Ndanu Mungala wins poetry competition.27/11/2007
Winners of the To be a Man? poetry competition organised by Kwani Trust were announced on Saturday November 17, 2007 at a public ceremony held at the Godown Arts Centre.
The three short listed poets were introduced to the audience by Chief Judge, John Sibi-Okumu, after which their poems were read. These were Poeisiapoa Njeris Facing Jeevanjee Garden, Samuel Munenes Mercy, dont you understand that I am a man? and Ndanu Mungalas Breaking Through.
The event also featured performances by four Kwani? Poets: Njeri Wangari, Leon Kiptum, Cindy Ogana, June Wambui and Dennis Inkwa. The crowd was then entertained by popular hip-hop duo Wakamba Wawili.
The winner of the competition was Ndanu Mung’ala, who received the grand prize of 1000 US dollars; in second position was Samuel Munene with Poeisiapoa Njeri taking third place, wining prizes of 500 and 250 US dollars respectively. It turned out that Poeisiapoa Njeri was the pen name used by politician and activist Philo Ikonya.
Also present at the event were judges Muthoni Garland and Garnette Oluoch-Olunya. Representing the Ford Foundation’s Regional Office for Eastern Africa were two Programme Officers Dr. Joyce Nyairo and Dr. Willy Mutunga.
This competition was held to encourage the emergence of nuanced and contemporary poetry that asks questions about masculinity and gender in a changing world.
Plans are underway to publish a poetry anthology, incorporating the winning and other select entries, on the theme To Be a Man.