Posts filed under ‘books’

Conversation with Kenyan Writers: Kinyanjui Kombani Author of Den of Inequalities, Jul. 24 2014 @ Goethe Institut

Den of Inequities
Date: July 24, 2014
Venue: Goethe Institut – Library
Time: 6 pm
Entry: Free

Host: John Sibi-Okumu

July 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Blankets and Wine 53rd Edition feat. Yellow Light Machine, Sage & Karun, Jul. 6 2014 @ Carnivore Gardens

Pack your picnic baskets, bring a bottle of wine, carry a shuka and join us for the 53rd edition of B&W at the CARNIVORE KENYA Gardens, Nairobi this July 6th from 1pm to 7pm.

This edition of Blankets & Wine will host a variety of fun filled, family-friendly activities as we #DiscoverLoveShare in the creative blend of music, literature, fashion and art.

Date: July 6 2014
Venue: Carnivore
Time: from 1 pm
Tickets: Kshs 1500 advance & 2000 at the door

Featured activities at this event will include;

Yellow Light Machine
Karun Mungai

Kwani Trust STAGE
Kwani? Mahewa: Free downloads of audio stories from the Kwani? online store including Vain Jan’go, A Kenyan Work Place, Nyof Nyof
Kwani? Open Mic: B+W Edition: Sign up to perform and read your poetry
Literary Salon: Creative Non-Fiction: Readings and conversations with Barbara Wanjala (Kwani? 06) and Isaac Otidi Amuke (Jean-Jacques Rousseau Fellowship, 2013)
Kwani? Book Swap: Exchange your old reads for ‘new’ ones and donate books from the Kwani? Series towards the #SomaSoma initiative

The Sky Over Berlin: African Designers For Tomorrow (
Made With Love


June 27, 2014 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Book Launch & Theatre Performance: Six and the City – 6 Short Plays on Nairobi, June 4 2014 @ Goethe Institut

Book Launch & Theatre Performance: Six and the City - 6 Short Plays on Nairobi

June 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

RWANDA UNDER THE RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance, May 30 2014 @ IFRA/BIEA

Date & Time: Friday, 30th May 2014, 6.00PM – 7.30PM
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi

Panel discussion and journal special issue launch.

1. Jason Mosley (Research associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and managing editor, Journal of Eastern African Studies)
2. Phil Clark (Reader in comparative and international politics, SOAS, University of London)
3. Yolande Bouka (Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Nairobi)

This panel discussion – which serves also as a launch of a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies (JEAS) on the same topic – will debate the nature of Rwandan politics under the RPF and its impact on the post-genocide reconstruction process, regional relations and the well-being of everyday Rwandans.

For more information on the event, please click this link.

PS: Remember to RSVP by sending an email to

May 28, 2014 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

Kwani? Open Mic. Feat. Ngartia & Kaesa, Apr. 1 2014 @ Arfa Lounge – Imax Cinema


March 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Stories Spoken/Public Reading: All The Lights by Clemens Meyer, Mar. 27 2014 @ Goethe Institut

A Collection of Short Stories by Clemens Meyer

Date & time: Thursday 27th March, 6.00 pm
Venue: Goethe-Institut Library
Admission: free of charge

March 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm 1 comment

Exhibition: Where Books go to Die, Mar. 13 – Apr. 11 2014 @ Goethe Institut

Where Books go to Die
Kuona Trust is delighted to invite you to the opening of WHERE BOOKS GO TO DIE, an exhibition by one of our artists, Jackie Karuti, opening on 13th March at the Goethe Institut, Nairobi.

The exhibition replicates a library scene set in a dystopia world inspired by the four elements Earth, Air, Fire & Water. These four elements are believed to be the forces that govern existence for they hold immense power to not only build but also destroy. The symbolism of the elements is translated into a series of smaller installations that depict the state of most libraries as seen in Nairobi as well as in most parts of the world.

About the Artist
Jackie Karuti is a visual artist working in the fields of painting, performance art and installation. Her paintings depict a world of opposites set within a black and yellow palette. With her gradual embrace of new media and immateriality, Jackie has incorporated a conceptual and experimental artistic approach to her work through her performance pieces and installations which collectively focus on themes such asgender, identity and urban culture. Jackie has exhibited and participated in workshops in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA. She also writes and has collaborated in various photography projects.

