Open Mic

Kwani? Open Mic June 2017 Edition

Featured Poet: Veon

MC: Gufy

Date: June 6, 2017

Time: 7.00pm - 9.30pm

Venue: Chester House, Roof Top, Koinange Street (CBD Nairobi)

EntryKes 500 at the door. Limited advance tickets only via M-pesa "Till Number" (56714) at Kes 400*. Your ticket is redeemable for a bottle of soda or water.

*Advance ticketing closes at 6pm.

Twitter: @KwaniOpenMic #KwaniOpenMic

Facebook: Kwani? Open Mic 


Press Releases

2015 KWANI? LITFEST: 1st – 6th December 2015

The fifth edition of Kwani? Litfest, a biennial gathering of writers, artists and thinkers from across Africa, takes place from 1st- 6th December 2015. This year’s literary festival, Beyond the Map of English: Writers in conversation on Language hosts readings, performances and discussions that explore issues of language and how this relates to African experiences and writing on the continent. Confirmed participants include Nuruddin Farah, Taiye Selasi, Boris Boubacar Diop, Yvonne Adhiambo Owour, Wu Ming, Prof. Aldin Mutembei, FOKN Bois and Siphiwo Mahala.

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Kwani Trust plans to put together a collection of essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, testimonials, and photography based on the Coast Province. These will be part of an upcoming edition of Kwani’s flagship journal that will explore various themes emerging in Kenya after the 2013 general elections, including debates about and on the Kenyan Coast. These include contextual issues around ‘terror’ and insecurity, and competing geographies and histories of the Coast province.

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Other Events

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature | Monday 4th – Sunday 10th May 2015 | New York
04/05/2015 - 10/05/2015

Celebrate the transformative power of the written word as 100 writers from 30 countries gather in New York for the 11th Annual PEN World Voices of International Literature. This year's programme, co-curated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and with programming input from Kwani Trust, takes you beyond the news by providing a rare chance to hear voices and perspectives from contemporary Africa and its diaspora. Join in a wide range of debates, readings, workshops, and performances in venues from Lower Manhattan and Harlem

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Other Events

Africa Poetry Library Launch | 5pm, Thursday 30th April 2015

Goethe-Institut Auditorium Monrovia Street Admission: Free

The African Poetry Library, an initiative of the African Poetry Book Fund, is a collaborative venture to establish accessible and user-friendly small poetry libraries on the African continent to support aspiring and established poets and to give them access to contemporary poetry in books and journals, and to serve as a resource for poets interested in publication in Africa and around the world.

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Other Events

Chimurenga Chronic launch | 6pm, Thursday 23rd April 2015

Visual arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) 1st floor, King Kong Building, 6 Verwey Street, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg Admission: Free

Join us for a conversation with Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga), Billy Kahora (Kwani Trust), Achille Mbembe (Wits University), and artists Nolan Oswald Dennis and Francis Burger.

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Our flagship publication, Kwani?, is a journal founded by some of Kenya’s most exciting new writers and has 6 print editions to date, each containing more than 300 pages of new journalism, fiction, experimental writing, poetry, cartoons, photographs, cutting edge academic papers, ideas, literary travel writing & creative non-fiction.

Kwani? 08

Back at the car, our hero, let's call him Pepe, watched a slug crawl toward his tire as though it was a giant rubber breast. He took a moment to catch his breath and wondered if he'd left his heartbeat at the foot of the building. The slug became a nipple inside the silver alloy wheel. He saw it...


Kwanini? Series
Our pocket-sized series; Kwanini?, contains bite-sized stories told by the best contemporary writers and artists in Africa - Chimamanda Adichie, Yvonne Owuor, Binyavanga Wainaina, Parselelo Kantai, Richard Onyango and Enock Ondego.

How To Write About Africa

" Always use the word 'Africa' or 'Darkness' or 'Safari' in your title. Subtitles may include the words 'Zanzibar', 'Masai', 'Zulu', 'Zambezi', 'Congo', 'Nile', 'Big', 'Sky', 'Shadow', 'Drum', 'Sun' or 'Bygone'. Also useful are words such as 'Guerillas', 'Timeless', 'Primordial' and 'Tribal'....


The Kwani? Fiction, Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction Series include titles such as The True Story of David Munyakei by Billy Kahora,  Kizuizini by Joseph Muthee, Tale of Kasaya  by Eva Kasaya, a re-issue of The Stonehills of Maragoli by Stanley Gazemba and To Be A Man.

