John Sibi-Okumu with Benny Wanjohi

Mbogi Ya Mawriters With John Sibi-Okumu featured Kenyan poet Benny Wanjohi at the Alliance Francaise De Nairobi on November 26, 2020.

Mbogi Ya Mawriters is a series featuring Kenyan writers hosted at the Alliance Française Nairobi. Mbogi is a Kiswahili word meaning railway carts adopted in current times to mean a crew or group of people. Mawriters is a word for many writers therefore, Mbogi Ya Mawriters is a crew of writers. There were several events from its start in 2019 until the Coronavirus pandemic stopped cultural activity in Nairobi in March.

In October, the series returned with a new lease of life anchored by playwright, actor, teacher, journalist, and recently prose writer John Sibi-Okumu popularly known in Kenya as JSO. That event, now known as Mbogi Ya Mawriters With JSO,  featured the Makena Onjerika edited anthology Digital Bedbugs.

The second of the retooled series had the Nairobi-based Benny Wanjohi who by day works in the travel industry and by night writes poetry. The poet was unveiling his two self-published poetry collections After Sunset & Other Poems and Phases of Live: A Composition of Poetry. The former collection focuses on topical issues affecting contemporary society and the latter is Christian poetry – aimed at the person who professes the Christian faith.

For the three-quarters of an hour of the session, which was truly social distanced, the limited audience at the Alliance Francaise learned about the choices he has taken in his poetry, what it means to be a Christian Poet, why while he likes to write topical poetry he steers clear of politics and loads more. You can watch the whole interaction between poet and moderator in the below video.