Her studio is based at Kuona Trust in Nairobi. You can find more of her musings on her blog

Opening night: Thursday, 13th March 2014 from 7pm
Venue: Goethe Institut, Nairobi

March 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

Book Launch: A Night Guide through the City-In-The-Sun by Tony Mochama aka Smitta, Mar. 5 2014 @ Arfa Lounge

Nairobi at Night
Date & Time: Wednesday, 5th March 2014 at 6 pm
Venue: Arfa Lounge, 20th Century Plaza, Mama Ngina Street
Admission: 500=/KSh (incl. 1 copy of the book and 1 cinema ticket)

Have you heard of the legendary Nairobi Night Runner? No?! Then the next publication in the Contact Zones NRB book series and the second issue of its Rogue Series shall hit the spot.

Tony Mochama’s Nairobi – A Night Guide through the City-in-the-Sun reveals the vibrant, eccentric and extreme city of Nairobi that is made up of different and contradictory worlds.

Nairobi is also an elusive city; difficult to comprehend and fully penetrate. What better guide can there be than Tony Mochama, the notorious and popular chronicler of Nairobi’s urban life? Haunted by his doppelganger the Night Runner – a naked, mad and mythical being who, in popular rural Kenyan imagination, runs from house to house casting spells – Mochama will carry you along on his journeys through Nairobi.

His is a declaration of love for the city-in-the-sun, after the sun has gone down.

Part of Goethe Institute’s Contact Zones NRB publication series.

March 4, 2014 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

Book Launch: Contact Zones NRB 08 – Invisible Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community, Feb. 5 2014 @ Goethe Institut

Poster-Invisible Booklaunch_logos unten.indd
Date: February 5, 2014
Venue: Goethe-Institut Nairobi, Maendeleo House
Time: 6.00 pm
Entry: Free

“Being gay is not a crime in Kenya. However, there is still the penal code that outlaws homosexual acts or ‘acts against the order of nature’ between men. The new constitution does offer some hope, by being all inclusive and respecting the rights of all minorities, thanks to having the Bill of Human Rights enshrined in what has been described as Kenya’s best constitution. This is a huge step for the queer community and movement in Kenya. But cases of blackmail, harassment, assault, incidents of ‘corrective rape’, extortion and reports of suicide still occur. Kenya may offer a relatively more open space for the queer community but it is not out of the woods yet. Homophobia still exists and, unfortunately, the queer community is not given the space to tell their stories or even determine how they want to be depicted in the public eye.” Kevin Mwachiro

Invisible is a Kenyan story made up of many tales. Although the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity is a very controversial topic in Kenya, the queer community has recently struggled to make itself more visible. Kenyan activists vocally campaign against discrimination and for the respect of the dignity of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersex individuals. As a journalist and activist, Kevin Mwachiro has taken on the task of collecting stories from this community. Talking to the young or the old, city dwellers or men and women in the countryside, the poor or the rich, Mwachiro has transcribed the accounts of men and women who have chosen to remain true to themselves despite the many odds that they have faced. Invisible is an exploration of their respective journeys.

The book is published in collaboration with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and the Gay Kenya Trust, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

About the Author
Born in 1973, Kevin Mwachiro has lived and worked in Nairobi for most of his life. After attending the city’s Daystar University, he later went on to study at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, where he attained an MA in Radio Production. He has worked as a radio journalist and producer in Kenya, Uganda and the United Kingdom and as a correspondent for the BBC World Service. Kevin Mwachiro is a member of the gay activist community. He volunteered at the now defunct TOMIK (The Other Man in Kenya) and more recently at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya and the Gay Kenya Trust.

About the Book Series
The Kenyan publishing industry largely focuses on school textbooks and NGO-sponsored publications. Two sectors are completely left out: Art catalogues and intellectual perspectives on social reality in Kenya. Local publishers being market economy driven and purely profit oriented have little interest in books on such subjects. For this reason, the best intellectual input from Kenya has remained unpublished, and even the most notable Kenyan artists have no publications on them. Contributions from East Africa are missing in the increasingly globalised intellectual discourse and art scene. There is a shortage of texts on what would be called ‘contact zones’; zones, in which global and local artists, critics and audiences meet, dialogue and (re)produce new experiences and meanings of the art world and social reality.

The book series Contact Zones NRB pays tribute to the developments that have shaped the art scene globally and intellectual discourse over the last decades, especially of postcolonial life in the countries of the region and their relationship to the rest of the world. Emerging from local specific perspective the series is largely dedicated to the protagonists of the East African artistic, activist and intellectual scenes. The spectrum ranges from art projects and cultural practice to knowledge production and political interventions.

