A few hours ago, I was at the Kenya National Library Services for the first in a series of poetry and readings that will be held at the venue every two months.
An idea was conceptualized by the Kwani team with an aim of increasing the spaces where literature is shared, and what better place than where it is lying in between book covers waiting to be made alive.
The provincial librarian officially opened the event with an aura of oldschoolness (he ordered the Citizen TV crew to be seated despite them trying to set up and record the event and later ordered guys to clap for him for a great speech, lol)
Well, the sweet Annette who was the event’s Emcee managed to radiate the Kwani feeling of free speech and invited yours truly onto the stage,(she’d mistakenly thought that Ndanu – the winner of ‘to be a man’ competition, was performing. I guess Ndanu’s day at the office was abit cold, she didn’t want to freeze further from guy’s inquisitive eyes)
I performed the first part of the piece ‘When change comes’. I was informed it’s quite lengthy and the last thing I wanted to do was have people starting to yawn or get their cellphones out to play games (you get my drift). I also performed ‘Welcome to America’; a piece I feel should be drummed into our heads lest we think that we will move to Canaan (stato) when Obama (our son) becomes orezo. America won’t change much; the Ku Klux Clan will still be there. I digress.
Next was Samuel Munene with his piece on a friend who wanted a mzungu boyfriend. Sam always amazes me on how he’s able to narrate his stories; the humor is just too fresh.
Cindy Ogana who finally mastered the courage to perform her work without reading it, (go gal) shared with the crowd he dilemma between reading her works and performing. She did finally perform a piece, reminiscent of the post election Violence.
Binyavanga Wainaina whose first name I must say, first got me questioning his Nationality, was in and he did read excerpts from his upcoming book ‘Discovering Home’. Those like me who have been perturbed by his name got to know the story behind it and more. Look out for the book when it comes it, I can promise it will be a great read.
Philo Ikonya, Kingwa Kamencu shared their written stories. I however missed Tony Mochama’s performance, had to leave before the event ended. I hope the timing for subsequent events will be reconsidered.