Zukiswa Wanner, