Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wamathai December, 3rd December @ The Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom House presents Wamathai Spoken Word December on Saturday 3rd December 2011 at The Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom House on Waiyaki Way.

The event will be hosted by TV personality Anyiko Owoko & Blogger and Auditor Robert Kunga.

There will be Poetry Performances by: Wanjiku Mwaurah, Asali, Pearl, Jeremy Levinger, Lonesome Bounty, Mike Kwambo, Kennet B, Nuru Bahati,Kevin ‘Man Njoro’, M.K, Abu Sense, Claude Baus, Ngartia, Dave Ndirangu, Aisha Salim, Ami, Mugambi Nthiga, Vickie Zosi, Mark Anthony, PotentAsh and many more

Music by: Elani & Afrology

The event will feature an exhibition of poetographs from the Koroga II project, a collaboration between Kenyan poets and photographers.

Other Details

Time: 4pm – 7pm
Charges: Kshs. 300 in advance & Kshs. 400 at the gate

Advance tickets are available from WWW.TICKETSASA.COM & at the Michael Joseph Centre reception desk.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

to all writers..

Kwani? Open Mic Reloaded December 2011

Poetry Slam

- Winner walks away with a cash prize of ksh10,000
- Runners Up walk away with a Kwani? Gift Pack

Featured Artist: Davis Ntare (TPF Winner 2010)

MC: Cindy Ogana.
Date: 6th December 2011.
Time: 7 -9 pm.
Venue: Club Soundd.
Entry: 200 Ksh.


Davis is a multi-talented individual with an interest in music production and performance, abstract art, photography and song writing. He uses his art and Music to reach out to people in a positive way. He has a diverse musical background, including playing the trumpet in a brass band back home, doing background vocals for renown musicians and singing in the school and church choirs.

Davis Hillary Ntare’s journey to stardom started when he won the Tusker Project Fame top prize in 2010. He later produced yet another winner of the East African music talent show, his first single, Sheka Sheka, produced and arranged with Robert "rkay" Kamanzi.

Davis is a force to reckon with in the African music scene, and is accompanied by a performing band that will knock you off your feet and into the dance floor!!!!! Started in October 2011 the band has already made its debut in high profile events and performs every Sunday at Shebeen Bar & Restaurant in Upper Hill, Nairobi.

For updates on upcoming performances, please visit :


Having lived in the lovely Pearl of Africa for a minute; I have to admit that this is a show I will not be missing for anything.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


WAPI Universal presents Kibera's On Top Octopizzo, Tanzania's Ibra da Hustler, Mombasa's Nguchi P, BLNRB's Alai K, Kalahari Crew, Rabbit, Dandora's DJ Supreme and Cuba's KUMAR

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's all right, it's only Nawal

It’s all right, it’s only Nawal. And what a formidable woman Dr. Sawaadi is. She and Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate 1991, were amongst the unforgettable faces of the 2nd African Women Writers’ Symposium held in November 2011, Johannesburg. On invitation from Department of Art and Culture and Urban Voices Festival, the creative spaces at the various events metamorphosed into a revolution.

Abena (Ghana), Bev )Uganda) and Roshnie, Urban voices

Diane Ferrus signing her poetry collection, I will take you home, from the title of the poem which was instrymental in bringing back the remains of Sarah Baartman.

Sharing from her not really sordid but memorable childhood, Dr. Sawaadi said that as a child, she could feel the sadness in her mother’s eyes because she was born a girl. Reflecting on the unfairness and injustice of the patriarchal and rigid upbringing she had, made her question God, who favoured boys over girls. Her journal entries from the age of ten have led to the extraordinary Nawal, author of 47 books, 26 of which have been translated. Her strength lies not only in writing but during the early 2011 Arab uprising in Egypt, the 70 something year old camped in Tahrir Square, symbolically revolting against a dictatorship that had destroyed education and had brought unspeakabe injustice. Her life is made up of such moments that have built this courageous woman who even after imprisonment, fights even harder now for just causes.
Nawa, leading a meeting

Nadine Gordimer, whose potency runs like still deep waters, and whose 88th birthday we celebrated amongst much aplomb, opened one of her sessions with a statement that echoed differently with everyone.
“I am not a woman writer just as men are not male writers, we are all writers. We are all in this together. I do not accept a biological difference.”
The reactions varied with some women saying that they embrace their womanhood and Africanness with pride while others agreed strongly. That is how the symposium ran, as panel after panel discussion ran on, from the role of the writer, Africa dreaming and the power of the poetic voice and new ways of reading, writing and networking, it was through this we met extraordinary women. I will never forget Karabo Kgoleng, a journalist with SAfm and her take on social networking, how while it may be useful, she is not interested in what people ate for breakfast. Also, her struggle with placing literary reviews in papers.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, award-winning novelist and film maker said that the nature of good writing should be that it opens up spaces for others, during the panel discussion, Writing Freedom: Reclaiming the future.
The amazing talent during the readings and performances were incredible, from Abena Koomson, US based Ghanaian spoken word performer, Napo Masheane, a founder member of Feela Sista! together with Myesha Jenkins. Other performers were Gcina Mhlope, Samira Negrouche and the list is endless. Another poet I was so happy to meet was Michelle Mcgrane, whose blog I am loving. I’m so glad I could make it and even gladder that this is not the end.

Michelle, in center

Nadine's cake

As an outcome of the symposium, another meeting emerged, The African Arab Creative Women’s Movement. Coordinated by Tsitsi Dangarembga and Nawal Al Saadawi, the aim is to bridge the glaring gap between the women writers from the Arab dominated part of the continent and the rest of the African women writers. The idea looks promising and with a tentative meeting scheduled for June in Cairo, we can only wait for another literary revolution.
Lizzy Attree, Caine Prize administrator, Kadija Sesay, founder of Sablelit Mag and Ellen Namhila from Namibia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


by Ernest Hilbert

The sky is warm and heavy before rain.
You throw down anchors.  They till lines in soft
Mud, blooming muddy clouds.  You sometimes slow,
Sometimes speed, as you pass forest and plain.
In summer, mud smolders; in fall, leaves waft
Onto the deck.  The water rolls and glows.
At ports you take on granite, grain, sandstone.
Canals narrow and widen.  Locks buoy
And release.  The barge rests more deeply
In sluggish brown water.  You are alone.
It doesn’t seem to move but does; though free
It holds to its course, pulled toward the sea.
Memories gather, and thoughts become strange.
Between naps, the banks hardly seem to change.

Ernest Hilbert’s debut collection Sixty Sonnets (2009) was described by X.J. Kennedy as “the most arresting sequence we have had since John Berryman checked out of America.” Adam Kirsch wrote of Hilbert’s limited-edition chapbook Aim Your Arrows at the Sun  that, “like Robert Lowell, Hilbert is drawn to scenes of carnage, where the true face of humanity seems to reveal itself.” 

Hilbert’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Parnassus, Boston Review, Verse, New Criterion, American Scholar, and the London Review. He attended Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly. He was the poetry editor for Random House’s magazine Bold Type in New York City (1998-2003) and, more recently, of the Contemporary Poetry Review (2005-2010). He hosts the popular blog and video show E-Versed Radio. He is an antiquarian book dealer in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, an archaeologist.

I really love this poem,  have not yet received permission of the author but have reached out and hope to hear back soon.