Open Mic
Spoken Word Project

Open Mic

Spoken Word Project

Featuring: Checkmate Mido, Kennet B, El poet, Wanjiku Mwaurah, Monaja, Dennis Inkwa, Raya Wambui, Oballadan, Asali, Namatsi Lukoye
Special Guest Appearances by: Julian Heun (Berlin) and Rehema Nanfuka (Kampala)
Date: Wednesday, October 16th 2013
Time: 7pm
Venue: Nairobi IMAX Cinema
Entry: 250 Ksh at the gate.
Advance tickets only via Mpesa at ksh200: Simply select "Buy Goods" on your mpesa menu enter the "Till Number" (56714) follow instructions to complete transaction.

Goethe-Institut in partnership with Kwani Trust presents The Spoken Word Project. Initiated by the Goethe-Institut South Africa, the Spoken Word Project is a poetry slam competition whose goal is to enable stories to travel across Africa.

The Spoken Word Project will take place in the following cities: Johannesburg, Antananarivo, Nairobi, Kampala, Luanda, Yaoundé, Bamako and Abidjan, allowing stories to travel via the winning spoken word artists.

The Nairobi Slam is scheduled for the 16th of October 2013, 7pm at IMAX Cinema.

Each event will have its poetry inspired by the event that occurred in the previous city. Nairobi, therefore, will be inspired by the poetry of Kampala. Each poet/performer will perform one piece and the winner of the Nairobi slam, as decided by select judges, will travel on to the next location, (Bamako, Mali), to perform their winning piece there.

More information can be found on the Goethe website (

Kennet B
Kennedy Omondi Leakey, known in the spoken word poetry edutainment industry as Kennet B, started mastering word 25 years ago but came to the platform of active performance early 2009, after winning Slam Africa Poetry Championships in Nairobi-Kenya. He had earlier recorded his first spoken word poetry single “Reality Absurdity” which also has a video yet 2 be released.

His lyrics are majorly pegged around our social involvement and the daily activities we get involved in, in conserving our environment and living a morally upright life. With “Word" as the basis of his sound artistic expression, Kennet has been able to put together 4 Spoken Word Poetry albums: Coming of Age, Success, Twak Galamaoro(A Dholuo spoken word album), New Earth.

Performing at the UN habitat Messenger of Truth Concert mid-2009, proved to Kennet that his environmental concern has some serious global interests and he responded by developing a 1 hectare mixed – tree forest named “NEW EARTH”, where young poets regularly gather at his countryside home in Nyanza to develop their writing and storytelling skills. Kennet’s great passion for “Word” honored him the chance to co-host a live spoken word poetry album on Citizen Radio under Royal Media Services in his home country Kenya. Kennet B has his first book, “The Sheng Anthology” , a collection of 12 thought provoking stories ready for publishing.

Facebook: kennet b soundland
Twitter: @kennet_b
Skype: kennetb.poet
Cell: +254725751501

Raya Wambui
Raya Wambui wrote her first poem at five and she has been writing consistently for eleven years. The purpose of her poetry is to influence social change which she believes can only be achieved through open communication on social issues which affect us. That’s main reason why she shares her writing, as she writes with or without an intended audience

She is the 39th Slam Queen. She performs regularly at Wamathai Spoken word, Word Up Live and Slam Africa amongst others more sporadically."


Monaja has gone from living abroad to adjusting to Nairobi life then readjusting to the countryside, and cites culture shock as a significant influence on his unorthodox musical style. "I think I've picked up a lot from the places I've grown up in, and that's why my music is very content-oriented and twisted", he says. He grew up in Langata where his love for music blossomed, playing the piano while listening to Da Brat, Shaggy, The Fugees, Nas, Bone thugs n harmony and Lost Boyz. Some favourite local influences include Eric Wainaina, Shades of Black, Poxi Presha and his all-time greatest musical influence, the hip hop group K-South Flava. He began performing in 2004 and went on to feature in shows at Florida 2000 and Club Skiliza in 2005, in Nairobi.


Checkmate Mido
Checkmate Mido is a human beatbox, poet, musician, writer and actor (thespian). He started performing in 2008 in WAPI! (Words and Pictures- A youth forum) He has graced many events around Nairobi with his poetry and music, most notably Kinanda Arts Festival, KWANI?! Slam Africa and Samosa Arts Festival.

