All Hail Wamathai July!
If you live in Nairobi, then I shall assume you have heard of Wamathai Events. If you don’t, I pray that one of the said events pitches tent in a town near you soon. If you live in Nairobi and you have never heard of Wamathai Events, I’m so sorry. Even dipping you in holy water cannot redeem you.
I have become a regular at these events, though I have a confession to make. I never thought I would be one to enjoy poetry, spoken word, stand up comedy or live music. Till I attended one Wamathai Event. Then I became an addict. Hooked, lined and sinkered! Maybe we should blame the really talented artists that Wamathai manages to attract for my addiction.
It should therefore come as no surprise that when the latest event, Wamathai July was announced, I became all giddy. That was even before I saw the line-up and the hosts! The event was hosted by the one and only Sam Buggz and the self declared Monarch of the twitters, Stella Nasambu aka Queenie aka to the second degree sueteller. I knew this one was going to be spectacular!
The event didn’t disappoint. Right from get go, we were kept tongues-to-floor by works of artists like Moraa Onsando, El Poet, Jemedari, Mwende Ngao, Kenyan Poet, Raya Wambui, Kevin Man Njoro, among others, with music provided by Demspey and the Boys. Because I like you, and I really would like you to come to the next Wamathai event, let me tell you a little about what you missed.
Jemedari is a guy who can rap on just about anything in any language! Ok, English and Kiswahili is what I’ve heard him do. What surprises me (and I’m sure most) is how he can mix these two, keep tabs on lyrics and not end up developing a brain tumor or worse, chewing his tongue out.
Then there is Man Njoro. Seriously, this guy is the kind that owns the mic, draws the audience with varied pitched voice in an all sane poem, and just when you are settling in, he defaults to that Kikuyu-intonate, funny as the pits of hell advice. Someone get me his contact because I really need to take notes on how to make Kshs.3 million in 3 months.
Did I mention Wangare? She manages to grab your attention. She’s all about justice. Out Loud Justice. Which also reminds me of Kenyanpoet, the already published poet, who I refer to as the voice of reason and change. Hers was a poem about the Woman who became a wife, and one about us replacing feelings and emotions with digitalized ‘robots’. Really though, what happened to the days when we thrived and relished face-to-face interaction?
Mwende Ngao. Don’t let her height fool you. This girl can recite! She has piercing eyes that make her recitals that more soulful. I’m not even going to mention that I so like her hair. Her piece was inspired by her friend. Speaking of, hands up if you have a friend who has ever written a poem just for you. Take time to read about this amazing woman here.
No, I will not tell you about all the artists. These should be enough to whet your appetite for the next Wamathai event. Can I let you in on a secret? The Wamathai event gives a chance to all kinds of artists. That’s what makes it colorful. Including new artists like Julie Wangombe. Imagine sharing a stage, as a new artist, with these giants?
There were also ad hoc/surprise performances by artists like Wamathai. What, you never knew it/he was a real person? Ha! He is so real! Flesh and blood too! He did two pieces, one on ‘The Art Of Flirting’ and ‘Lord My Woman is Talking’. Human enough? Mr. Mwirigi performed as well. I know, we all went ‘who knew?!’ The ever so talented Adelle Onyango was part of surprise performances as well!
Did I mention that there was Photography exhibition by Koa? No? Well, there was Photography exhibition by Koa.
See what you missed out on? Make sure you don’t miss out on the next one. When you ask? Second Saturday of September. Don’t say you were never told.