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How Sauti Sol members missed US show due to airport security check

Heightened security at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport over the weekend almost marred a much publicised Charity show in Seattle Washington, where Kenya’s Sauti Sol band was scheduled to perform.

The members of the group Bien, Polycarp, Delvin and Chimano were split up while going through security at the world’s busiest airport on Sunday, throwing the organisers of the Seattle event into a spin.

This happened on a day that multiple bomb threats against US aircrafts were made at three different airports, including Atlanta, the hub of Delta Airlines.

Government sources later said the threats were not credible.

Only musician Bien-Aime Baraza, the group manager and a keyboardist managed to make the flight, which was scheduled to land at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport early afternoon.


Bien-Aime Baraza saved the day by doing solo performances, much to the delight of those present.

“He was at his best and few even noticed that something was amiss as they relished on the one-man-show,” Mr Ron Imanene, one of the event organisers, said by phone from Seattle, Washington.

However, a disgruntled fan who spoke on condition of anonymity said she, accompanied by a number of other Kenyan revellers who had been eagerly awaiting the band’s arrival at Seattle’s EMP Museum, had to leave in protest after word went around that the group wouldn’t make it for the show.

“We expect the managers to take full responsibility for this unfortunate development,” she said.

The Washington State event was organized by one Vibe Africa in support of a Kisumu based Music and Art Center.

Artists Arunga Awuor, M1 of Dead Prez and Dax Lion performed as the crowd awaited Sauti Sol’s appearance. Others were Jus Moni, Aisha Fukushima, Babaluku, Project Lion Heart, LaRue and Zack Okello

The Seattle show was Sauti Sol’s last gig ahead of the BET Awards ceremony slated for June 28 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

The group, which has been nominated in The Best International Act category, had performed in Atlanta the previous day.


In mid April, popular Kenyan musician ‘Jaguar’ disappointed many of his Atlanta fans after getting on stage four hours late and only performing for 26 minutes.

Irate Kenyans expressed their displeasure with the event organisers for not advising the artist to keep time as advertised.

One Vibe Africa and EMP Museum present the 2nd Annual Madaraka Festival, a night of music and purpose. Madaraka Festival is a creative collaboration among Seattle artists in support of One Vibe Africa’s Music and Art Program, based in Kisumu, Kenya.