Kwani? Open Mic

“Established in 2003, Kwani Trust is a Kenyan based literary network dedicated to developing quality creative writing and committed to the growth of the creative industry through the publishing and distribution of contemporary African writing, offering training opportunities, producing literary events and establishing and maintaining global literary networks. Our vision is to create a society that uses its stories to see itself more coherently.”

Any creative writer/wannbe writer/poet/actress should know about Kwani?. Also Storymoja but that’s a story for another day. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your work published, these are among the local publishing houses that you should get in touch with. Kwani? is a non-profit making organization, as I understand it. I haven’t written any stories of late, but I dream of writing that award-winning novel someday.

On the first Tuesday of every month, Kwani? holds an Open Mic session at Club Soundd in town. From 7pm to around 10pm. It’s a platform for emerging poets to showcase talent. The seasoned poets come too, so it’s chance to interact and learn from there. There are books Kwani? has published that are available for sale.. they go for anything from Kshs. 200- Kshs. 2 000.

This past Tuesday, after my first MSc exam, I made my way to Club Soundd. I was meeting my friend from back in undergraduate. I must admit it’s hard to catch up with stories from our lives over the music that marked the interval between one poet and the next.

The host was one lovely lady whose name I didn’t get.. and performance by poets was alright. From first timers to oldies, you had to listen to their words. Sometimes you forget the beauty that is poetry and these people remind you of that! The poets that performed included Sitawa Wafula, TheBogof, KennetB and Smitta Smitten (or Tony Mochama as he was going by that night).

It was the first time I was seeing Smitta perform so I didn’t know his style.. bold language right there( I remember this line in particular “.. going to Java to drink coffee made from the testicles of child molesters).

Looking forward to next month… hope I’ll see a budding poet perform after reading this?

Pictures from the event are full of darkness! The IDEOS has one of the worst cameras I know, the lighting was club-like (it’s a club after all) and no flash!

Two actors (they do theater) on stage during a performance. I think it had something to do with gender wars.

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4 Responses to Kwani? Open Mic

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kwani has always intrigued me, the use of even sheng to potray even the deepest of stories. Language sure isn’t a barrier in putting across a great story, nice feature this is…


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