Kevin Mwachiro, Faith Oneya, Saba El Lazim Elbasha at Nairobi | Maps of Exile literary salon.

Kevin Mwachiro, Faith Oneya, and Saba El Lazim Elbasha were the featured writers at the Nairobi | Maps of Exile literary salon at the Coffee Casa, Nairobi on Thursday, January 16, 2020. The event was moderated by novelist Hassan Ghedi Santur.

Nairobi | Maps of Exile is a literary salon series examining questions of home, belonging, migration, and marginalization while exploring and redrawing the maps of African identity. It is a project by Warscapes, an independent online magazine, and The Carrot Co, a collective of award-winning African artists and other professions with an art focus. The first edition of the salon, moderated by Hassan Ghedi Santur, featured Itoro Bassey, Abdul Adan, and Lutivini Majanja.

There was a full house at the Coffee Casa for the second in the series featuring Kevin Mwachiro, Faith Oneya, and Saba El Lazim Elbasha. The three writers, also moderated by Hassan Ghedi Santur, read work that they have written in the past with Faith Oneya kicking it off with work that was yet to be published. She was followed by Saba El Lazim Elbasha who read original unpublished work as well as a poem from her poetry collection Mirror. Here is Saba El Lazim Elbasha doing her reading;


Kevin Mwachiro wrapped up the readings with an excerpt from his play Thrashed from the anthology of plays Six In the City where he focuses on a woman who lives on the mean streets of the city of Nairobi. He did his reading with a little help from fellow reader Faith Oneya. Check it out below;

The end of the reading was followed by a moderated session led by Hassan Ghedi Santur where the writers spoke about a variety of topics including their work, Nairobi and its love of the hustle, the Humans of Nairobi project and much more. You can watch the whole discussion recorded on our trusty cellphone below.

The evening ended with musician Eli Maliki performing for the audience. Check it out below.