Chela hangs out with Auma Obama

Chela hangs out with Auma Obama at a previous festival

The Storymoja Festival 2017 returns to its ancestral home in Nairobi after a safari to Accra in 2016 as it celebrates a decade. The organisers have announced the new dates of one of East Africa’s most famous literary festivals; September 27 – October 1, 2017.

It’s been a decade already folks. It was at the Impala grounds in 2007 that a bunch of us gathered to take part in what was at the time called the Nyama Choma festival. It has morphed and changed homes in the last period. The home of the festival moved from Impala Grounds to The Railway Grounds to the National Museum, to the Nairobi Arboretum. Last year the festival moved to Accra, Ghana.

The names of the festival have also changed over the years. It has been called the Nyama Choma Storymoja Reading Fiesta, Storymoja Hay Festival before settling on its current name the Storymoja Festival. As it changed identity and location the festival has quickly become ‘the biggest book party’ in East Africa with its ‘celebration of books, stories and culture’.

The festival founded by Storymoja Publishers led by Muthoni Garland yesterday afternoon announced the details for the 2017 edition of the events in Nairobi. This year the theme is Black Peace. This theme is apt as it comes at a time when the entire world is concerned with the politics of identity. It also works very well as the inaugural events happened in an election year that turned out to be a most violent one. With an election on the way, perhaps this is as good as any at ensuring that we have less death to Kenyans literary festival. It will be interesting to see how this theme will play out in conversations on writing, art, theatre, policy, business and identity throughout the festival.

So what is on offer at the festival you ask? The 2017 program will have a full offering of book discussions, public lectures, masterclasses & workshops, art & theatre shows, concerts, schools, and children’s and family programs encompassing a five-day program. The festival team promise to reveal more about the festival guests and events over the next few months.  We shall be keeping you abreast about this festival as we always do.

The festival team running the festival apart from director Muthoni Garland and patron Auma Obama include;

Festival Producer: Anne Eboso Okongo is a Reading & Literacy Advocate, a Mandela Washington Fellow, the Founder and Producer of the Rusinga Cultural Festival and a former Coordinator of Start a Library. She brings her wealth of experience into the Storymoja Festival.

Program & Artist Coordinator: Magunga Williams is Co-founder & Manager of the Magunga Online Bookstore, and is a writer and blogger at The Magunga.

Storyhippo Producer (Children’s Program): Wangari Grace is a Storyteller and an Author of two children’s books. She has participated in numerous festivals as a festival guest and facilitator.

Communications Coordinator: Juliet Maruru is a writer, editor, Reading and Literacy Advocate, and a Lupus Awareness Advocate with She Blossoms.