Contact Zones NRB is published by the Goethe-Institut Nairobi in conjunction with Native Intelligence, an organization founded by Tom Odhiambo (literary/cultural/media scholar) and Parselelo Kantai (journalist and activist). Contact Zones NRB publishes texts that are not likely to be taken up by other local and international publishers.

More information:

February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm 1 comment

Readings & Discussion: Literature Forum, Jan. 25 2014 @ Goethe Institut Library

Literature Forum

January 21, 2014 at 10:12 am Leave a comment

Book Launch/Panel Discussion: (Re)membering Kenya, Jan. 24 2014 @ Goethe Institut Auditorium

remembering Kenya Vol 2
Date & Time: January 24, 2014 at 6 pm
Venue: Goethe-Institut, Auditorium
Admission free

(Re)membering Kenya Vol. 2 – Interrogating, Marginalization and Governance provides important insights into the directions that Kenya can take to address the root causes of inequalities, election related violence and exclusion. It suggests a path for sustainable peace in Kenya.

The public lecture series was a critical response to the crisis after the 2007 general elections in Kenya. The talks provided space for intense discussions between academics, civil society and the public. As a result of the initial conversations, the book (Re)Membering Kenya Volume 1 which focused on Identity, Culture and Freedom was published.
Later another round of talks was held and this second volume on Interrogating Marginalization and Governance has been published recently by Twaweza Communications and was edited by George Gona and Mbugua wa-Mungai.

In cooperation with Ford Foundation and Twaweza Communications.

January 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

Book Swop Party: World Loudest Library – Pmbc/library, Dec. 11 2013 @ 28 Kijabe Street

WLL 24. World’s Loudest Library. Like a house party but without the idiots. Bring a good book, get a good random book from someone else. The DJs are the best ever (Shaz, Rapho, Momo). Oh, bring your own bottle and 250 shillings too.

Date: Wednesday, 11th Dec, 7.30pm till a not too late end
Venue: 28 Kijabe Street

Requirements: book, booze, 250 bob

December 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

Kwani at 10 Book Party: Launching Dust – Y. Adhiambo & Americanah – C. Ngozi, Nov. 29 2013 @ Marshall’s Warehouse

Book Party
Date: November 29, 2013
Venue: Marshall’s Warehouse, Loita Street
Time: 7. 30 pm
Entry: Kshs. 1,000 at the door (inclusive of a copy of either Americanah or Dust). Or Kshs. 400 for the entry fee

November 26, 2013 at 10:44 am 1 comment

Kwani at 10 Lecture: On Americanah by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, Nov. 29 2013 @ University of Nairobi

On Americana
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s public lecture at University of Nairobi

Date: November 29, 2013
Venue: Taifa Hall, University of Nairobi

Register & find more info here

November 26, 2013 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Kwani at 10 Lecture: Writing the Distance – from Weight of Whispers to Dust, Nov. 28 2013 @ Kenyatta University

Reflections on Kwani Decade
Register & find more info here

November 26, 2013 at 10:11 am Leave a comment

Literature Forum: Readings & Discussion, Oct. 26 2013 @ Goethe

Literature Forum
Date: October 26, 2013
Venue: Goethe Institut Library
Time: 10 am – 1 pm
Entry: Free

October 23, 2013 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Book Discussion: End of Arrogance [Africa & the West – Understanding their Differences], Oct. 24 2013 @ Goethe

End of Arrogance: Africa & the West – Understanding their Differences by Dr. Helmut Danner

End of Arrogance: Africa & the West – Understanding their Differences by Dr. Helmut Danner

End of Arrogance: Africa & the West – Understanding their Differences by Dr. Helmut Danner

Date: October 24, 2013
Venue: Goethe-Institut Auditorium
Time: 6 pm
Entry: Free

The book’s basic thesis is: The relationship between Africa and the West is disturbed: distrust here and arrogance there. The main two reasons for this have to be seen in the common history which was humiliating for the Africans: slavery, missionaries, colonialism; and in the lack of understanding of the mentality of the other side. Danner describes the rich, but unknown, pre-colonial history of Africa and the common history of Africa and the West since the end of the 15th century. He shows that the African social structure is founded on concrete communities, while the Western societies are based on individuals. As a consequence, the African ethical orientation is related to concrete persons; however, the Western ethics are guided by abstract norms. The African spirituality is from this world, while the Western religiosity is metaphysical, i.e. God is beyond this world. What do these different orientations mean for the encounter of Africans and Westerners, also for the development cooperation?

The book will be presented in the form of a panel discussion. The panelists will include: Dr. Joyce Nyairo, Ms. Jennifer Luesby, Mr. Jagi Gakunju, Dr. Helmut Danner (the author) and Ms. Njoki Muhoro (moderator).

