Posts tagged ‘kwani trust’

Discussion: with Shortlisted Writers of the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature, Jun. 28 2014 @ Louis Leakey Auditorium


Date: Saturday, June 28 2014
Venue: Louis Leakey Auditorium, National Museums
Time: 5 pm

Meet the Writers event with the three writers shortlisted for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature – NoViolet Bulawayo, Yewande Omotoso and Karen Jennings, with special guest and Patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (OBE).
This will be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.

2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature writers tour Nairobi, hosted by Kwani Trust
Africa’s most prestigious literary prize, the Etisalat Prize for Literature has collaborated with Kwani Trust for a weekend of literary events in Nairobi on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June 2014 as part of a three city African tour for shortlisted writers of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The Meet the Writers event includes a panel discussion hosted by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (OBE) with the three shortlisted writers of the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature, NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), author of We Need New Names and winner of the 2013 edition, Yewande Omotoso (Nigeria/South Africa), author of Bom Boy, and Karen Jennings (South Africa), author of Finding Soutbek.

NoViolet Bulawayo, Yewande Omotoso and Karen Jennings will also feature at the Kwani?

June 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

52nd Edition of Blankets & Wine, June 1 2014 @ the Carnivore

B&W June Poster
Date: June 1 2014
Venue: the Carnivore Gardens
Time: from 1 pm
Tickets: Kshs 1500 advance & Kshs 2000 on the Gate

PS: You may only carry a picnic & wine ONLY

May 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

Workshop Opportunity for Writers: Application for Kwani? Fiction Workshop due Monday, May 26 2014

Kwani Trust Seeks Applicants for 2014 Fiction Workshop

Kwani Trust invites applications for a residential fiction workshop to be held from June 24th to July 6th. Following Kwani?’s pursuit of developing new contemporary fiction, the workshop will incubate writing from fourteen emerging voices with particular focus on writers between the ages of 18 and 24 and writers from outside of Nairobi’s urban space.

Kwani? has always been interested in providing creative and alternative voices, narratives and expressions to mainstream societal concerns. The establishment of devolutionary politics in Kenya, the planned decentralisation of power with the application of the new Constitution and the emergence of new aspects of power in our society requires scrutiny and the telling of new stories. We are therefore interested in developing creative writing that mirrors what has been described as our new politics.

Not limited to the above, the workshop will broadly explore what new narratives can emerge from the county as Kenya’s new central political unit beyond the state. Linked to this will be explorations of the mtaa, or neighbourhood, as an oppositional and organic context to these new narratives, expressions and voices.
We hope that the writers invited to the workshop will work with power and mtaa as broad thematic concerns. The two week-workshop, and the intensity of the residential format, will allow the writers enough time to produce substantial work, learn aspects of the writer’s craft and develop style with Kwani?’s guest tutors and mentors. The invited writers will also form a meaningful working relationship with the other writers on the programme.

At the end of the workshop we will ask writers to submit drafts suitable for submission to Kwani? 09, the ninth issue of Kwani Trust’s flagship literary journal subtitled Your Count®y Needs You.

To apply, please email by Monday, May 26th with the following:

-Email Subject Line: 2014 Fiction Workshop Application
-A short fiction sample (1000-2000 words) (Word or PDF)
-A one page motivation statement including 1. Why you wish to attend the workshop 2. Story idea(s) around power or mtaa 3. A brief bio
-Phone number
-Email address

*Writers must be available for the duration of the workshop. Transport, full accommodation and meals will be provided.

May 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm Leave a 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

Events: Reflections on a Kwani? Decade, Nov. 27-30 2013, @ Various Venues

Kwani at 10
Between 27th-30th November Kwani Trust will host a series of literary, creative and artistic events that reflect on its work in the context of the literary history of Kenya, East Africa and the continent. Culminating in the launch of Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s debut novel Dust and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel Americanah.

The programme includes public lectures, readings, an Awards Ceremony for the Kwani? Manuscript Project and a visual art retrospective that reflects on a shared sensibility between photographers, writers and other artists curated by Mbithi Masya (Just a Band).

For more info. download Kwaniat10

November 22, 2013 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

Spoken Wor:l:ds: Lyrical Exchange between Nairobi & Berlin, Nov. 9-15 2013 @ Various Venues

Spoken Worlds
10th Nov: Street Poetry 3:00pm Aga khan walk (Free )
11th Nov: SPOKEN WOR:L:DS Goethe-Institut Nairobi 2:00pm (free)
12th Nov: Spoken Wor:l:ds (Kwani) 7:30 pm Imax (Free)
13th Nov: Spoken Wor:l:ds (Goethe) 4:00 to 6:00 pm (Free)
15th Nov: Spoken Worl:l:ds (Live & Loud) Tree house (free) plus there is transport from town


SPOKEN WOR:L:DS – lyrical performance between Nairobi and Berlin – is an international literature exchange project between artists from both cities, focusing on contemporary performance poetry.

It takes up impulses of Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry and Rap, which are art forms that mix literature, music, dance, and visual arts. Eight artists from Berlin, including Josefine Berkholz, Diamondog, Erko, Christian Filips, Josh, LMNZ, Madog, Sabine Scho will meet the following artists from Nairobi: Checkmate, L-Ness, Ogutu Muraya, Wanjiku Mwaurah, Namatsi, Sitawa Namwalie, Octopizzo, and Poetic B.

The project takes place in Nairobi November , 9th – 15th 2013 and in 5th – 12th April 2014 in Berlin.

Find more info here:

November 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Lost in Translation? Panel Discussion, Performances & Open Stage, Nov. 13 2013 @ Goethe Institut

Spoken Worlds
Date: Wednesday 13th November
Venue: Goethe-Institut Auditorium
Time: 6.00 pm
Admission: free

Does translation open up new frontiers for art or does it lead to the loss of context and the purity of the work? Join 16 poets, spoken word and rappers from the SPOKEN WOR:L:DS project (that draws artists from Nairobi and Berlin) as they discover and debate the joys and challenges of translation and the translatability of lyrics. They shall also share their experiences of the project as well as subsequent performances. Rappers, Poets, Spoken Word artists are very welcome to present their work during the open stage segment. (Please register through or at Goethe Institut by Wednesday, November 13th between 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.) Karibuni nyote!


SPOKEN WOR:L:DS – lyrical performance between Nairobi and Berlin – is an international literature exchange project between artists from both cities, focusing on contemporary performance poetry.

It takes up impulses of Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry and Rap, which are art forms that mix literature, music, dance, and visual arts. Eight artists from Berlin, including Josefine Berkholz, Diamondog, Erko, Christian Filips, Josh, LMNZ, Madog, Sabine Scho will meet the following artists from Nairobi: Checkmate, L-Ness, Ogutu Muraya, Wanjiku Mwaurah, Namatsi, Sitawa Namwalie, Octopizzo, and Poetic B.

The project takes place in Nairobi November , 9th – 15th 2013 and in 5th – 12th April 2014 in Berlin.

SPOKEN WOR:L:DS is a project by Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, Maono Cultural Group and Kwani Trust in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Kenya. It is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and supported by Goethe-Institut, Auswärtiges Amt, and Gangway e.V. The project’s media partner is AfricAvenir.

November 8, 2013 at 8:43 am 3 comments

Open Mic: Mashujaa Poetry Slam, Oct. 1 2013 @ Arfa Lounge

Kwani Open Mic Oct
Date: October 1, 2013
Venue: Arfa Lounge
Time: 6.30 pm
Tickets: Kshs 250

Host: Cindy Ogana

September 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

Call for Application: One Fine Day Film Workshop 2013, by May 1 2013

Apply for the One Fine Day Film Workshop programme 2013 Film Department Training

Treasuring African stories and wanting to enable young talented film-makers to reach a larger amount of viewers, the independent film production company ONE FINE DAY FILMS developed with DW-AKADEMIE and GINGER INK a training workshop concept called One Fine Day Film Workshop. It provides the instruction of amateur film-makers in various departments by professional filmmakers, as well as the realization of a feature film as an on the job training that conveys film making in practice.

During the workshop a chosen group of talented young African film-makers will get in contact with professional film-makers from all over the world who are pleased to share their know-how and knowledge with them.

Module 1 – Film Department Training

Module 2 – Feature Film Workshop (Film making and post production module)

APPLY NOW – Guidelines and Application download here.
The completed application form must be received by May 1st 2013 at

Full information here:

February 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

Kwani? Litfest, Dec. 9-16 2012 @ National Museum


Kwani? Litfest full program

2012 Kwani? Litfest: Conversations with Writers and Artists from The Horn

The fourth edition of our biennial gathering of writers, poets, literary academics and theorists from the continent kicks off between 9th – 16th December, 2012. Titled Conversations With The Horn: Writers, Artists In Exchange, this year’s festival will host Somali poet Hadraawi, Sudanese-English novelist Jamal Mahjoub & Eritrean writer and historian Alemsegad Tefsayi to share their work with writers from other parts of the continent. These include Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Sadaawi & Nigerian and Ghanaian novelists, Helon Habila and Kojo Laing. They will also be joined by writers from Mozambique, Namibia, and Cameroon.

