Wanted - Graphic Designer for Kwani?

June 14, 2008

Job Title: Graphic Design Intern / Assistant
Reports to: Arts Director, Kwani? & Special Projects Editor & the Managing Editor
Reporting to this position: N/A

This is a generic job description which is intended to describe a range of duties at Graphic Design Intern level across Kwani Trust. The scope of the duties are not intended to be exhaustive nor are they intended to infer that every post holder will be required to carry out the full range of duties at all times. The post holder will be expected to undertake any of the duties included in this job description, as instructed by the Arts Director, Kwani? & Special Projects Editor and the Managing Editor

Job Description

• To serve as Kwani Trust’s Graphic Design Intern/Assistant in coordinating graphics / images
aspect of Editorial projects and their delivery
• Coordinate the production of Editorial and other projects by maintaining contact with printing
houses and ensuring that all products produced fit Kwani Trust’s specifications. Further, to act
as interface between the Finance department and the said printing houses
• Create and distribute images specific to Kwani Trust’s brand identity : book stands, event
posters, brochures, business cards, Kwani Literary Festival merchandise ( laptop bags, etc)
• Liaise between the Arts Director and other departments, and assist with the creation of
images and design concepts for the Kwani? anthology
• Serve as the 1st point of call for any enquiries requiring the Graphic Design department’s
attention and coordinate the department’s activities as they relate to all other departments

This position will have to work closely with other Kwani Trust departments; in particular the Editorial Department, in order to synchronise activities and therefore create better synergy between The Graphic Design and other departments. The post holder will carry out all Design-related administrative and secretarial duties as required. This will include the recording of departmental budgets & costs, weekly task lists and team updates, weekly updates reported to the Managing Editor, quarterly reports, assembling and circulating design-related material as required.

The Graphic Design Intern/Assistant will further be involved with the design and creation of merchandise for distribution at the Kwani? LitFest in August 2008. You will first work as a trainee for a paid trial period of 3 months to grow into a full-time Graphic Design Assistant’s position.


Graphic Design
• Create Kwani Trust Branding Merchandise: Book marks, Brochures, Staff business cards, Kwani
LitFest job tags, etc
• Conversion of ideas from Editorial and other departments into images and graphics
• Creation of stand designs for media stores
• Creation of marketing promotional material as per briefs from the Marketing Department
• Archive all past Kwani? Anthologies, other book titles and promotional material layouts and files

Kwani Literary Festival (KLF)
• Design all publicity material for the Festival and coordinate the printing and delivery of these
and other required materials

Goonj Archive Project
• Liaise with key Goonj project coordinators and ensure delivery of all Kwani Trust material as per required format

Events• Open Mic & Sunday Salon monthly events
• Record short clips from both events on a monthly basis
• Provide Sunday Salon Ny team with monthly updates ( images and audio)
• Liaise with our events photographers in gathering material. Further, develop a system for, and
archive all event photography, promotional material and past journal layouts and files

• Systematic uploading of all material scheduled for production to Kwani Trust printers in India
and provision of instructions to the same, ensuring all printed material meets Kwani trust
• Liaise with local printers for specifications and timelines for the completion of production of all
merchandise printed locally
• Act as interface between The Finance Department and Printing houses
• Liaise with Finance Department on the shipping and delivery of book titles and other products

• Serve as liaison between Graphic Design and other departments (Marketing & Sales, Finance, Communications & PR, and Administration). Additionally, act as first line of contact for inter-departmental projects, all Kwani Trust administered projects and all writers & stakeholders
• Maintain a weekly log on all design-related activities and report regularly to the Managing
Editor on all activities
• Handle the design and production aspects on Kwani Trust projects that emerge from the
Editorial Department
• Co-ordinate within the Design department all commercial projects
• Update the Kwani Trust website with images on a weekly basis
• Act as liaison for all printing jobs and report to editorial team on progress

