Zukiswa Wanner Abu Sense and Shadreck Chikoti

Shadreck Chikoti, Abu Sense blow away Nairobi at Artistic Encounters 2019 opening.

It was a rocking evening at the Goethe Institut in Nairobi as Kenyan actor Abu Sense gave a performance portraying Malawian writer Shadreck Chikoti’s Azotus The Kingdom on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The event included a question and answer session featuring the author Chikoti and the actor Abu Sense moderated by session creator Zukiswa Wanner.

In Artistic Encounters, two artists of different genres meet and create an art experience of their combined work then share it with the audience. The popular series founded in 2017 by Zukiswa Wanner has been running since the first one featuring Victor Ehikhamenor alongside Koleka Putuma. Since then Nairobians have gotten to see artists from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Germany, and The Gambia.

The Artistic Encounters series this year kicked off with the portrayal of the novel Azotus The Kingdom by Malawian writer and publisher Shadreck Chikoti by Kenyan actor Abu Sense.

The Azotus The Kingdom blurb reads, “In a Future Africa the citizens each live alone in comfortable homes, their every need catered for by comprehensive housekeeping services. When Kamoto, occupant of house number G8, ventures outdoors for the first time, he begins to question why he has spent his entire life inside and without human contact, connected to the world only by his Telecommunication Curtain. What begins as a story of one mans need for love, physical connection, and freedom becomes a fast paced thriller about the future of governance, and technology as a means of control.”

Abu Sense who has made his name with theatre productions like Too Early For Birds started his presentation by screening a pre-recorded movie trailer. Check out some of it here.

Abu made Azotus the Kingdom relatable to the local audience with allusions to the Turkana drought but still kept it rooted in the book as he highlighted man’s eternal quest for freedom. The performance was lapped up by the audience which had filled the Goethe Kenya auditorium.

Abu Sense on stage
Abu Sense on stage

When the performance ended the audience got a chance to interact with the author who had flown in from Lilongwe specifically for this event and the Kenyan actor.  Afterward audience members got to buy the book and have them autographed by its author.

Here are more images from the warm Wednesday evening in Nairobi. All images on this post are courtesy of Julian Manjahi/ Goethe Institut.

Shadreck Chikoti Abu Sense and Zukiswa Wanner
Shadreck Chikoti Abu Sense and Zukiswa Wanner
Fred Mbogo has his copy of the book signed by Shadreck Chikoti.
Fred Mbogo has his copy of the book signed by Shadreck Chikoti.
Abu Sense and fans
Abu Sense (centre) and fans
Donald Molosi and Shadreck Chikoti
Donald Molosi and Shadreck Chikoti

Check out the previous editions of the series below.

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