Kenya is fast becoming the hottest scene for car modifying. Thousands of people are spending vast sums on tuning, and there’s a growing community of car fans. Capturing all the action is Shift Nation, a band of petrolheads dedicated to telling the car culture story in this part of Africa. We caught up with one of the club’s founders Marvin Waigera.
What is Shift Nation and how did the idea come about?
Shift Nation is an automotive club for car enthusiasts from all walks of life with different styles of cars. We currently have an Instagram page, where we post automotive content, a YouTube channel for car video reviews, and a WhatsApp platform with members from east and southern Africa. We’ve also got a car wash, where we detail cars, and have hosted several charity events, car shows, drives and meets. Our goal is to bring car enthusiasts together to share our great passion for cars.
When did Shift Nation start?
The club started in 2018. We felt there was something missing in the car community in Kenya and we had a vision of growing the car scene to a greater extent. Here in Nairobi, for instance, the car scene has been really lacking. But recently, people have started building some really serious cars and this inspired us to take their builds to the next level and get them out there for the world to see. We’ve also seen more and more car events emerging and the car community is growing at a great rate.
How has coronavirus affected things for you and is it starting to get back to normal?
The coronavirus has really affected us. We can’t go for the long drives we used to enjoy, and car meets, charity events, track days and car shows have been cancelled due to the measures put in place. We can’t really say things are getting back to normal yet, but most people are tired of staying indoors and slowly getting back to the streets .
You’re very much a social hub for car culture in Kenya. How has this evolved and what are your next plans?
Everything starts from somewhere. Our main aim is to be among the best social media platforms for car content, from cinematic videos to daily car portraits. A lot of hard work and dedication has been put into it by me and my three partners. But I see a future for Shift Nation. I believe that we’re on the right track and headed in the right direction. I can’t say much about our future plans. However, you should expect a lot from Shift Nation in the future, from monthly cars and coffee events to even bigger race events.
What’s your favorite car and drive that you’ve been on?
My favourite car is the Nissan GTR R35. I can’t really pick the best drive I’ve been on since each one has a different vibe and thrill. Some of the drives I really enjoyed are Tokyo Nights, hosted by our sister club Car Scene Africa, as well as The Great Run and the Masinga TT, a drag racing and gymkhana event.
Do you also tune cars and what’s the secret to a good tuning set up?
Currently, we don’t tune cars. We’re focusing on creating awareness about these kinds of cars. But maybe in the future we’ll start tuning our own cars as well.
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