Knowledge & Experience
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: Listening and persuasive communications
skills, with the ability to clearly articulate ideas and concepts to a range of different types of
people, both internally and externally
• A passion for edgy design and an ability to incorporate innovative technologies coupled with
excellent design sensibility and conceptual thinking
• Relentless attention to detail, a gifted eye for aesthetics, and the ability to quickly grasp and
distill highly complex matters are all crucial
• Intimate knowledge of relevant industry tools : Adobe Photoshop, flash, CSS and Illustrator,
among others
• Ability to work autonomously while communicating progress regularly to Editorial team

**Please email CV to: a.wachuka@kwani.org, with “Graphic Design Application” in the subject

‘After the Vote’ - reviewed

June 3, 2008

Our newly released Kwani-ni?, After the Vote, has received a glowing review in this week’s East African Magazine. “After the Vote is an eye-opener in these times where the focus has shifted from the violence and its causes to the constant howling of politicians and the public that looks on transfixed…” read the full review here

But don’t just take their word for it - check out John Mwazemba’s review in The Standard. “The writers hit us hard with hammers we will not forget soon,” concludes Mwazemba, something we all hope to be true.

“Stories Spoken” - live performance

May 29, 2008

Kwani Trust and Goethe Institut Nairobi



“Stories spoken” is the culmination of the workshop, “Establishing reading stages.” Participants will share their work with a live audience.

Special Guests:

Falco Hennig & Mshai Mwangola

7th June

4.00 – 5.30pm

Goethe – Institut (Nairobi CBD)