Following different themes over the years at the Kwani? Litfest, this is the first time that we have invited a combination of different writers from the Horn to be part of a celebration of literature and its role in our lives. Recent developments in the region have created points of convergence that warrant intra-continental literary, artistic and intellectual conversations. To begin with, new writing has emerged in places where little writing at least in Anglophone Africa had been seen in the mainstream and hence Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa are not the only players in a global republic of letters. Some of the most recent exciting contemporary African Literature has come from the so-called countries of the Horn by writers such as Meaza Mengiste, Dinaw Mengestu, Nadifa Mohamed, Abraham Verghese, Abdulrahman Waberi & Sulaiman Addonia. These follow in the rich literary traditions set by Nuruddin Farah, Tayeb Salih and many others.

With Southern Sudan as Africa’s latest nation, the emergence of Ethiopia as a new African economic force, the gradual stabilization of Somalia and the emergence of its resulting Diasporas, new expressions and narratives can challenge the ubiquitous narrative of political crisis. Such narratives, usually driven by outsiders, have been given prominence that mask numerous other layered realities otherwise taking place in the same areas. Writers and cultural commentators from these regions are increasingly becoming prominent in producing new narratives and ideas about their homelands. We hope that this edition of the Litfest provides a platform for the sharing of ideas through lectures, panel discussions and readings. That it can be a site of debate and discussion by writers, academics and literary enthusiasts on how literature, art and culture is related to the layered realities in the countries of the Horn now and in a glorious past.

The very fact that thousands of Sudanese, Ethiopians, Eritreans, and citizens of Somalia through migration and spill-over from conflict in these regions have seeped into Kenya’s national and especially urban psyches tells us that societal relationships have emerged that are complex and fluid. That, in truth, Kenya is as much part of the East African Community as what is known as The Horn of Africa. We recognize the differences, commonalities, and imaginaries between our societies and those of the Horn. We feel that these need to be discussed through the lens of art, literature and culture, and welcome you to the 2012 edition of the Kwani? Litfest.

December 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Discussion: Telling ‘Stories’ In Digital – Online Audiences & Markets, Sept. 28 2012 @ Sarit Centre

Join in on the discussion at the Kwani? Stand at the International Book Fair

Date: September 28, 2012
Venue: Sarit Centre Expo Hall, Westlands
Time: 10-11am

Following discussions at iHub in late August and the Storymoja Hay Festival in mid-September, Kwani Trust will hold an event on Friday 28th September, 2012 from 10 – 11am at the 15th Nairobi International Book Fair at Sarit Centre, Nairobi.

Panelists will discuss issues of research and knowledge in the online and digital use of creative content, and how national communications policy and legal frameworks are evolving because of the advent of digital and mobile platforms.

1. Jimmy Gitonga, Kwani Trust (@kwanitrust): Presenting Findings From Kwani Trust’s Digital Pilot
2. Kaburo Kobia, Kenya ICT Board (@kenyaictboard): National Policy and Legal Frameworks In New Digital Communications
3. Will Clurman, eKitabu (@ekitabu): Private Spaces, National Frameworks
4. Marisella Ouma, Kenya Copyright Board (@kenyacopyright): What The Law Says Re: Content And Online Technologies (TBC)

Full information available here:

September 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

[Deadline Extended] Call for Submissions: Kwani? Manuscript Project, Until Sept. 17 2012

To celebrate the African novel and its adaptability and resilience, Kwani Trust announces a one-off new literary prize for African writing.

The Kwani? Manuscript Project calls for the submission of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora. The prize seeks fresh, original work that explores and challenges the possibilities of the novel.

The top 3 manuscripts will be awarded cash prizes:
1st Prize: 300,000 KShs (equivalent to $3500)
2nd Prize: 150,000 KShs
3rd Prize: 75,000 KShs

In addition Kwani? will publish manuscripts from across the shortlist and longlist, including the three winning manuscripts, as well as partnering with regional and global agents and publishing houses to create high profile international publication opportunities.

Winners will be announced in December 2012 at the Kwani? Litfest.

For more information go to:

Submission Guidelines:
• Extended deadline for submissions: 17th September 2012.
• Word count 45,000-120,000 words
• Submissions should be adult literary or genre fiction (in the sense of not being ‘children’s fiction’)
• The work should be in English or ‘Englishes’
• The manuscript must be ‘new’ in the sense that it is ‘unpublished in book form’ (we will accept previously
published submissions if circulation has been under 500 copies and limited to one national territory)
• Eligible participants should have at least one parent born in an African country who holds citizenship of the same
• Please send submissions by email, attached as a WORD doc to

This Kwani? Manuscript Project is made possible by the generous support of Lambent Foundation and Ford Foundation.