For more information: GI website

October 23, 2013 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Event: #AuthorsBuffet Book Signing, Sept. 28 2013 @ Sarit Centre

Authors Buffet
Date: September 28, 2013
Venue: Sarit Centre
Time: from 10 am

September 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Literature Forum, Sept. 28 2013 @ Goethe Institut Library

Goethe Book Club

September 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Storymoja Hay Festival Premium Events: Global Celebs, Kanga Karnival… Sept.19-22 2013 @ National Museum

SHF Premium Events
Dates: September 19-22, 2013
Venue: National Museum of Kenya
Time: From 10 am to late

Tickets: Seasonal Pass Kshs 1500 – 4 days, Daily Tickets Adults Kshs 1000 & Kshs 500 Kids
Tickets Contacts: 0728 285 021 or

September 16, 2013 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

Storymoja Hayfestival Kid’s Events: At Story Hippo Village, Sept.19-22 2013 @ National Museum

SMF Story hippo
Dates: September 19-22, 2013
Venue: At Story Hippo Village, National Museum of Kenya
Time: From 10 am to past 7 pm

Tickets: Seasonal Pass Kshs 1500 – 4 days, Daily Tickets Adults Kshs 1000 & Kshs 500 Kids
Tickets Contacts: 0728 285 021 or

September 16, 2013 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

Book Launch: Contact Zones Nairobi, Sept. 20 2013 @ Goethe Institut

Contact Zones Nairobi Book Launch
Date: September 20, 2013
Venue: Goethe Institut
Time: 7 pm

For more info

September 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Storymoja Hay Festival: Imagine the World, Sept. 19-22 2013 @ National Museum

Photo by Silas Miamis

Photo by Silas Miamis

Dates: September 19-22, 2013
Venue: National Museum of Kenya
Time: From 10 am to past 7 pm
Tickets: Seasonal Pass Kshs 1500 – 4 days, Daily Tickets Adults Kshs 1000 & Kshs 500 Kids
Tickets Contacts: 0728 285 021 or


Festival Head liner: Teju Cole

The Storymoja Hay Festival 2012 Highlights

Download the 2013 Programme Storymoja Hay Festival Programme 2013

September 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm 1 comment

Book Sale: Second Hand Book Sale, Sept. 6-7 2013 @ National Museum

Book Sale Poster 2013
The kenya Museum society invites you for the 2013 Second Hand Book Sale on Friday 6 & Sat 7 September 2013,

Venue: Nairobi National Museum, Main Courtyard
Time: 10am – 4pm on both days

Proceeds fund projects at the National Museums of Kenya

September 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Book Launch: A Renegade Called Simphiwe by Prof. Pumla Dineo Gqola, Sept. 13 2013 @ BIEA

Date: Friday September 13, 2013
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa
Time: 10.30 am
Entry: Free

For more information and to RSVP please contact or Sinoxolo Neo Musangi at

There is an idealised model of (Black) femininity in post-apartheid South Africa.
On the surface, she embodies the transformational promise of a new South Africa: a radical departure from apartheid stereotypes, she is an articulate, independent, ambitious woman with increasing control over her public and financial life. However, closer analysis of this model femininity, “the new South African woman”, reveals much about the workings of white supremacist heteropatriachal capitalist control and policing of women in contemporary South Africa. Building on the illustration and analysis of this woman, the paper will make an argument for urgent need to amplify the place of renegades in post-apartheid South Africa, using a few examples, including those discussed in this book – A Renegade Called Simiphiwe.

Prof. Pumla Dineo Gqola is Associate Professor of African Literary and Gender studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is author of What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa (Wits Press, 2010) and A renegade called Simphiwe (MFBooks Joburg/Jacana, 2013).

Her research and teaching is on African feminisms and sexualities, slave memory in African and diasporic literatures and gendered Blackness. She is also editor of Regarding Winnie: feminism, race and nation in global representations of Winnie Madikizela Mandela (forthcoming with Cassava republic).

She holds MA degrees from the Universities of Cape Town (SA) and Warwick (UK) and a DPhil in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich, Germany.

September 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

Research Publication: From Theatre Royal to Pop-Up Galleries – Timeline of Art Venues in Nairobi by Olivier Marcel

Maybe one day Nairobi will be laid out with tarred roads, with avenues of flowering trees, flanked by noble spaces and stately squares; a cathedral worthy of faith and country, museums and galleries of art, theatres and public offices. – Dutton Eric in Kenya Mountain, 1929

In Volume XI n° 3 – 2013 of Mambo! [IFRA Publication] Olivier Marcel takes a closer look at art venues in Nairobi from 1910 to present day. Then, he goes ahead to give a visual representation/mapping of art venues vis a viz key political events in Kenya and East Africa.

