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Transcript of programme Welcome to the 5th edition of our biennial gathering of writers, poets, literary academics

  • Full Programme & Descriptions:

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  • The 2015 Kwani? Litfest is presented in programming partnership with and financial

    support from a number of partner organizations, whose support we’re very grateful for.

    Special thanks to Lambent Foundation, Stichting Doen, Ford Foundation, Goethe-Institut

    and the German Embassy, our 2015 Litfest funding partners.

  • Welcome to the 5th edition of our biennial gathering of writers, poets, literary academics

    and theorists from the continent and beyond. Titled Beyond the Map of English: Writers in Conversation on Language, this year’s festival hosts, among others, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya), Taiye Selasi (US/Italy/Ghana), Boris Boubacar Diop (Senegal), Wu Ming

    (Italy), Prof Aldin Mutembei (Tanzania), FOKN Bois (Ghana), Siphiwo Mahala (South Africa),

    Patrick Mudekereza (Congo) and Nuruddin Farah (Somalia) to share their work with writers

    from other parts of the continent.

    Central to the 2015 Kwani? Litfest is the fact that beyond maps dictated by national

    borders and the cartographic memories and claims by ethnic and ancestral hinterlands,

    one of the most enduring legacies of the colonial enterprise has been a rearrangement in

    the continent along European languages and half a century later, these African language

    maps have reconfigured themselves in complex, possibly less structured ways.

    We’re excited to be in a number of venues across Nairobi this year and hope that this

    unique showcase of workshops, writers in conversation, public lectures, book launches

    and performances will break the norm of formal conversations between African writers,

    academics, public intellectuals and artists being limited to infrequent engagements either

    within the continent or at an international event.

    Happy Litfest!


    Angela Wachuka Billy Kahora Executive Director Managing Editor

  • Tuesday 1sT december 10.00am – 2.00pm

    SympoSium on LAnguAge

    Keynote LectureS: prof ALdin mutemBei, KAmAu KiArie

    Writers, publishers, media and scholars meet to discuss the

    current state of Kiswahili and African language publishing in

    East Africa. moderators:

    Prof. Kimani Njogu Respondents

    Ken Walibora, Rayya Timami, Prof. Rocha Chimera, Billie Odidi

    and Toninio.

    Invite Only

    7.00pm - 9.30pm phoenix playeRs

    KWAni? open mic: KiSWAhiLi And Sheng edition This special edition will feature two poets working exclusively

    either in sheng or swahili. participants

    Poets Jicho Pevu, Mamboleo and KIU Charges

    Advance Kes. 200 only on Mpesa. Go to “Buy Goods”: 56714 Gate: Kes. 300 MC: Cindy Ogana

  • Full Programme & Descriptions:

    Wednesday 2nd december 1.00- 3.00pm DaysTaR univeRsiTy

    community outreAch Siphiwo Mahala, Patrick Mudekereza and Yvonne Adhiambo

    visit Daystar University to discuss all things writing.

    2.30pm – 4.00pm KenyaTTa univeRsiTy

    Keynote Lecture - prof. ALdin mutemBei Opening performance by Abdilatif Abdalla

    Prof. Aldin Mutembei talks about his work in the context of the

    future of Swahili writing in the region. This session will also

    feature a performance by Kenyan poet Abdilatif Abdalla. participants

    Prof. Aldin Mutembei, Prof. Kimani Njogu, Abdilatif Abdalla

    6.00pm - 7.30pm Kenya naTional TheaTRe

    pAneL diScuSSion on LAnguAge Language and its changing relations to African experience and

    writing on the continent . participants

    Siphiwo Mahala, Patrick Mudekereza, Yvonne Adhiambo moderator

    Mukoma Wa Ngugi

    7.30pm - 9.00pm Kenya naTional TheaTRe

    puBLic Lecture: tAiye SeLASi – cApturing AfricAn WorLdS

    Acclaimed Ghanaian-Nigerian writer Taiye Selasi talks about

    her work and straddling different language worlds to capture

    African experiences. participants

    Taiye Selasi

  • Thursday 3rd december 10.00am -12.00pm

    meet Wu ming italian literary phenomenon and collective, Wu ming meet local

    writers to talk about the writing craft, method and process.

    invite only Please email for enquiries.

