Sitawa Namwalie and Athieno were the featured acts at the Artistic Encounters at the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
In Artistic Encounters, two artists of different genres meet and create an art experience of their combined work then present it at the Goethe-Institut in Nairobi. In the last three years, audiences in Kenya’s capital have experienced shows by artists from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Sierra Leone. Some of the artists featured have been Victor Ehikhamenor, Koleka Putuma, Christine Kamau, Philipp Khabo Koepsell, Lola Shoneyin, Maimouna Jallow, Angela Makholwa, Dami Ajayi, Makadem, Sitawa Namwalie, Yewande Omotoso, Shan Bartley, Shadreck Chikoti, Abu Sense, Kagayi Peter, Chris Adwar, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, and Tomeletso Sereetsi. The series was created and is curated by novelist and publisher Zukiswa Wanner.
It was the time for Sitawa Namwalie and Athieno to show their mettle on the Goethe-Institut stage. Award-winning poet, playwright, writer and performer Sitawa Namwalie was returning to the stage at Artistic Encounters having performed in November 2018 alongside Shan Bartley and Yewande Omotoso. It would be the debut performance of singer, songwriter, pianist, and sound engineer Athieno.
Their event dovetailed their two bodies of work with the pianist and singer Athieno performing work from her 2016 album I Am and as well as newer work while Sitawa Namwalie referenced mainly newer work. Here are videos of the performances recorded on our trusty cellphone.
The evening performances included question and answers from event moderator James Murua as well as from the audience. It ended with audience members getting copies of the Athieno’s 2016 album I.AM which were signed by the artist. Below are images courtesy from the evening courtesy of Julian Manjahi and the Goethe-Institut Nairobi.