Free Entry

Two stories from May’s Sunday Salon

May 27, 2008

The Last Villains of Molo - (excerpt) by Kinyanjui Kombani

Initially Bafu’s main interest was in football. When he was not playing a card game called kameda or conning someone, he was to be found training at Kaharo, a small field just near the Ngong Racecourse. He had once harboured dreams of making it to the national team and later graduating to professional football.
His dreams were, however, unceremoniously crushed when it was discovered that the money he and his teammates had collected had disappeared mysteriously. So had the coach who handled the team’s finances. Then, a few months later, a stone fence was hurriedly constructed around the training field. When the residents complained, they were informed the land had been allocated to the area councilor.
Some of the team members had continued playing on a small strip of land left on the side by the developers, but had soon given up, unable to mange the bumpy ground. There was the option of playing at the Telkom field just a kilometer away, but Bafu had lost interest in the game altogether.
Bomu was a tout on the busy route 111. He plied that route on the attractive and popular Nissan matatu named ‘Snoop’ after some American rapper.
Years earlier, touts had been considered the scum society. It was abominable to be a tout. It was a career chosen by school dropouts and illiterates, and mothers had no need to keep their daughters away from touts because they were not appealing to anybody. They were shaggy and dirty, and abused people flagrantly while at the same time shoving them into their vehicles.
Lately, however, the society had apparently changed its opinion of them. Suddenly, touts wore the flashiest and most appealing new clothes. They sported nice, clean and stylish hairstyles, and became trendsetters. Teenagers flocked into matatus manned by flamboyant touts. Suddenly, young girls started playing truant and missed school to be with the touts, and some even eloped with them. It had reached a point where being a tout was the in thing. Many a time, Bomu had stopped fights between girls in his matatu over him.
Despite all the hype and almost celebrity status enjoyed, life was, however, not easy for both the touts and the matatu drivers. They had to contend with a 5a.m.- 10p.m. work schedule. They left home with orders from the matatu owner to bring an astronomical amount of money at the end of the day. During the day, they had to deal with arrogant customers as well as numerous traffic policemen who demanded unreasonable bribes. Besides, there were those opportunists who thought that simply being a neighbour to a tout or driver was enough to earn them a free ride.
“So you want to pay five shillings to town?” Bomu would ask a passenger on one of his days of frustrations. “Why don’t you buy a piece of roast maize worth that money and go on foot?”
He was sick of passengers who boarded the matatu knowing very well what the fare was but who still wanted to bargain. Come end-month, the same passengers would arrogantly remove large-denominations notes, knowing very well there was nowhere he could get change from that morning.
Maybe it was this hectic life that fuelled Bomu’s phenomenal love affair with bhang, also known as boza or bomu among other synonyms in Ngando. His eyes were also dazed and bloodshot from smoking the herb as well as endlessly chewing miraa. It was rumoured that he grew some bomu at the small forest between the road to Lenana School and Ngong Road, but these rumours were never confirmed.
Rock was the other interesting member of the group. Unlike the rest of his friends, he was married – not in church, of course, but in the common ‘come we stay’ fashion. He was loyal to Mary, his spouse, even though he spent most of his time in the company of his friends. Unlike what most girls would do, Mary never seemed to mind his liaison with the rest of the group. It was as if she had been let into the secret of their bond and promise to stick together.
Rock had, like most greengrocers in Nairobi, graduated from the porter business in Marigiti market. He had learnt the secrets of the trade and, as soon as he had saved enough, he had left the market to set up his own business. Most of the days, it was Mary who manned the green grocery.
What nobody in Ngando ever knew was that it was one of Kenya’s greatest calamities that helped Rock into his business. When, in August 1998, a bomb blast had rocked the city of Nairobi, he had been one of the first people to get to the scene. The bomb, targeting the U.S. Embassy, had extensively damaged Co-operative House. The smaller Ufundi Co-operative House which had borne the burnt of the explosion had collapsed, burying underneath many people. Over two hundred people had died and over five thousand injured.
Rock rushed to help rescue the victims from the rubble. It was then that he stumbled upon a briefcase with a government logo on it. Instinct told him to tuck it in some corner. Unfortunately some colleagues from Marigiti had seen him sneak it away.
When the briefcase was forced open, they realized that it was stacked with some money. In the ensuing fight for the cash, Rock had managed to grab a handful crisp, new notes. Later in the night, as he planned how to start some worthwhile business, he had heard it announced over the radio that a minister had lost his pocket money in the blast – Kenya shillings 300,000! Rock had used his portion of the money to open the grocery.
The astute manner in which his wife, Mary, handled the business earned her a steady string of clients. Rock saw the business as a huge blessing. He praised the minister for giving him manna. He was, in fact, thinking of registering as a voter in the minister’s constituency so as to vote for him. Nobody knew where the name Rock came from.
If Ngando residents didn’t know much about Bone and Rock they pretty well knew something about Ngeta. The well-muscled black man was as abominable as the yeti. Like Bomu, he too worshipped bhang and miraa.
He had become bored with looking for jobs. He had always been working in casual labour and was quite an experienced construction worker. It was his wish that he be made foreman, but then he realized that to be made foreman one had to know how to grease and oil the right hands. To grease hands one had to have money. He didn’t have the money, so his experience went to waste.
Ngeta was more famous for the nocturnal activities he engaged in, especially kupiga ngeta, meaning to mug. He ‘owned’ the territory behind Kenol Petrol Station where he hid in the dark corners and waylaid passersby. His armlock reinforced with a piece of wood tied expertly on the arm in such a way that, if he came behind you and got your neck in a strong hold, the single breath you exhaled was only to declare where the wallet was.
Ngeta’s black cap was infamous. When he walked towards you with his head bent low, his cap covering his face, you’d dismiss him as just another madman suffering from disillusionment. Suddenly, he would jump at you in a move that would surprise you completely. Then, it would be too late to notice that the cap had two holes bored into it, and that he had been watching you all the while. By that time, your wallet would be gone.
Fortunately, Ngeta never attacked people he knew. Actually, if you passed near his hideout and whispered into the darkness, “Niaje Ngeta?” nothing would happen to you. Sometimes, he returned things he had taken and which he thought would be useful, like people’s ID cards. That is probably why the residents had not lynched him as yet, even though most wished he contracted something bad like AIDS, or got shot down by the police.