    11.00am - 1.00pm DusiTD2

    KWAni? LitfeSt preSS conference informal meet and greet between visiting writers and local media

    participants Visiting Writers, Press

    2.30pm - 4.00pm univeRsiTy of naiRobi

    Keynote Lecture - nuruddin fArAh Renowned african writer nuruddin farah talks about his writing and connecting to african experiences through different language-


    participants Nuruddin Farah

    moderator Dr Tom Odhiambo

    7:30 pm

    KWAni truSt’S gALA Kwani hosts the winners of the inaugural mabati-Cornell Kiswahili prize for african literature. Readings by

    Taiye selasi, Ken Walibora, siphiwo mahala

    Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature presentation Auction and Entertainment

  • Full Programme & Descriptions:

    Friday 4Th december 10.00am-12.00pm

    the WAy of the crAft: miKhAiL ioSSeL Canadian – Russian Writer and sls founder mikhail iossel meets local writers to talk about the writing craft, method and


    invite only Please email for enquiries.

    2.00pm – 5.00pm allianCe fRanCaise

    puBLic Lecture - BoriS BouBAcAr diop: Why engLiSh? Why french? the LAnguAge of empire And the AfricAn nArrAtive acclaimed senegalese Writer talks about his literary work and the influence of different language worlds on his writing.

    participants Boris Boubacar Diop

    moderator Wandia Njoya

    pAneL diScuSSion mr Diop is joined by Congolese writer patrick mudekereza to talk about writing the african experience and imagination in european languages.

    participants Boris Boubacar Diop, Patrick Mudekereza

  • 6.00 – 7.30 pm KWani TRusT

    mABAti-corneLL KiSWAhiLi prize for AfricAn LiterAture WinnerS in converSAtion With muKomA WA ngugi

    Participants: Anna Samwel, Mohammed K. Ghassani, Enock Maregesi and Christopher Bundala Budebah.

    moderator Mukoma Wa Ngugi

    7.45pm – 9.30 pm KWani TRusT

    pAneL diScuSSion 2 – neW contemporAry nArrAtiveS – eScAping the StrAitjAcKet of genre.

    Where do fiction and non-fiction meet?

    participants Wu Ming 1, Mikhail Iossel

    moderator Billy Kahora

  • Full Programme & Descriptions:

    saTurday 5Th december 2.00pm- 4.00pm KWani TRusT

    BooK LAunch: Hiding in Plain Sight, nuruddin farah nuruddin farah in conversation with Tom maliti on his new book partly set in nairobi, exploring themes of family, freedom, and loyalty.

    participants Nuruddin Farah, Tom Maliti

    8.00pm The elephanT

    Love concert: KWAni? for BinyAvAngA feAt foKn BoiS + friendS

    Benefit party in aid of our beloved Binyavanga Wainaina’s Medical Fund, established following his stroke and hospital stay. For more information on Binyavanga’s medical condition, please visit FOKN Bois lead an evening of love, literature and good vibes as we raise funds.

    LAunch of KWAni? 08: The latest journal, Kwani? 08 explores the 2013 elections, the campaigns, questions around IDPs, the Constitution and how all these things could be connected to our current political reality in Kenya. Readings by Siphiwo Mahala and featured Kwani? 8 writers.

    Advance tickets Kes. 1,500 (via Gate: Kes. 2,000

    Entry ticket comes with option of Kwani? 08, hiding in plain sight by Nuruddin Farah or Taty Went West by Nikhil Singh.

  • sunday, 6Th december 1.00pm –3.00pm easTleigh high sChool

    eAStLeigh outreAch acclaimed writer nuruddin farah meets local eastleigh

    communities to talk about all things writing. participants

    Nuruddin Farah and Yusuf Hassan.

    2.30pm (unTil laTe) KWani TRusT

    KWAni? SundAy SALon And fAreWeLL pArty pAneL diScuSSion 1 acclaimed writer Ken Walibora in conversation.

    pAneL diScuSSion 2: Sheng, pidgin, pAtoiS,

    And AfricAn LAnguAgeS What is the place of new urban languages in formal writing

    and publishing?

    participants Go Sheng, Jalada, Patrick Mudekereza, Fokn Bois

    SeSSion 2: reAdingS Writers from all over the world share their work with

    Kenyan audiences.

    participants Siphiwo Mahala, Boris Boubacar Diop, Mikhail Iossel

  • Full Programme & Descriptions:

    the 2015 KWAni? LitfeSt iS deLivered in pArtnerShip With

  • WWW.KWANI.ORG http://KWANIlItfest.tumblR.cOm

    @KWANItRust #KWANIlItfest