The Kwani? Manuscript Project was initially conceptualised after Kwani Trust received the Prince Claus Award in December 2010 for “establishing a dynamic platform for new voices in African Literature.” The award has provided seed money for this prize.

Follow Kwani on Twitter : @kwanitrust
Join Kwani on Facebook :

July 20, 2012 at 10:18 am 2 comments

Readings & Book Launch: One Day I will Write About This Place, Jun. 1 2012 @ Kenya Railways Museum

Date: June 1, 2012
Venue: Kenya Railways Museum, off Haile Selassie Avenue 

Time: 6.30pm

Entry: Copy of ‘One Day I will Write About This Place‘, @ Ksh 500 (purchased at the entrance)

Enquiries/Contacts: or Tel 020 444 1801

Book Description
Binyavanga Wainaina tumbled through his middle-class Kenyan childhood out of kilter with the world around him. This world came to him as a chaos of loud and colourful sounds: the hair dryers at his mother’s beauty parlour, black mamba bicycle bells, mechanics in Nairobi, the music of Michael Jackson—all punctuated by the infectious laughter of his brother and sister, Jimmy and Ciru. He could fall in with their patterns, but it would take him a while to carve out his own. In this vivid and compelling debut memoir, Wainaina takes us through his school days, his mother’s religious period, his failed attempt to study in South Africa as a computer programmer, a moving family reunion in Uganda, and his travels around Kenya. The landscape in front of him always claims his main attention, but he also evokes the shifting political scene that unsettles his views on family, tribe, and nationhood. Throughout, reading is his refuge and his solace. And when, in 2002, a writing prize comes through, the door is opened for him to pursue the career that perhaps had been beckoning all along. A series of fascinating international reporting assignments follow. Finally he circles back to a Kenya in the throes of postelection violence and finds he is not the only one questioning the old certainties.

One Day I Will Write about This Place was first released to great critical and commercial success acclaim in the United States and the UK in 2011.
Kwani Trust will be launching the East Africa edition of this book, and the event also features a DJ set by Just A Band

Selections & Reviews
Oprah Book Club: Book of the Week (19th July 2011) and 2011 Summer Selection
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection (10th October 2011)
A New York Times ‘100 Most Notable Books of 2011′
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2011

`A beguiling account and vibrant celebration of coming of age in post-colonial Africa‘ –Sunday Times

An autobiographical portrait of the artist as a young man with brilliant commentary and critique‘ — Guardian

Head directly to the bookstore for Binyavanga Wainaina’s stand-up-and-cheer coming-of-age memoir‘ — New York Times

Witty, novelistic and dreamy, Wainaina’s story is effectively the story of Kenya itself‘ –Metro

This is Africa from the African Point of View, a vibrant celebration of “normal human beings doing normal things.“– The Sunday Times.

About The Author
Wainaina, 41, is a travel writer, essayist, award winning fiction writer and journalist, and is also the Founding Editor of Kwani?, and one of Africa’s most dynamic literary voices.
He is presently the Director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College in New York and as travel writer, has written for The New York Times, National Geographic, Vanity Fair (US), The Mail and Guardian (SA), The East African, among other publications.

His landmark essay, How to Write about Africa has been translated into twenty languages and is studied in universities and schools around the world as a foundational text about the perception of Africa in the west.

For more info check the Facebook event page

May 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm 1 comment

Exhibition/Book Launch: 24Nairobi, Jun. 17 2011 @ Goethe

Date: June 17, 2011
Venue: Goethe-Institut Auditorium
Time: 8pm
Entry: Free

24Nairobi is one of the most notable photo projects realized in Kenya for decades. Organized by Nick Ysenburg and with conceptual input from Binyavanga Wainaina and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, 13 photographers documented the very different and fascinating worlds of Nairobi over a 24-hour day and night cycle.

The photographs were accompanied by texts from 9 writers who have variously appeared in Kwani? publications. The exhibition, supported by Ford Foundation, was shown at the Nairobi National Museum and in a smaller show but with ommited photos (from the night section), at the Goethe-Institut Nairobi.

On this evening, the 24Nairobi book will be launched, published by Kwani Trust, and re-open the exhibition with an additional slide show: projected images in the darkened Auditorium of the Goethe-Institut.

In cooperation with Kwani Trust and Ford Foundation

June 15, 2011 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

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