Kinyanjui Kombani is a graduate of Kenyatta University. His book, The Last Villains of Molo, was born out of Kinyanjui’s experiences both at Molo and Ng’ando, the Nairobi slum he lived in for 5 years, and research into the events that led to the 1992 ethnic clashes.


FIRE - by Naliaka Wafula
She was five years old. Laughing giddily as strong hands lifted her high up into the air, brown eyes crinkled at the corner as they looked up at her.
Was that even a question, she was too excited to answer, so she nodded her plaited head quickly.
“One two three. And up!”
It was her favourite game in the world. Knowing that he would catch her, knowing he would never let her fall. No matter how many times he threw her in the air she never tired of the anticipation the feeling of nothing beneath her feet, the sensation of flying and free falling.
She woke up still feeling drowsy. The tooting of a car horn outside reduced the dream to nothing but a warm feeling in her chest. A more persistent feeling of irritation was taking over though. She glanced at her neon coloured clock, 5:30 a.m.
She felt her bladder scream in protest when she tried to shut her eyes. Now she had to wake up and her irritation was two fold.
Shoving off her blankets she used her feet to search the floor for her Bata slippers.
Grace her boring room mate from the Busia was snoring again. Muffled but distinct the tiny snores rivalled sounds of the animal orphanage depending on what stage of sleep she was in. It was something Lerato had had to live with after finding out freshman borders were prohibited from swapping roommates. It was meant to be a crash course in tolerance but in Lerato’s case it was more of a crash course in torture.
The proverbial good two shoes was Grace, studious and saved to Hallelujah. She had her one-way ticket to heaven so she looked at those who had missed the train with a mixture of disdain and pity.
Lerato could not believe Grace was asleep and not busy reading for her end year exams in January, as was her forte. Maybe college life was finally catching up with the little academic dexter. Good thought Lerato we could do with some form of excitement around here.
She draped the toilet seat with toilet paper before seating on it. The toilets were divided like the hostels with girl’s stalls on one-floor and guys’ stalls on the next. They may not have shared their loos with the guys but Lerato still didn’t trust the toilet seats, this was college after all. She considered all this as she waited for the first drops of pee to fall.
She hated being awake early, hated more the self righteous names those who did gave themselves “Early Bird, Early Riser, Morning Person’. As if there was anything special about unclasping ones eyes an hour earlier than everyone. She shuffled back to the room.
The hump on the next bed continued to secrete snores that if recorded could possibly debut as a new species on Our Planet. She got back into bed, turning her back on the offensive noise. Someone was having a sort of early morning soirée by the sound of things upstairs, the two time beats of kapuka penetrated the walls and floor s to invade Lerato’s sleep,
It was debatable about what woke her up first it could be the loud ringing or the choking smell.
Grace her roommate was wide awake, her long flannel nightgown tucked beneath her knees as she whispered fervent prayers. Lerato looked at her incredulous, here was the sound of the fire drill and the smell of smoke and her roommate instead of getting the hell out was busy seeking divine intervention.
“Grace let’s get out!” Shouted Lerato as she grabbed her shaking and wide-eyed roommate off the floor. “It’s the day of judgement Lerato, it’s the day…”
“Shut up! You may want to reach heaven burnt to crisp but me I’d rather wait for hell than burn here! Get up! Lets go!”
Grace was trembling, her once sleepy eyes now shiny with anticipation, “ and He will come like thief in the night…”
The resounding slap on her face was enough to convince her put off her date with Jesus for a few minutes. She quickly scrambled onto to her feet and let Lerato drag her out of the room. They rushed down the emergency stairs with other borders and made their way to the field
The field was a few metres away from the hostels and Lerato and Grace joined the rest of the students, all in various stages of dress and undress, stockings masquerading as head scarves were in plenty, even on some male heads. Their residential student leader was heading the exit operation, directing more people to the field, dressed in some Y-front briefs that had seen better days. Lerato could see part of his pubic hair peeking out from the top forming a trail to his tummy.
