Category: writing

reimagining, reviving, storytelling: reclaiming

This is a post in which I gush about stories and storytelling. Reading my about page you know one of the things I am about is narratives so buckle up. What’s your favourite story, podcaster Lilly Bekele-Piper asked me in an interview a couple of days before the Reimagined Storytelling Festival. I went with a poem. One of my all time favourite poems, and one I like to perform: “Where…

are we talking about what we are talking about?

We are on our way to Wales for the final section of the GESA programme (written in August 2018*). I was in two minds about coming for this last part of the programme and strongly considered going back to London. Here’s why. Bird, Why are you stuck in the tree Flapping flapping, Wildly beating your wings Against what holds you back, That which we cannot see. Your flaps are getting…

reimagining folk tales

I never posted about this but better late than never. A short story I wrote called ‘The Giraffes of the Desert’ was selected as one of the finalists for the inaugural Re-imagined Folk Tales Contest in 2016.   Here’s the background to the story. I used to manage communications and social media for a heritage nonprofit called the Trust for African Rock Art in Nairobi. What I loved most about…

msafiri hakuna barabara – machado in kiswahili

Msafiri, nyayo zako Ndizo barabara, sio vinginevyo; Msafiri, barabara haipo, Hutengenezwa kwa kutembea. Kwa kutembea watengeneza njia, Na ukiangaza macho nyuma Utayaona mandhari ambayo katu Hutarudi kuyapitia. Msafiri, hakuna barabara, Bali mawimbi baharini. ya Antonio Machado imetafsiriwa na Wangũi Kamonji Linapatikana hapa katika Kiingereza na Kihispania Huku nikifanya juhudi ya kulitafsiri shairi hili katika Gĩgĩkũyũ kama unayo motisha ya kutafsiri katika lugha unayoizungumza wewe, nitumie utafsiri wako nitauchapisha hapa.

sculpting dreams and reality in mapungubwe

I recently finished reading ‘The Sculptors of Mapungubwe’ by Zakes Mda and I loved it so much when I first started reading it, I had to stop because I didn’t want it to end…… That notwithstanding when I did pick it up again I finished it in a couple of hours (I blame the font, it was large…). It is set in the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in the 13th century…

environmental lessons

-Rosemary likes sunshine, so we planted it over there where it’ll get lots of it- Interwoven with observations about where the sun rises and sets, -it rises on that side and sets on that other one- an explorations of smells: of soil, of compost, -compost contains dung from a cow or a horse- The fear from knowing that compost is horse’s faeces goes away when the neighbourhood gardener asks, -well…

where are those songs?

‘Where are those songs’ is a poem by Micere Githae Mugo (1972) that I like and find inspirational especially in light of a quest for memory and recovery of once remembered things. It starts off a bit despondent, the narrator is seeking songs and memories only to find them lost- unremembered. But it ends on an inspirational note, that one must begin singing and fashioning songs of life in the…

kwani? literary festival – gems

I attended some events of the Kwani? Literary Festival that was held 2 weeks ago in various locations around Nairobi. The festival brought together authors from countries including South Africa, Somalia, D.R.C., Senegal, U.S.A., Ghana, Tanzania, Italy and our very own Kenya to consider questions of language in new ways. If you are familiar with African writing, then you know that the question of what language to write in, and…

on poetry, and agosín’s ‘i lived on butterfly hill’

“Poetry is a violence from within that protects us from a violence without” Wallace Stevens One evening many years ago, I stood up in a modestly filled room at the Goethe Institut, Nairobi, walked somewhat unsurely to a seat at the front and read some poems from my ‘Pink book’ notebook collection of poetry. The event was a poetry night and they had exhausted the list of people who had…