Kwani? successfully launched its first session of the Writer’s Forum this Saturday at the British Council Offices on Nairobi’s Upper Hill. Attended by 18 participants that included writers, academics and other artists the discussions were facilitated by writers, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Dayo Forster, dancer and University of Nairobi, Professor Suki Mwendwa and filmmaker Olivier Lechien Dr Kisero Tunai and Garnett Olouch Olunya were also present.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor engaged participants in an interactive discussion on issues of identity. All writers talked about the three main challenges that face them in launching a writing career. Professor Suki Mwendwa questioned the idea of the ‘African Writer’ and writers gave their different ‘two cents’ in the issue. Interesting ideas about rhythm in writing were also raised.
Most writers confessed to procrastination, time wasting and major distractions.
Kwani Trust sent invitations to tens of writers from all over Kenya to become part of a revolving writer’s forum last month. And if the first session is anything to run by the Forum should be successful. The Forum will be running for 8 sessions and will take place twice a month on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the British Council.
The Forum will provide a space for established, new and aspiring writers to discuss craft, and also build practical associations among themselves that can hopefully give birth to a Writer’s Association. The original idea for the Forum came from Caine Prize Winner, Yvonne Adhiambo, Owuor and developed after a series of conversations between writers published in Kwani, friends of literature in Kenya and various academics.
Through its 3 journals and submissions Kwani has realized that there are many good writers out there who are willing to come out of the closet, but unable to because of the lack of a space to discuss their literary ambitions and make something of them.
The British Council kindly agreed to provide a venue for the Writer’s Forum.
Watch this space for posting of actual debates that take place in the Writer’s Forum