He had a successful acting debut as the main character in the play 'Mayor's Diary' staged at Alliance Francaise in mid-2011. He is a graduate of the Theatre Company's Intermediate Training Program (June-July 2012) where he took part in the collaborative creation and development of the musical Shungwaaya. The musical did a successful Kenyan tour culminating to an international invitation to Mali where it was performed at the Festival Du Theatre Des Resistance (December 2012). He has starred in other plays listed below from the most recent:

-Shungwaaya (with The Theatre Company) (2012)

-Fire By Ten (with The Theatre Company) (2012)

-Death and The Estate (with Kilele Productions) (2011)

-Mayor's Diary (with Kilele Productions) (2011)

After the training program, he was selected with six other graduates to be a member of the first ever Performers’ Lab (facilitated by the Theatre Company). The lab lasted six months and saw the group develop three new and original performance projects based on stories drawn from individual and collective experiences of the Lab members.

He has been involved with several charity works most notably with the Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya in ‘Art for a cause’ (2010- A concert aimed at raising funds to support the children’s home) and the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy.

Broken City EP-2010 (Co-released with Kennah featuring various artists most notably Australian femcee Izzy Brown and percussionist Tenpar Tella.)

Cell +254732321374, +254703603049
Web page,,


As a spoken word artist, El poet’s ideas and content are all about diversity, speaking his mind on issues that are sensitive and usually neglected in today’s global society. As a Slam Africa Champion and the founder of, his focus is “Poetry 4 a Cause…Poetry 4 Money…Poetry 4 Life!!!” El poet is also involved within the media industry as a TV Producer, as well as an Online Marketing Strategist and Graphics Designer. EL Poet is the Producer and Marketing Co-ordinator of Stir-Up #Occupy Nairobi & The Imagine the World Concert at the Storymoja Hay festival 2013.


Oballa Dan
Oballa Dan was born in Kisumu County. He is a performing artist whose specialty is in poetry and narrative performed with traditional instrumentation like orutu and nyatiti. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Literature at the University of Nairobi.


Wanjiku Mwaurah
"A name, A life, poetry"

Her laughter reigns supreme, her diction unlike no other. Simplicity is what she carries to her poetic pieces. Her deep thrusting poems are the sweet whispers that speak to the soul. Regardless of how hard a message the poem contains, her delivery will ease the understanding to a mere simpleton.

Wanjiku Mwaurah is an African pearl on dynamite, explosive. She has graced numerous performance stages shaking the crowed to poetic intrigues. She has performed alongside some of the leading South African Poets like Mphutlane Wa Bofelo, Qbibo Intalektual (Swaziland) Napo Masheane (South Africa) at the Johannesburg Arts alive international festival, held in J’burg on Sept 2010.

She goes beyond poetry and has been heartily involvedin awareness raising campaigns for the cerebral palsy condition (art4acause-2010) while playing mentor and role model to many upcoming artists in the field.

She reeks of achievements, having been crowned Slam Africa Queen (Aug 2009), named as the featured poet severally at Kwani Open Mic, Poetry Spot, Jukwaani Festival in 2009, Sawa Sawa Festival 2011, SAMOSA festival 2012 and was one of the guest artists at a highly charged poetry night at the Story Moja Hay Festival 2012. She also graced the stage at Arusha Poetry club among other events.

Her book, ‘The Flow of My Soul’ is a bridge between her spoken word and reflections of a times before her.

Currently, she writes screen plays and facilitates poetry workshops as well as performing.

For Wanjiku Mwaurah, poetry is beyond the stage. It is in the bones. It is that nagging word/sentence/feeling that just won’t go away. That memory stuck in your head after you watch her perform.


Namatsi Lukoye
Namatsi is a poet, fashion maniac, an event’s organizer and Communication Officer Communications Officer of Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya. Shestarted performing in 2010 and since then has graced many events around Nairobi. She founded Hisia Zangu Poetry group which moved from doing just performances to analyzing works of written art. She also started Street Poetry events held at Aga Khan, whose objective was to open up poetry to random people passing in the streets. She is a graduate of International Relations and Mass Communication hence her poems revolve around liberation. She will be launching her first spoken word album on the 23rd of November 2013 alongside JadeKD band. She fuses spoken word with music, her first

So-em (song-poem) can be found at

Her page is


Dennis Inkwa
Inkwa Dennis is a financial analyst by profession in a steamy relationship with rhyme and reason. He is a socially conscious poet that draws his inspiration from his love affair with twisted society. He packs wit and grit in his performances and really enjoys his banana milk shakes. On the side he sells pesticides in flea markets.

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