Lusaka Punk and Other Stories

Africa's most important literary award - International Herald Tribune Entertaining. Deserves to be widely read - Sunday Independent, South Africa Rewards its readers again and again - The Huffington Post, USA Dazzling and splendidly diverse - The Times, UK


A new series of photography books was launched in 2009 with the publication of Kenya Burning, focusing on the post election violence. Upcoming titles in this series include 24 Nairobi, a title documenting various aspects of life in the city within  24-hour span.


8 Nairobi photographers and writers present a celebration of their city through the themes of Death, movement, spirituality, nightlife, and music - through the lens of a camera. This collection also offers a selection of photographs of different aspects of Nairobi life. Accompanying this is an...



Welcome to the 2015 Kwani? Litfest: Beyond the Map of English

(Click here for full programme)

Wednesday 2nd December 2015

  • 2.30pm – 4.00pm: Keynote Lecture| Prof. Aldin Mutembei
    Opening performance by Abdilatif Abdalla.
    Venue: Kenyatta University
  • 7.30pm - 9.00pm:  Public Lecture | Taiye Selasi – Capturing African Worlds.
    Venue: Kenya National Theatre

Thursday 3rd December 2015

  • 2.30pm - 4.00pm: Keynote Lecture| Nuruddin Farah
    Venue: University of Nairobi

Friday 4th December 2015

  • 2.00pm – 5.00pm: Public Lecture| Boris Boubacar Diop: Why English? Why French? The Language of Empire and the African Narrative
    Venue: Alliance Francaise, Auditorium.

Saturday 5th December

  • 2.00pm- 4.00pm –Book Launch | Hiding in Plain Sight, Nuruddin Farah
    Venue: Kwani Trust 
  • 8.00pm:  Love Concert: Kwani? for Binyavanga feat. FOKN Bois + Friends
    Venue: The Elephant, Kanjata Road, Lavington.

Sunday, 6th December

  • 2.30pm (until late): Kwani? Sunday Salon and Farewell Party.
    Venue: Kwani Trust Gardens

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Kwani? at Storymoja 

11.00 a.m - 1.00 p.m, Sunday, Sep 20th: Writers and The Coast: On Devolution, Terror, Insecurity and Religion

Join our panel of writers Ngala Chome, Stambouli Nassir, Usama Goldsmith and Jackie Lebo in a conversation about ongoing Kwani work at the Coast.Kwani? has been in the region for the last 6 months with a view to publish work in our flagship journal. The discussion will be moderated by Kwani? Managing Editor, Billy Kahora.

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Kwani Trust Selects 11 Writers for 2015 Fiction Workshop (Mombasa Edition)

We are pleased to inform you that Kwani Trust has selected 11 writers for the 2015 fiction workshop to be held June 17th-23rd 2015 in Mombasa at the French Cultural Centre. Following Kwani?’s pursuit of developing new contemporary fiction, this workshop will incubate writing from 11 emerging voices.

This workshop is part of Kwani Trust’s plans in putting together a collection of essays, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, testimonials, and photography based on the Coast Region.

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Our Collective Security: Writers in Conversation

Date: Saturday 28 June 2014
Time: 5pm - 9pm
Venue: Louis Leakey Auditorium - Nairobi National Museum

The killings in Mpeketoni on 15 and 16 June are the latest in a series of violent events that are challenging the security of Kenya and the East Africa region more broadly. The words 'terrorism', 'assassinations', 'tribal clashes', 'violent crime', 'domestic violence' regularly appear in mainstream and social media headlines. Traumatic pictures of the aftermath fill the newspapers and TV screens. Kenya is no stranger to violent conflict, as the 2008 post-election violence attests to, but some analysts see the current resurgence as something new. There is no shortage of views on the causes of the current insecurity. Some blame external threats, religious ideology, identity, resource competition, youth unemployment, marginalisation, political intrigue, corruption and inefficiency of the security services. Others point to a failure of collective responsibility.

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Press Releases

Kwani Trust launch award-winning writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's debut novel Kintu

Award-winning Ugandan writer, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi will launch her debut novel Kintu in Kampala tomorrow on Wednesday, 18th June 2014. This bold and ambitious novel won the 2013 Kwani Manuscript Project, a new literary prize for unpublished fiction by African writers. The book is the first of a series of novels coming out of the Kwani? Manuscript Project that will be published by Kwani Trust over the next two years.


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Nuruddin Farah in conversation with Binyavanga Wainaina

Deadline Extended: Kwani?-SLS Writing Workshop Collaboration

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