Writing Workshop


Writing Workshop
Ganta, Kwani? British Council

On 15 April 2013, Granta announced its once-in-a-decade selection of the twenty best British novelists aged under forty. Granta’s first generation-defining list of writers was published in 1983 and set the bar for the following decades. Throughout 2013, the British Council and Granta are collaborating on an international showcase of contemporary British novelists. Kwani Trust will join this collaboration by co-hosting a three-day writing workshop led by Granta's Deputy Editor Ellah Allfrey from 19th – 21st June 2013 at British Council's offices in Upper Hill, Nairobi. Kwani Trust's Managing Editor Billy Kahora will host writers alongside Nadifa Mohamed and Adam Foulds, both published in Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists. A public call-out for submissions to attend the writing workshop was circulated with entries closing during the week of 10th June 2013, and the following writers were selected to participate;

Nigeria - Richard Ali

South Africa - Tuelo Gabonewe

Uganda- Hellen Nyana

Zimbabwe- Novuyo Rosa Thushm


1. Abdul Adan

2. Mehul Gohil

3. Alexander Ikawah

4. Denis Kabi

5. Moses Kilolo

6. Timothy Kimutai

7. Brenda Mukami Kunga

8. Idza Luhumyo

9. Anne Moraa

10. Gachagua Clifton Mwangi

11. Nicholas Ochiel

12. Okwiri Oduor

13. Richard Oduor

14. Wambui Wairua

15. Zak Njeri Waweru

16. Samuel Munene

17. Mwas Mahugu


A corresponding workshop for Literature Programmers will be led by Granta's Publicity Associate Saskia Vogel & Kwani Trust's Executive Director Angela Wachuka with participants from Uganda, Nigeria, Zimbabwe & South Africa.

A native of Nairobi, Ngwatilo has steadily built a name for herself as a poet, performer, actress and musician. In 2010 she published her first collection of poems, "Blue Mothertongue", set in Nairobi and the African diaspora around notions of home and identity. The work was produced with the support of a St. Lawrence University fellowship. Critics say the work is “crafted with beautiful pace and intelligence,” that it is “a worthy testament of her times.” Ngwatilo’s work has been translated into Swedish and German, and published in English literary journals in Kenya and abroad. Ngwatilo has presented her work at major African and European festivals, including Zimbabwe’s HIFA,  South Africa’s Poetry Africa Festival and SADC tour, Berlin’s International Poetry Festival and other festivals in The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. In 2013 she was an Artist-in-Residence at Bundanon Trust in Australia.  Ngwatilo’s current work is  based on the 70 (and counting) days she’s spent across Kenya living with rural families. It’s a followup to her 2010 book, “Blue Mothertongue.” Ngwatilo has performed on stages across Africa, Europe and Australia, often collaborating with other artists to ‘tell’ poetry in an aesthetic she dubs “Puesic” [pew-zik]. Her album “Introducing Ngwatilo” showcases some of her solo work and collaborations. 


Music by Winyo
Born Shiphton Onyango, Winyo adopted his artistic name ‘Winyo’, which is a Luo word for bird. His musical style ranges from traditional Luo melodies infused with witty story lines, afro fusion and afro jazz, to a contemporary interpretation of Benga, transformed into an authentic acoustic sound. Winyo started off as part of the critically acclaimed and accomplished trio named ‘Rateng’ (which means Black in Luo), cutting his teeth as the composer, vocalist and guitarist of the group. Winyo was instrumental in the writing and composing of the group’s album titled ‘Thumology’, which was released in 2009. In 2010, Winyo was shortlisted as one of the ten finalists in the Radio France International (RFI) Discoveries. He went on to be the overall first runners up. This was followed by a second nomination and top ten shortlisting in RFI Discoveries in 2011.In 2012, Winyo was nominated for the Rolex Arts Initiative for a mentor and protege programme. Winyo went on to be invited as one of the four finalists who travelled to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to meet with the legendary Gilberto Gil. 

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