Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor read an excerpt from her highly anticipated sophomore novel The Dragonfly Sea at the “Freedom Conversations” event at the Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi on November 30, 2018.
Jalada Africa and Edinburgh International Book Festival jointly hosted eight delegates from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya at the first Outriders Africa symposium. These delegates were selected from over 100 submissions received from across the greater East Africa region. The delegates were Samwel Japhet Silas (Tanzania), Precious Colette (Uganda), Benjamin (Rwanda), Dessalegn Seyoum (Ethiopia), Amina Suleiman (Kenya), Naddya Oluoch-Olunya (Kenya), Michelle Angwenyi (Kenya), and Mwihaki Muraguri (Kenya). They enjoyed a skills-share and networking session during the day.
The evening event, open to the public, was The Freedom Conversation event featuring authors Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Kapka Kassabova moderated by Edinburgh International Book Festival director Nick Barley. The show would start off with the much travelled musician Tetu Shani performing a few songs before the literary magic begun.
The moderating, understated which is how we like it, would be done very well with Kassabova and Owuor reading from their books and discussing their contributions to the Freedom Papers project that was run by the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year.
Kapka Kassabova who is a Bulgarian immigrant to Scotland read from her book Borders in which she goes back to the nation of her birth and does a nonfiction book from it. She would talk about her process which included interviews that weren’t interviews, interviews where people were happy to share their details and more. On Freedom, she would speak about the way that idea was conceived in her nation of birth.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor spoke about Freedom in our society as well as other topics like the need for us as Africans to mourn about colonialism and its effects on our societies behind closed doors before we could heal and start moving forward. Also on the agenda was new book The Dragonfly Sea which was inspired by the story of a young woman from the coast of Kenya who went to China to trace her ancestors in 2005. Owuor would, to the delight of the people in the audience, read an excerpt from the novel. This was the first time Kenyans would hear their favourite daughter read this book in public.
The event would then end with more music from Tetu Shani. It was attended by several people including Mshai Mwangola.
Here are images from the evening courtesy of Jalada Africa. All the photos were by Kevin Amunze.