Ngwatilo Mawiyoo and Tomeletso Sereetsi gave a memorable performance at the Zukiswa Wanner created, Goethe-Institut hosted “Artistic Encounters” on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
The Artistic Encounters series, now in its third year, has featured novelists, poets, actors, and musicians who play a variety of instruments from across the continent to the delight of audiences in Nairobi. This past Wednesday, it was the turn for Kenyan poet Ngwatilo Mawiyoo and Motswana musician Tomeletso Sereetsi of the Sereetsi and the Natives band to share their art at the event’s traditional home of the Goethe-Institut Nairobi.
There was a packed house to see a poet many are familiar with in Ngwatilo Mawiyoo who has the chapbooks Blue Mothertongue (2010) and Dagoretti Corner (2016), as well as the EP, Introducing Ngwatilo (2011) to her name. The unknown for the audience was Tomeletso Sereetsi the Motswana who had flown in specifically for this event. With his band Seteetsi and Natives, they have two albums in Four String Confessions (May 2015) and Motoko (2018).
Starting at 6:30 pm, the evening was conducted by series curator Zukiswa Wanner with two performance sessions divided by a question and answer session where the audience got to know the artists on stage. The performances were some of the most memorable that we have seen on the Artistic Encounters stage in the last few years. The poet sang and recited poetry from her work while the folk singer had us sing along to a language very few could speak in the audience (Setswana in case you are wondering). By the end of the evening, the audience was left enthralled by the presentation given by the unlikely duo.
Watch the performances recorded on my trusty cellphone below.
Check out the previous editions of the series below.
- Artist Victor Ehikhamenor and poet Koleka Putuma.
- Trumpeter Christine Kamau and poet Philipp Khabo Koepsell.
- Novelist Lola Shoneyin and storyteller Maimouna Jallow.
- Author Angela Makholwa and actress Patricia Kihoro.
- Novelist, short story writer, and academic Pede Hollist and actress Hana Kafela.
- Mbira player Prudence Katomeni and poet Adipo Sidang’.
- Novelist Niq Mhlongo and actor Nick Ndeda.
- Spoken word artist Ngartia and novelist Olumide Popoola.
- Poet Dami Ajayi and musician Makadem.
- Actors Sitawa Namwalie and Shan Bartley alongside author Yewande Omotoso.
- Novelist Shadreck Chikoti and actor and spoken word artist Abu Sense.
- Musician Chris Adwar and poet Kagayi Ngobi