Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Once a year, nerds come together to the closest, and sometimes very far, to a venue they can find and celebrate the nerd culture in its rawness, pop culture event form at Comic convention all over the world. The big ones like the San Diego, WonderCon in LA, New York comic con and the MCM comic con in London attract thousands from all over the world and luckily for us Kenyans and East Africans at large, we have one right at our doorstep, NAICCON.
The Nairobi Comic Convention has been around for a while now growing each subsequent year, and 2019 marked its 2day 6th year in the comic convention business hosting businesses, creatives and fans in its annually ritual of celebrating everything nerd. This year was no exception.
Merchandises At the heart of every nerd and geek out there is a bunch of stuff that they would pretty much talk about for hours. And talking about them is not enough, you need to materialize that love into tangibility-merch. Naiccon hosted a number of shops to
purchase everything you'll need. from Naruto headbands, to buttons, posters, mugs, t-shirts, keychains branded with memorabilia from shows, comics and movies you've enjoyed along the years. Whether it was a new addition to your mancave/ladycave or a gift to someone, there was merch for everyone.
It’s not a comic con without comics, and they were plenty. Naiccon had the pleasure
of gracing renowned comic book writer Ron Marz who has left his mark on comic books like silver surfer, green lantern, DC vs marvel to name a few and if his presence was not enough, he brought some signed comic books to add to buyers’ collections. The comic convention also featured some regional creators and their works such as Mutendei writes' shadow walkers and Uganda’s Reminac Comics.
Panels and competitions
The other side of a comic con other than buying stuff is getting to meet professionals in the fields you enjoy and get as much out of them as possible. There were several of these panels at Naiccon including an animation panel hosted by Vortex studio's Somtochukwo Ajulochukwo, and Head of Projects & Content at African Animation Network Nick Wilson, a cosplay panel hosted by Noor Jamie from Cosplay Cartel All the way from south Africa, a comic book writing panel by Ron Marz, an anime workshop and a game development workshop.
These panels featured their competitions in comic book writing and pitching animation original projects for the ANIMATION DU MONDE East Africa edition Which featured some cool ideas with the winners being Mutendei writes on his comic book shadow walkers and Kenya’s Agent 254, South Africa's the fam and Nigeria’s Rosa's diary for the animation competition.
Gaming Naiccon 2019 featured a big Call of duty face-off between 6 teams that had to battle it out for two straight days to be crowded COD champs, run by Pro Series Gaming in Partnership with WhatsGood Studios, supported by Mettlestate from South Africa. The whole thing was live on the biggest screen so those not playing could also enjoy the action. There was also an MKX tournament and screens with FIFA and tekken for anyone to play.
Red Bull brought their eSports athlete, Abdulaziz, world 2015 FIFA eWorldcup winner.
Board games and Nintendo games were also available for any takers.
Moreover, there was a Lan party that run the whole night with the fastest internet around provided by partner Liquid Telecom that went to as high as 1.3GB per second.
Cosplay is the cream of every comic con, what better way to show your love for a character than embodiment of the character. Naiccon featured some awesomely made cosplay for both enjoyment and competition purposes. Norrie from the Cosplay Cartel from South Africa came to engage the cosplay community and run workshops on costume building. The first day had an audience judged competition featuring cosplays such as street fighter, money heist robbers and black superman with the winners being 2face, captain Kenya and Zatanna.
The second day was bigger and better with a panel of judges with a cash pool of 100k that features numerous cosplays from Furiosa, multiple ironmen, duftpunk, Mulan, Loki, Wonderwomen, With the winners being Jessica Olago (Dragonborn), Newton Mong’are (Ains Ooal Gown) and Antoine Murenga (Deku). Other than all this, there were booths for a variety of things like buying console and pc games, tattoo parlour, karaoke for all nerd songs, corporate and institutions like blaze and an anime watching that went on for the whole night. NAICCON was fun. Mostly because of the people. Meeting people like yourself and getting to talk about stuff you love to people who understand the love is a high that makes coming back to a con a must. It’s still not as big as the bigger cons around the world but slowly Naiccon is growing one nerd at a time. Much thanks to everyone who could make it to #Naiccon2019 and for making it worthwhile. Till next year, nerd on.