Nairobi was in the throes of literary awesomeness as we hosted the Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 in September. Hold onto your horses literary fans; have we got a follow up literary event for you. Its the ten year anniversary of Kenya’s most famous literary journal Kwani? at the end of November
Kwani? started ten years ago to much aplomb promising to change the narrative where Kenyan literature is concerned. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams as the literary community was rejuvenated and a new dawn was upon us. They also failed in a way as we haven’t seen any major new voices since the founders started their journey in 2003. Founding editor Binyavanga Wainaina’s book One Day I will write about this place took years before it came out. We waited for Yvonne Awuor to follow on the 2003 Caine Prize for her Weight of Whispers stories and it never came.
The end of the month sees many activities to commemorate the anniversary of the Kwani? revolution. Yvonne Awuor will finally unleash that book we have been waiting for in the last decade as she debuts her new book Dust. Cool. Also there will be a gala dinner and a exhibition by one of Kenya’s best know artists Wangeci Mutu.
The highlight of the activities will be a public lecture by one of the continents leading literary voices Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She has three titles to her name; Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun (Orange Prize winner for 2007) and Americanah (out this year) on 29th November. As we say in Nairobi, kosa uchekwe (miss out and be laughed at).