Rihanna’s Nairobi’s Fenty Launch was a sham

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lands in Nairobi

The Kenya launch of the Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin cosmetics products happened in Nairobi on May 26, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

“If Bad Gal Riri (Rihanna) had attended the Fenty beauty launch in Kenya, she would have slapped everyone and immediately flown back to the US.” One of the posts read on Twitter.

Since Friday, a day after the grand launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna at the Social House, James Gichuru Road, Lavington, Twitter users have been criticising the event hosted by Lintons Beauty.

Given that the launch of the event involved one of the greatest singers and the second female to achieve the billion dollar entertainer status in the world, the bar had already been set too high.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lands in Nairobi

Nikita Kering performing during the Fenty Beauty products official launch in Nairobi on May 27, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

To even think the launch in Kenya, one of the eight countries in Africa now officially retailing the Fenty beauty brand was a success, is an understatement.

For an event that was supposed to be a Kenyan version of MetGala, the Fenty launch was nothing but shambolic.

A majority of invited guests’ influencers and celebrities started arriving past 8pm an hour later past the set time. Some like Tanasha Donna showed up at the end of the event.

At the entrance manned by about five heavily built bouncers in black suits wearing long faces, one had to get a pass ticket, a white or black ribbon, depending on one’s status.

The media and a few individuals got the white ribbon while influencers received black ribbons.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lands in Nairobi

Jane Gachui poses for a photo during the launch of Fenty Beauty in Nairobi on May 26, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

“Hey we also have a gift package for you once you leave, please pass by and collect it,” the receptionist told a famous actress as she made her way in.

When we sought to find out why, the receptionist made it clear that she had instructions to give gifts only to guests with black ribbons.

From the ticketing desk, one was then led to a reserved elevator that dropped the guest at the 5th floor, the venue of the main event.

“You mean there is no red carpet moment for such an occasion Oh my gosh! I’m surprised. This is supposed to be Rihanna's launch right?” remarked one of the guests.

There were no ushers to take guests through the programme of the night as is the norm with many events.  

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lands in Nairobi

Kagwe Mungai with Shiksha Arora during the launch.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The floor was split into two with an open bar in the middle. On the right, Fenty beauty products were on display as was a free make up session   for anyone who wished to have a feel of the products. Most females in the room had a chance to try Rihanna’s products free of charge.

On the left wing, there were seats for 50 guests.

 Some guests were seen leaning on the bar table and walls while some leaned on the pillars.

However, what kept the mood going even as more and more celebrities and influencers continued to throng in, was the free flowing cocktails served at any given time.

There were enough bites for those who cared to eat. We caught a glimpse of online comedian Crazy Kennar who looked out of place. Standing alone at the middle of the floor sipping a drink from his glass.  

Former TV personality Janet Mbugua moved from table to table catching up with friends.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lands in Nairobi

Fenty Beauty products on display in Nairobi on May 26, 2022 during the official launch.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The ever jovial Sarah Hassan and influencer Esther Kazungu together with their crew  sat at a table at a corner until it was time to go party at Club Gemini, a treat only to those wearing  black ribbons.

Nikita Kering cheered the crowd with a less than five minutes’ performance.   

Surprisingly, the event had no dress code.  

Even one of Linton’s directors, Dennis Gikunda was dawning a casual wear and didn’t seem bothered.

“I would rate this event 5/10 the disorganisation is so surreal. Why invite so many people in such a small space. The room was so crowded, with no structured itinerary, you couldn’t figure out what was going on,” a guest lamented.

A screen mounted on the walls played what was supposed to be the unveiling launch promo video from Rihanna.

Fenty Beauty lipsticks on display in Nairobi on May 26, 2022 during the official launch.

A few minutes to midnight, a Linton’s associate tried to read some speech to inattentive guests. The mumbling from the crowd was louder.

“They couldn’t even get some champagne to toast for the launch,” another guest lamented.  

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