2010 Storymoja Hay Festival

We camped for three days at this year’s edition of the Storymoja Hay Festival, held at the Railways ground in the city centre. The high carnival atmosphere attracted writers from many parts of the world – Zephania Benjamin wowing the crowds, Michela Wrong fielding questions about her book, It’s our Turn to Eat. Also in attendance was Pettina Gappah, author of  An Elegy for Easterly, pictured left.

It was a happy occasion to debut some of Kenya’s youngest and hottest writers – Mehul Gohil and Brenda Mukami who won the Kenya I live in Short Story competition. The two young authors talked about what it meant to them personally, where they intend to take their writing carreers and what challenges they have so far faced.

It was also an event to introduce two important writers whom Kwani? published this year, Eva Kasaya who wrote Tale of Kasaya and Stanley Gazemba, author of The Stone Hills of Maragoli. Gazemba and Kasaya spoke to the audience about what it meant to write their books, both regarded as offering realistic and pertinent portraits of Kenya; Stanley's vision in the book, capturing a rural life slowly disappearing in Kenya, resonated heavily with his listeners while Kasaya's narrative of a courageous girl finding herself at the hard ends of Nairobi, was described as inspirational.

A vigorous discussion on poetry in Kenya was led by Keguro Macharia. The discussion, which as these things go, got passionate at moments, was an apercue into the performance poetry that has over the past few years, become an important cultural feature of Nairobi.

View the Festival Gallery here

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