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.
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.
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.
- Nigerian poet Dami Ajayi and Kenyan musician Makadem.
- Actors Sitawa Namwalie and Shan Bartley alongside author Yewande Omotoso.