The Artist Encounters is a project run by Goethe-Institut Nairobi curated by Zukiswa Wanner. The project involves artists of different genres having their arts communicating. There have been three events in this series already which have been warmly welcomed by audiences in the capital of the East African country. It kicked off with Nigerian artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor collaborating with South African poet Koleka Putuma in February. That event was very well received by the Nairobi lovers of art and poetry. This was followed by South African German poet Philipp Khabo Koepsell collaborating with trumpeter Christine Kamau in April. In June there was a full house as Lola Shoneyin and Maimouna Jallow rocked the Goethe with a showcase of storytelling around The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
The latest event in the series sees South African author Angela Makholwa’s new book The Blessed Girl being brought to life on stage by one of Kenya’s most respected young artists Patricia Kihoro. Regular readers of this blog will know that this blogger is a huge fan of the South African author. The obsession begun in 2012 when her second novel The Thirtieth Candle kept me imprisoned on a beach in Seychelles with her delicious prose.
Angela appeared on the South African literary scene in 2007 with her novel Red Ink which was fictionised around a famous serial killer in the Southern African nation. This novel made the Johannesburg native the first black South African woman to write crime fiction. She followed this up with The Thirtieth Candle before returning to her crime roots with her third novel The Black Widow Society. This was our review of that book.
The new book The Blessed Girl which follows the life of Bontle who is described as blessed in South African parlance. Kenyans will be familiar with her as being “sponsored” or being a “sponsee”. The rest of the English speaking work will know her as being a young woman who has a sugar daddy or sugar daddies. The publishers Pan Macmillan describe the book thus,
“Bontle has a degree in MENcology, and there is no shortage of blessers at her penthouse door, eager to give her all the love and (financial) support she needs. Papa Jeff might be overweight and getting on a bit, and receiving some unwanted attention from the Hawks; and Teddy might not have fully come through for her on that messed-up tender business; but Mr Emmanuel, the Nigerian businessman with deep pockets and the possibility of conferring second wife status … could that be love? Keeping all her boyfriends happy and living a fabulous life is not without its challenges. With so many people clamouring for Bontle’s attention – from her shebeen queen mother Gladys in Mamelodi, who is taking strain bringing up her teenaged brother, Golokile, on her own; to her girlfriends, Iris and Tsholo; not to mention her soon-to-be ex-husband, the ever-patient, ever-loving Ntokozo, Bontle barely has time to post on Instagram these days. Sooner or later something’s got to give …”
The book will be brought to life by singer, songwriter, actress, radio and reality television personality Patricia Kihoro. Kihoro first appeared on our TV screens during Tusker Project Fame, where she became one of the finalists. In acting, she has appeared in a number of local productions like the 2011 film, Miss Nobody, which resulted in her nomination for the 2012 Kalasha Awards for best lead actress. In television production, she has been cast as a lead in Groove Theory, a musical drama and is a regular in Demigods, Changes, Rush and Makutano Junction. As a radio presenter, she has worked with One FM and Homeboyz FM.
If the turnout from previous Artist Encounter events is any indicator, then next Thursday is going to be lit. See you there.