Pede Hollist and Hana Kefela.

Writer Pede Hollist and actor Hana Kefela are the first to feature at the Goethe-Institut Kenya’s Artistic Encounters 2018. They will be performing at the German Cultural Centre in Nairobi on May 11, 2018.

Artistic Encounters is a project running out of Goethe-Institut Kenya where two artists of different genres meet and share their art. Started in 2017, the project curated by Zukiswa Wanner had artists of different types share the stage in front of an audience at the institute’s Maendeleo House in Nairobi. In its first year the project had artist Victor Ehikhamenor and poet Koleka Putuma, trumpeter Christine Kamau and poet Philipp Khabo Koepsell, novelist Lola Shoneyin and storyteller Maimouna Jallow, as well as author Angela Makholwa and actress Patricia Kihoro.

Artist Encounters 2018 is set to be rolled out with writer Pede Hollist and actor Hana Kefela at the Goethe on May 11. Sierra Leonean Pede Hollist is a US based academic who first came to our attention when he was shortlisted for THAT Caine Prize in 2013. If you are not familiar with the times, there were four Nigerians Elnathan John, Tope Folarin, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, and Chinelo Okparanta running alongside some other non-Nigerian guy. That gentleman was our Pede Hollist with his short story Foreign Aid. The controversy, for those who like these things, was ignited by the Queen Bee of African writing Chimamanda Adichie. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for our Sierra Leonean hero the prize would be won by Tope Folarin.

Pede Hollist would feature at the Caine Prize workshop in Ghana and write one of the stories that featured in the anthology Lusaka Punk And Other Short Stories.

Hollist is of course more than just about the Caine Prize as he has written the novel So the Path Does Not Die. This book follows the story of Fina who left her home country Sierra Leone and immigrated to the US but is still haunted by memories of a broken initiation. She longs to return home, to trace the path set for young girls’ centuries past. In this contemporary novel exploring ethnicity, gender and female circumcision, we follow this intelligent young African woman as she balances the weights of tradition and modernity. The book was awarded Book of the Year Award – Creative Writing by the African Literature Association in 2014.

This book will be brought to life by Hana Kefela who has been on stage since childhood. She has been involved in short films, theatre productions and dance performances in Southern Africa, London, New York and now in Nairobi where it all started. Her most recent performances were in Mumbi Kaigwa’s production of For Colored Girls, The Vagina Monologues and I Just Got Back which was part of The Goethe Institute’s Nairobi, Six and the City series.

You can see this amazing book brought to life by this amazing actress in a show at the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on May 11, 2018.