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…

what pretty hides

We have just concluded a few days of an opening retreat designed to have us bond with each other and gently enter the GESA structure and family. As an opening to this, we talked about what we would like to be our group agreements that would allow us to participate, share and learn, both safely…

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…

a thief is made, they don’t become one by mistake

“A thief does not become one by mistake. A thief is made.” This is one of the conversations I have just had with a youth empowerment and alternatives to crime activist on my first day at a non-violent communication training. Within the past few hours I have met 2 people, including the activist, who are…

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,…

ruuude! when worlds meet

What happens when worlds meet? When ways of viewing the world meet? When ways of organising the world collide? Is one way always right? Does one way ‘win’ and the other get subsumed under it. Does it matter where it happens? A few stories: Number 1: Once in college, my roommate (and friend of 3…

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…

kwani? literary festival – gems

If you are familiar with African writing, then you know that the question of what language to write in, and how to justify your choice, if not to others most certainly to yourself, is one often asked. It is also a question that spills into other spheres of life and drags along with it…

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…

writing the city: community newspapers

Then came the 2010 World Cup, which helped us fast-track a number of urban developments: public spaces were upgraded, public transport rollout was fast-tracked, pedestrian corridors were created, the city became more user-friendly seemingly overnight. We were on our way to becoming truly “world-class”, a “liveable city”. Off the back of our World Cup success…