual arts, the festival attracted some of the leading artists in the region, including Congolese musician Mbilia Bel, and the phenomenal Queen of Taarab and Unyago music, Zanzibar-born Bi Kidude. [By the time of her demise in 2013, Bi Kidude was known to be the oldest touring African musician at the ripe age of ninety-seven years]. There were notable notable performances by leading local musicians Suzanna Owiyo, Atemi, Amani, Ogoya Nengo, Suzanne Gachukia, Valerie Kimani, and Bismillahi Gargar, to name a few.  

Visual artists who participated in the festival included the celebrated Rosemary Karuga (19 June 1928 - 9 February 2021), Tabitha wa Thuku, Geraldine Robarts, Mary Ogembo, Caroline Mbirua and Maggie Otieno.

The attendees were drawn from all walks of life, spanning age, faith, and nationality. The festival provided a much-needed platform for women to share their perspectives, insights and experiences as mothers, daughters, and sisters about the mostly silent influence they can and often do have in the family and in community, and how this influence might be directed strategically to impact the course of events in Kenya.