The Kistrech International Poetry Festival 2019 kicked off in Nairobi on September 7, 2019.
The Kistrech International Poetry Festival was founded to promote poetry and cultural exchange between local and foreign artists by Dr Christopher Okemwa in 2013. The annual festival features spoken-word, rap, song, poetry reading, oral poetry, music instrument-playing, and other performances. Some of the artists and academics to previously star have been Mmakgosi Tau, Sitawa Namwalie, Beatrice Ekesa, Tebogo Khumo Moloise – Kunta, Prof Arif Khudairi, Tendai Maduwa, Onarinde Fiyinfoluwa, Peter Onyancha, Dr Evans Nyamwaka, Dr Fred Mbogo, Prof Animasaun Kayode, Mariam Mpaata Melloney, Obediah Michael Smith, and Tete Burugu.
The 2019 edition of the festival kicked off this past Saturday with events at the University of Nairobi as well as at the Goethe-Institut with performances from delegates both local and international. The event at the Goethe-Institut, which we attended, started off with Goethe-Institut’s Elizabeth Wichenje welcoming guests and performers before handing over emceeing duties to Dr Chris Okemwa.
For the next few hours, audience members were treated to poetry from international performers like Rosemarie Wilson a.k.a One SingleRose, Maria Mistriotim, Prof Libor Martinek, and Dr Zhao Si. These were complemented by performances from local poets like Dorphan, Tony Mochama, Peter K Saisi, and a host of others. Here are images and video from some of the performances gotten with my trusty cellphone.
The festival continued in its traditional home in Kisii which is West of the East African country.