Victor Ehikhamenor and Koleka Putuma

Nigerian visual artist, writer, and photographer Victor Ehikhamenor and South African theatre director, writer, and performance poet Koleka Putuma will share a stage at the Goethe in Kenya this March.

Something is happening in Kenya’s capital as more writers and poets from across the continent come through to showcase their work to an audience hungry to see some of the writers they love. In December we were happy to announce that Elnathan John, one of the most important writers in Nigeria’s new age of writing, would be coming on a Kenyan book tour. That event happening from 15-19th February happening in a series of places in the capital promises fireworks. On the back of that, it has emerged that there will be some more arrivals in March from other corners of the continent; Victor Ehikhamenor from Nigeria and Koleka Putuma from South Africa

Victor Ehikhamenor is a man of many hats; one of those jack of all trades who is a master of many. Described as “undeniably one of Africa’s most innovative contemporary artists,” Victor is one of the most respected on the continent with a signature style (google is your friend). With his brilliant design his has designed book covers of some of the most loved books of our generation including Thirsting for Sunlight by Obi Nwakanma, Oil on Water by Helon Habila and both Half of a Yellow Sun (Movie Edition) and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Apart from designing book covers, he has also written Excuse Me a hilarious series of essays and Sordid Rituals a poetry collection.

Koleka Putuma Photographer/ Elelwani Netshfhire
Koleka Putuma Photographer/ Elelwani Netshfhire

Koleka Putuma is a younger artist but who has headlined at TEDx, SliPnet’s Inzync Poetry Sessions, and Word N Sound. Her work has been showcased in Scotland, Germany and around the US. Her plays include UHM (2014), Mbuzeni (2015/2016).

In 2015, under the Magnet theatre directing residency, she created two original plays for young audiences which include Ekhaya for 2-7 year olds and SCOOP, the first South African play for 2 weeks-12month old babies. She was crowned South Africa’s first national slam champion (2014). Nominated for the Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for Best New Directors at the annual Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards (2015).

Her poetry garnered her an invitation to Abantu Book Festival in December where she wowed many with her poetry including Water below.

Her long-awaited debut collection Collective Amnesia is available for pre-order from the uHlanga website, for only R100/US$8, for those who want to read some of her good good. I hear that it will be ready and available in Nairobi when she comes through.

So keep it here for more of the details as they emerge about their joint performance at the Goethe in Nairobi.