In two days, the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival opens in Washington DC. The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival provides an opportunity for US citizens and the world to experience Kenya’s rich and diverse cultural and natural resources such as Kenyan art, crafts, music and other products. Kenya is the fifth African country and the first in East Africa to be featured at the festival.
Elkana Ong’esa, a renowned sculptor, will be leading the charge in Kenya’s efforts to conserve the African Elephant with a 12-tonne sculpture dubbed “Hands Off Our Elephants.”
Last year, Google launched the first nationwide Doodle 4 Google competition in Kenya. Doodle 4 Google (D4G) is a competition in which students are invited to reinvent Google’s homepage logo. To date contests have been run in more than 30 countries all over the world.
Kenya’s competition was themed ‘My Kenya’, doodlers and celebrated a monumental year in Kenya with the recent national elections, as well as the Jubilee Year. 17 year old Esther Wambui Githinji became Kenya’s national winner. Her doodle, “Feet of Continue reading
PAWA 254 is one of the premiere art spaces in the country. Many people know of it, but few know where it is. Getting to PAWA254 is a long journey to me. Located off state house road, getting there from town is literally an uphill task. As exhausting as it is getting there, I like the location of the environment.
There is something amazing about the serene and quiet environment around it. There is no struggle to walk into the gates or pushing people as you walk into the building. Once you get there, the YMCA, which holds the building is very inviting. It’s a place that makes you get in-touch with your inner self and truly enjoy whatever reason brought you there. I get a sense of calmness embrace me when I’m there. Continue reading
Clifton Gachagua is the first winner of the Sillerman Prize for African Poetry 2013, awarded by the African Poetry Book Fund. His poetry book, Madman at Kilifi, is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press. His chapbook, The Cartographer of Water, is forthcoming from a joint project by the The Poetry Foundation, The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Inc., and Prairie Schooner. He has completed a novel which was recently longlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project. His works have been published in major literary forums including Africa’s leading literary journal, Kwani? 06; Saraba, and AfroSF. Continue reading
Story Moja Hay Festival is almost here, and as usual poetry and music enthusiasts will be given a special treat. Last Year The School Bell Rang, this year Story Moja Hay Festival brings you the stir-up Occupy Nairobi.
The Nairobi National Museum Courtyard is set to come alive on the evening of September 21st from 7.30 pm. Spoken Word, Rap, Graffiti, Urban Afro-soul, Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll will be fused together to provide entertainment all night.
Joanna retched and bent over the toilet bowl. The pain and nausea twisted her stomach until she couldn’t breathe. The stuff came up and burst out, all yellow and slimy and tasting of bile. She knew more was coming, so she sat on the bathroom floor waiting. In the interval, the door banged and her mother’s voice asked her to open up. Seconds later, she was standing over her, a look of anger on her face. She had just begun feeling the wrenching of her gullet when suddenly her mother gave her a resounding slap. It was the trigger for another outburst of her stomach’s contents. When she rose her mother was waiting for her.
“Whose child is it?”
“What do you mean?” This time the tears were not held back. She began sobbing quietly.
“What do I mean? I am not stupid. Don’t you think I know morning sickness when I see it? I’ve heard you throwing up all over my toilet for the last two days. You have been complaining of being sick for three months. Now tell me, whose baby is it?”
“But mum I’m a vir…”
I sat watching the door, bored out of my mind. I couldn’t believe I’d let Allan talk me into attending this concert. I didn’t even know the group performing. But he was my best friend and he thought I needed to socialize more and broaden my musical taste. So I joined him and watched the door, planning a quick get-away. That was until I saw a red pair of boots walk in.
I took my time letting my eyes wander up her body before getting to her face. She was dressed in jeans tucked in to the boots and a tank top. I didn’t like this kind of outfit on a girl, but for some reason I was drawn to her.
“Who’s that?” I asked Allan
“That girl that just walked in with the red boots. Do you know her?”
“No. Now be quiet, the performance is about to begin.”
Every morning, Nancy would get out her Rosary and say her prayers. It began in the same way each time, “Dear Lord, I am a woman, weak in all ways. My mind, body and spirit have failed to meet your expectations. I have wronged you in so many ways, but I do it for love…” She called it a woman’s prayer, full of hope and dreams to be loved, full of repentance for the wrongs committed. She had been saying this prayer for years, the only thing that changed were the names of the people mentioned in it
It all started when she was 19, when her step-brother came into her room. Being 12 years older than her, he had been protective of her from day one. When boys got to close, he would scare them off. Her friends envied the attention he gave her. She was scared of him, but she couldn’t say why. He only came to her room once that was all it took for her life to change.
She had not seen her family since that fateful day; they had abandoned her in her time of need. When she came out claiming rape, she was termed the family slut. Her mother kicked her out; she couldn’t let a lying slut ruin her marriage. He only smiled and said if she had kept quiet and enjoyed it, she would have a home. Cold and angry at the world, her prayers began. 9 months later she safely delivered twin daughters. She vowed to protect them with her life.
My phone is ringing again. I look at the caller ID and sigh. It’s mama again. She’s been calling all day and I haven’t answered. I know if I ignore it this time she’ll get in her car and come over. I can’t face her, or anyone. Not today. I take a deep breath and stare into space as I answer.
“Good evening Mama.” I greet her.
“You don’t sound well. Everything’s fine?”
I should have known she would see through my jovial greeting. I sigh and answer her ‘yes mama, I’m fine. I just got in from work. It’s been a long week and I’m tired. I need sleep,”
She keeps quiet for a few more seconds and seems content with my answer. We chat for a few minutes and I hang up feeling worse than I was before I spoke to her.
Ana was always beautiful. From the first time I saw her, I was hooked. She had this shy innocent look to her. I wanted to get my hands on her. Take away that innocence and be the center of her world. I wanted to mess up her perfect little world. I had this urge to be her everything, to make her mine.
I knew I was dangerous for her, but I couldn’t stop myself. I made contact and with her naive nature, she fell right into my hands. Little by little she came out of her shell. Did everything to please me, drugs, alcohol, sex in all the wrong places with the wrong people. Anything I wanted she did. This was wrong. I warned her about me. I told her to run, run and never look back. But she was addicted to me. She wouldn’t leave.
It was cool at first, but she started depending on me for everything. I was just in it for fun but she was ruining that plan. Before long, she was knocked up. I was furious, how could she let this happen? I was not fit to be a father. Not with the drugs I took. She was not going to be a good mother, not when she was high 24/7 from my shit. Why did I let her get hooked?