Storymoja Festival at 10

An epic running of the Storymoja Festival 2017 is set for September 27 – October 1 in Nairobi, Kenya. The festival theme this year is “Black Peace.”

The Storymoja Festival, founded by Storymoja Publishers in 2007, is one of the most important literary festivals on the African continent today. It was started with a small number of book lovers meeting at the Impala grounds in Nairobi to become one of the most important spaces for readers and writers to engage on their work. It has hosted literary heavyweights from all parts of continent including Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka, Booker winner Ben Okri, and many other writers, poets and more.

This year the festival will be happening at the National Museum in Nairobi after taking a break and heading out to Accra in 2016. The festival patron Auma Obama promises a lot to all those who attend in this iteration of the Storymoja Festival in her official message.

“The 2017 Storymoja Festival will create spaces to explore how Black people can live in peace and dignity, with themselves and with others, in Africa and beyond, despite all these challenges. Yes, in festival conversations and other events, Black Peace will be explored in an open and forward thinking way with artists, poets, writers, musicians, comedians, diplomats, dreamers, dramatists and activists, whose work connects mind and soul and touches people in ways that others cannot,” she says.

Just like the patron promises, Nairobi will be filled with some of the smartest people in town next week. In there you will get a chance to meet a Caine Prize winner, a Nigerian Prize for Literature winner, Burt Award for Young African literature winners, conservation champions, health champions, storytellers, photographers, bloggers, and everyone in between.

Some of the Kenyans who will feature at this festival include Ian Arunga, Mwarv (Mwangi Kirubi), Abigail Arunga, Rose Wangari, Maryana Munyendo, Iman Verjee, Sir Mohinder Dhillon, John Gitau Mbaria, Boniface Mwangi, XN Iraki, Liz Kilili, Janet Onyango, Owaahh, Hillary Namunyu, Aleya Kassam, Abdi Latif Dahir, Clifford Oluoch, Rebecca Nandwa, Muthoni wa Gichuru, Natasha Muloko, Lea Kilenga, Julie Muriuki, Pauline Kea, Muthuri Kinyamu, Kariuki wa Nyamu, Dr. Mordecai Ogada, Leonard Mindore, Milka Chepkorir Kuto, Beth Wanjiku Ndirangu, Billy Kahora, Edna Gicovi, Rasna Warah, and Kinyanjui Kombani.

From outside of Kenyan borders there are guests from Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Djibouti, Ghana, Botswana and even further afield. They include Tumiso L. Thomas, Patrick Miller (Millz), Adedayo Adeniyi, Nyana Kakoma, Fathia Hassan Moussa, Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa, Esther Nshakira, Elshadai Tesfaye, Ruby Yayra Goka, Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, William E. Mkufya, Nahida Esmail, Mara Menzies, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Fauza Beltz, Oswald Okaitei, and Bushra al Fadil.

These artists/guests will be running many activities for adults and children. The main offering of a literary festival is its panels and there will be many of those who want to get the wisdom gained from suffering for these accomplished artists.  There will also be master classes in topics like creative writing, self editing, writing and devising, history writing, and poetry and movement. There will also be a spelling bee for kids that want to show off their spelling prowess.

Also featuring at this event will be a performance of Too Early For Birds, which we loved, and many more goodies for the lover of the written word.

See you from next week to the 27th. Check out Storymoja.com for the full program.