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Open Mic
Kwani? Open Mic Reloaded September 2010

Open Mic

Kwani? Open Mic Reloaded September 2010

Featuring: Njeri Wangari and Stan
MC: Ndanu Mungala
Date: 7th September
Time: 7 PM
Venue: Club Soundd
Entry: 100 Ksh

About The Featured Poet and Musician
Njeri Wangari is a multi talented Kenyan poet and performer, IT specialist and arts blogger whose collection of poetry was recently published under the title ‘Mines & Mind Fields; My Spoken Words’ .Njeri’s love for the arts began at an early age through her appreciation of African culture. This, she found to be well expressed in many of the books that she started reading while still young and they have shaped the person she has now become. The year 2004 is when she penned down her first poem and 3 years later she made her first attempt in front of an audience to start performing her poems. She has now among some of the most talented Kenyan poets.She has been running her blog, www.Kenyanpoet.blogspot.com for 4 years now - a project that she initially started in order to publishing her poetry online. It has since grown to incorporate other forms of art as well as host other poets. She has contributed immensely to the promotion of Kenyan Poetry not only on stage but also through the internet through her reviews on art performances and by encouraging up and coming poets to start blogs and eventually share their work through performance. She is currently part of the Global Voices Online-An online portal for citizen journalists, as a writer on African Arts.

Njeri Wangari has come to be known as the voice of reason and change in the Kenyan poetry circles due to the content and theme of her poems which range from Culture, religion, human rights, technology and everyday challenges in the Kenyan society.

She performs regularly at various poetry spots in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi as well as in institutions and companies where is invited from time to time.

Multi-gifted performer. Born Stan M. Nganga on November 12th, 1979 at the Pumwani maternity hospital in Nairobi. Raised by a single hardworking mother the late Irene Wambui, spending the first early years together with younger brother Chris in the care of the grandmother whom would play the children her favourite music. Another source inspiration came from his auntie whom loved singing and who would have the boys singing along. To Stan music was instant and despite his tender years he came to grow fond of its creative genres especially Jazz & RnB. It wasn’t until high school that he made a serious attempt in arts as he tried out for the school choir though getting a negative feedback.

Stan would keep the faith that in one day finding a way and room for expressing his musical ideas. In 2000 he enrolled in a French class at the French cultural centre of Nairobi, a location that would prove to be life changing as he was both introduced to salsa dancing and musicianship as he would spend many hours rehearsing in their compound garden. One thing led to another and soon he found himself at the United States International University (USIU) teaching salsa to the students and one of them being Benjamin Wanjohi, with whom he later formed a musical duo (song/guitar) simply called Stan & Benji.

The duo would also team up and offer salsa classes to the public, a service that up to now is still growing and on demand. Always having the time to retreat to the garden of Alliance France he would further sharpen his skills and eventually also started playing the guitar. Gradually visitors grew in numbers and the spot became a creative oasis for aspiring artists, of which today some belonging to the “Imekubaliwa” network featuring Dela, Sauti Soul & Tiffany Muthoni. For almost a decade Stan would jump in and out of recording studios but without any major breakthroughs. There were always issues of creative freedom and the fact that it required resources not available at the time. As a matter of fact he even came across insulting advice yet again suggesting a change of career and lack of support. This was until he came across the Eastlands based Penya label/studios in Buru Buru.

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