In his finding Oliver posits that most of the art venues and institutions in Nairobi lack institutional memory.

An astonishing example is the fifty year old Goethe-Institut, which has virtually nothing but testimonies to account for the activity that preceded the arrival of the current director in 2007. Additionally, when a venue shuts down, as did Wahome Mutahi’s popular Citrus Whispers Theatre in Ngara, its memory is only shared orally in small circles of theatre enthusiasts and progressively fades into oblivion.

Marcel also observes that there might be differences of intention between local organizers and their western counter parts. In his opinion western donors will usually partner with art organizers with the sole agenda of putting Nairobi on the Map!

This paper also points out how foreign donors came to settle in the art space. As is always the case foreign donors have an agenda they seek to push and art space in Kenya seems an obvious channel. Marcel makes this clear by pointing out how informal settlements have become attractive for art projects which are usually financed by foreign donors.

Download Mambo 2012 Marcel EN [pdf]

Olivier Marcel is a PhD student in geography who is currently completing his thesis titled “Tracing Art from Nairobi, Geography of Art Mobilities in an East African Metropolis” (Bordeaux 3 University – LAM, UMR 5115).

July 25, 2013 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

Book Launch: Commerce with the Universe By Prof. Gaurav Desai, Jul. 23 2013 @ BIEA

book: commerce with the universe

book: commerce with the universe

Date: July 23, 2013
Venue: BIEA
Time: 10 am

This talk draws upon my book on the Asian (Indian) presence in and connections with Africa being published by Columbia University Press in August 2013. The book is primarily focused on the twentieth century, but it has an overarching frame that reaches to the twelfth century world of the Indian Ocean trade re-created by Amitav Ghosh in his book In an Antique Land.

Prof. Gaurav Desai
Prof. Gaurav Desai teaches in the Department of English and in the Program of African and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane University, New Orleans. His work has focused on various aspects of colonialism, postcoloniality, culture, law, literatures and the Asian-African imagination.

July 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm 1 comment

Book Launch: Incorporating Oral Culture in Education for Development, Jul. 18 2013 @ Goethe

Oral Literature in Education for Development
Date: July, 18, 2013
Venue: Goethe Institut Auditorium
Time: 6 pm
Entry: Free

July 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Essays & Poems by Kenyan Writers: Kenya Refuses, Published by @ the New Inquiry

Edited by Shailja Patel and Aaron Bady, designed by Imp Kerr

Edited by Shailja Patel and Aaron Bady, designed by Imp Kerr

To qualify for contempt you must be disposable. Invisible. Shameable. Usable. Silenceable. – Politics of Contempt by Shailja Patel

Kenya Refuses is a supplement of the new inquiry edited by Shailja Patel and Aaron Bady. It is a carnival of transgressive Kenyan voices.
In essays and dialogues, in postcards and poetry, nine Kenyans map out their rejection of both the premises and the outcome of Kenya’s March 2013 election.

Contributions from Keguro Macharia, Wambui Mwangi, Marziya Mohammedali, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Michael Onsando, Orem Ochiel, Okwiri Oduor, Kenne Mwikya and Shailja Patel

Download #KenyaRefuses here [pdf]

July 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

Book: Nairobi in Pictures – Political Icons 1889-2000 by Lydia W. Muthuma, Available @ Nairobi Bookshops

Nairobi in Pictures
Nairobi in Pictures: Political Icons 1889-2000 by Lydia W. Muthuma provides a historical and aesthetic analysis of the civic buildings in Nairobi.

The book combines architectural history with ever vibrant political debates. And providing a critical glance at the city’s built environment, it goes beyond the surface image to probe into the style and substance of life within Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).

Author: Lydia W. Muthuma, Publisher – Focus, Nairobi 2013

Nairobi past and present by The EastAfrican June 15-22, 2013
Book reviewed by Gitau Warigi in the Sunday Nation June 9, 2013

About the Author
Lydia W. Muthuma, is an art historian with over 20 years teaching experience in the field of aesthetics. She studied at Kenyatta University, department of Dine Arts in Nairobi, Kenya and in the University Michel de Montaigne, Bourdeaux 3, in Bourdeaux, France.

She lectures in Technical University of Kenya and in Strathmore University.

The book is available in most Nairobi bookshops and retailing at Kshs 1,000.

June 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

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