Butiama Chronicles – Week Two

#ButiamaChronicles Week Two The thing which has put me out of my comfort zone the most has to be the storytelling sessions this week because, as anyone who knows me well will know, I’m not normally too happy about getting up in front of an audience and speaking. However, the storytelling sessions have been so

Butiama Chronicles Week One

I have had four sessions so far, one performance and three workshops. The Swahili spoken in Tanzania, and which is what the students are being taught, is quite different from our regular Kenyan Swahili tongue. Although I am a pretty decent Swahili speaker, this will kept me on my feet.  Kuja? No, Njoo! Sunday 10th

With Love from Butiama

When you take the 8:00pm Sirare bound Transline bus from Nairobi’s Afya Centre, it will deposit you at the Sirare/Isibania office at around 4:20am the next morning. You may decide that since you are the stranger in Jerusalem, you will wait for the morning light. So you wrap yourself with the maasai shuka you had

Building Bridges through Performance Storytelling – #SiganaFest2016

“We need to build more bridges and less fences”. This was an observation by one of the hundreds of children who had turned up for the storytelling session at the Kenya National Library Services (KNLS), Nakuru Branch. Storytellers Roger Jenkins (Singapore) and John Titi (Kenya) had just shared a story in tandem. The tale was

The international Storytelling Festival, Iran through my Kenyan eyes – Part Two

As you swagger into the gate of the building (you are an international performer, remember?), an enchanting puppet show ushers you into the festival space. The mascots are huge. I imagine the men operating them and dancing along the entrance must have eaten some Ugali wa Wimbi in the morning. Beautiful, colored banners draw you

The International Storytelling Festival 2016, Iran through my Kenyan eyes

End of November 2015. Early weekday morning. You are in a matatu on your way to town. As you approach Westlands, heavy traffic greets you. What to do? You log into Facebook and scan through your timeline. A tired joke with the hashtag Stolen, some feel good posts, a controversy brewing over here…. Then you