Kwani Open Minds

June 3, 2009 at 7:26 am | Posted in life | 1 Comment


I’m sitted here at work very much pretending to work, but my head feels like a ten tonne lead ball, stuck on yesterday’s events. Nairobi living? Yawa! Only in Nai people rave in such odd days like Wednesday and still make it to work at 7 the following morning?

Well, in my case, it was a fusion of several fun events that took precedence in such an exciting way, i would have called in sick this morning…but wapi? I have to be a good boy to auntie who i be staying with, make her believe i am the chaste, tea-tot-taller environment caring Christian!

So, jana, after the disappointing rains, which had me and a work mate stuck near Keny Poly like iddlers, i headed right into Club Soundd for the Kwani Open Mic thingamajig. It was about 1759h- our time, and i was right on good time to register- indicating succintly that i want to be number 7 (not Number Miss Nzembi 😉 ).  i was quite nervous and unsure and on making an entrance, i could feel my cold feet sharing the chill with my hands and mind—man, i had to call an accomplice!

Settled down, though quite unsettled by the social lubricants standard price (Kshs. 150) at a time when i have already reduced my salo to ‘manageable levels’.  Cigarettes? In packets please…yeah i know the drill but i had to ask, if at least it could chase the chill in me.


Cindy on the mic, not a big crowd is present, but tis polite…some loud girls are howling like whores at the bar end of the club and my mind is on alert gear waiting for my name to be called out. A first timer performs and she tripples over her lines, rans out of breathe and i take the moment to honour the washrooms with my bundle of nervous flesh. Cindy calls her friend, a supposed ‘poet’ since back in the day and she impressed me nada—ok, i thought those poems of ‘ I woke up on a bright day sijui wot are hopelessly cliche?

Ok, i mean, if you start with something like:  Woke up feeling like a bottle of champagne, basking in the afterglow of good sex…..ahem!


My moron morose shell of thoughts were shatter, and i forcefully pressed the cancer stick on the ash tray…before taking a big gulp of my favorite poison…and still, nervous, sauntered to the stage.

mic check, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10…

my mind was racing—and i read my pieces, a round of applause here and there- as i read my set of six six sentences…which was a mistake on my part as the shifty crowd couldn’t ‘keep up with the flow’…but the last ‘poem’ that i read..hmmm…felt like King, walking off stage (the applause, i mean). Altogether, wasn’t bad for a start…and thus began the fun part…

There were the medicore, the struggling, the cliche and the outrightly ‘promising’ like akina Patroba, Number 8 – or is that they’ve been ‘sinning’ on the scene for a while?

But the man of the night was the feature poet, says of him-seruf: A student at THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI. Studying nothing but seeking shines the path to self awareness. And he dint disappoint with his theatrics with such lines as ‘could give a  mosquito a hard on’ about his only and one Carlita Babe.

Meanwhile, i Smitta was by my side, unscrewing his vodoski mzinga after having spotted and recognize yours truly from ‘virtual memory’ as he put it, thanks to Facebook face offs…and amidst the various performances, the sideshows were bustling with life—even as me ‘date’ arrived…and was already tipsy and everything i looked at was excitable.  As poets spoke by, me was  busy feeling all great as i severally got intro-ed as the ‘promising pseudo-poet’  Mochamaa was mentoring. That is, to the various folkskis making a bee line to him. James Murua, of Nairobi Living and Nairobi star fame was the first, second or third, i dunno, and it was interesting to see his usually screwed grimace feets apart. Oh, surprised that i know him…

but the highlight of them all was Kingwa Kamecu very surprised that i read her blog… she be pleading for Smitta tbut by then, my concentration is at attention: to the date that was… but i’d still like to read her debut book ‘to grasp a star’…

The raced on with lots of things that should not be put up here and it was really remarkable night for my first write (spoken one, while at it.)

Looking backward to make


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  1. You performed?! And Kingwa too? I’ve read her book. Damn! I should have come. . . She be my pal. Oh number 8 *sigh*

    yeah i did, plus Kingwa and sundry–it was not-so-great, but all together promising. No. 8–sigh, tell us wots up!

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