Billy Kahora’s long-awaited short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War And Other Stories launched at Pawa254 in Nairobi, Kenya on August 1, 2019.
Billy Kahora, whose short stories have been twice shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, is the writer of the nonfiction title The True Story of David Munyakei. He has also edited several issues of Kwani? which was once Kenya’s leading literary journal. His new book The Cape Cod Bicycle War And Other Stories, published by Huza Press, is a collection of eleven short stories set across Kenya, South Africa and the US. It has already been launched in Kigali, Rwanda the home city of the publisher as well as in Bristol, the UK at Africa Writes Bristol festival.
It was the turn of Billy Kahora’s home town Nairobi to launch the eagerly awaited collection at Pawa254 on August 1. The event was filled with writers and literary enthusiasts like Ndinda Kioko, Isaac Otidi Amuke, Ogutu Muraya, Margaret Muthee, @BintiM, @ngartia, @wathingiras_library and a host of others.
The evening was conducted by novelist and publisher Zukiswa Wanner who started proceedings by asking the newly minted book writer to read from his collection. He read from the story The Unconverted; watch it being read below.
After the reading, the writer and moderator went through the books stories, the characters, and the like before she opened the floor to the audience for questions. They asked him questions like why he decided to use the short story form (it was the form that they had been using for a while, wasn’t he worried that Kenyans would love the Kiswahili and sheng used in the stories but leave out the rest of the world (he didn’t care), and the like.
The evening then followed with Abu Sense doing his interpretation of sections of the book which he has done before like with Shadreck Chikoti’s event earlier in the year. Abu Sense wowed the audience and based on that performance alone I suspect there were many more books sold on the day.
After the book program, audience members had their books signed by the writer while others had a drink or two at the venue rooftop. Here are more images from the event courtesy of our friends at Pawa254.