Thick smoke was emitting from one of the windows on the fourth floor of the building.
It’s the boilers she had someone say. Most of the students were staring up or talking amongst to themselves. Apparently one of the campus alcoholics had slept through the fire alarm and was possibly inhaling smoke fumes on the second floor, the Y front clad student leader was playing hero and had gone back to save him as some hostel staff members ran up with fire extinguishers.
Lerato glanced at her roommate. Grace was back on her knees, seconds away from speaking in tongues as her voice picked up momentum
“Jehovah Jireh Lord save us, you alone can…
change the ways of all sinners, Oh Lord.”
“ Can I make a request” whispered John Faya, a second year whose well received advances at fresher females had earned him the nickname Long John. Lerato smiled at him wryly
“ Too late once she is on the Jehovah Jireh part, it means she has left it all up to God, especially the sinners like you, Long John”
“You’re the one to speak, I wasn’t the one caught going hot and heavy in the students lounge with…”
“Eh! John shut it! It was a study session”
“Yeah more like a study session gone steamy, si people keep their blouses buttoned when they are studying?”
“Yeah whatever, who was it that was catching the blind fresher in the store room last semester?”
“Ah it wasn’t like that…she wasn’t even completely blind just a little cock eyed”
“Ha! you can’t even lie , remember I know your ex.”
“Yeah how is she?” Asked John, as eager to change the subject, as he was to hear about Lina.
John’s ex-girlfriend Lina had been Lerato’s first choice of roommate. They were both fun loving females and like most confident girls with above average looks had gravitated towards each other. Lina wasn’t even on campus anymore, she had dropped out to follow the current love of her life to the States.
Lerato had taken one look at the short and stout white guy at the bar that day and turned to her friend, who was decked out in tottering heels and a mink yaki weave and asked
“ Ah Lerato, you know it was embarrassing when I told people I was flying out after fourth then I didn’t, instead I was pushed to this city college and ended up hooking up with that psycho John…”
“But even John was better looking than that obese midget.”
“A very rich obese midget Harold is. He is my new life|”
“Hmm…ok but how do you eh… ?”
“Ah! I just close my eyes and think of someone else that’s how”, she had said, before fluffing her weave with her acrylic nails and sauntering to the bar to join him
“John you know she flew out she is doing ok for herself…” Lerato picked up.
But John wasn’t listening, the commotion at the emergency exit of the hostel had him craning his neck to see. The drunk had been saved but in the confused process, somehow managed to stumble and pull down the student leaders Y-fronts in full view of everyone.
The laughter rippled through the crowd and the student leader clasped one hand over his package as he endeavoured to pull up his disgraced Y-fronts with the other.
Grace who had finished praying opened her eyes but quickly shut them to prevent her mind from being polluted. John was laughing loudly nudging and pointing for Lerato to look.
Lerato was instead staring at her phone, which was ringing with an unidentified number. She picked up
“Hallo is this Lerato Thimba?
“Yes speaking?”
“Hi, I’m Lina’s aunty…I have some sad news.”
“She was involved in an accident yesterday night as she was travelling to Washington with her boyfriend, they lost control of the vehicle and..”
“What? Wha…what are you saying? Can I talk to her?”
“She is not…she died this morning they did everything they could…”
Lerato dropped the phone.
John came back and joined her still chuckling softly. He sighed.
“You were telling me about Lina, how is she?”
Lerato’s face was wet as she leaned forward and held on to john.
The fire had been put out but students were still milling around it was now seven o’clock and some were making their way to the cafeteria. Grace had regained her physical faculties and rushed into the dorm to save her schoolwork and Good News bible. Lerato and John remained in the field long after everyone had left. For them the tears were not enough to put out the painful flames of grief.

Naliaka Wafula is a Nairobi poet. She runs the monthly Rhythm and Spoken Poetry and Open Mic session at Daas restaurant in Westlands, Nairobi.

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