It hit me earlier this year that I have been hosting parties in Nairobi for five years now. It feels like it was just a day ago I was chatting with the lovely Susan Deiters as she attempted to convince me to host my first party ever at her restaurant, Cafe des Arts (now Mediterraneo Gigiri) Ahh.. Those were epic parties!
Toga Party At Cafe Des Arts, 2010
Halloween Party, October 31st 2013
Fast forward to early May this year. I am sitting down looking at the coming year to see which dates I could host which themed parties. September 22nd stood out particularly because it is Elephant Appreciation Day. Now if you live in Kenya only one thing pops to mind when you think of elephants, and this happens to be Tusker beer.
The patriot in me could not resist thinking that any Elephant Appreciation Day should go hand in hand with Tusker Beer Appreciation Day, hence the reason Tusker Day falls on 22nd September.
And then tragedy hit. On June 13th 2014, Tsavo Trust announced the death of Satao, Kenya’s largest African male elephant. He was slaughtered by poachers for ivory. Satao’s tusks were so huge they almost reached the ground. Sometimes he would lean the tusks on the ground in order to rest his head and get some sleep.
Satao The Great Kenyan Tusker
Satao belongs to an elite group of elephants who have the necessary genetics to grow tusks this big. These elephants are called Tuskers. They are on the brink of extinction. As you read this, there are only 11 tuskers left in Tsavo, the late Satao’s home, out of a herd of 11,000 elephants.
There are other Tuskers in Africa, but my guess is they are less that 50 in total. We are looking at a species dying right in front of our eyes. Therefore, it is only fair that we pay homage to Satao,and the remaining Tuskers on Tusker Day (Elephant Appreciation Day)
Isilo the Great South African Tusker
That said, I propose we celebrate Tusker Day annually on September 22nd for the following amazing reasons:
1. To honor, protect and fight for Tuskers (+elephants) worldwide which will be extinct in 15 years if poaching continues at such an alarming rate. Find out how you can join the cause by having a look at our campaign, Satao’s Herd.
2. To celebrate Africa’s first annual drinking holiday ever. Tusker beer has been the highlight of many who have fond memories of Africa. The Dutch have King’s Day, the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day, the Germans have Octoberfest and now Africa has Tusker Day.
I now leave you with the amazing elephant and Tusker beer pictures which friends have sent me from all corners of the world. I cannot wait to hear what your plans are for Tusker Day this year! Do send me an email with your thoughts on akinyiadongo (@) tuskerday (.) com
Behold, a Satao Piece which artist Sophie Standing is currently working on.
Kristy McGovern sure knows how to enjoy a Tusker 🙂
Erin Petson did the most beautiful sketch of Satao
My all time favourite Tusker Picture from Sam Dave
Mauro Russo‘s art piece called “Satao the last elephant and the mask of blood”
A Lion King/Tusker Beer moment in Africa by Scott Smith
Don’t you feel like going on Safari when you look at Nick Pearse’s wonderful picture!
Who knew an African Beer could look so good in snow! Mike Nugent‘s picture is quite delightful!