The year was 2015; the then-US President Barack Obama was in Kenya for a historic visit.
When President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted Obama for a State Banquet at State House, Nairobi, the former US President got a chance to show off his ‘Lipala’ dance moves.
Uhuru’s favourite band Sauti Sol had invited the two heads of State to join their performance and they duly obliged.
Sauti Sol lead singer Bien Aime Baraza says the moment is still fresh in his mind.
Speaking in a YouTube interview with ‘The Play House’, Bien said the moment with Obama was beyond his wildest dreams.
Sauti Sol had been scheduled to perform in Malawi but postponed their show to entertain Obama and other State House guests.
“Bruce Odhiambo (the late) called us and told us we were needed to perform at State House. I kept asking him if we would even get the chance to get close to Obama, considering the security. He advised me that whoever has the mic in his hand has all the power,” he said.
Bien got his chance and despite the heavy presidential security, he gathered the courage to convince the presidents to dance to their song ‘Sura Yako’.
“So when I went to the stage I explained a bit about how the Lipala dance came along as I walked to where President [Uhuru] Kenyatta and President Obama were.
“The security guard’s eyes were on me and so was the crowd. I requested the Heads of State to come dance with me and they obliged.”
Bien described their five minutes of fame as out of this world.
“The whole dance lasted for about five minutes but even before it ended we were already on CNN. My father was calling me and so many other people. It still felt like a dream even after we left the event,” said the songwriter.
The ‘Midnight Train’ hitmakers would later fly to Malawi for their show the next day.
Bien noted that he was overwhelmed by calls and messages and opted to switch off the phone. When he switched it back on, he was met with over 2,000 WhatsApp messages.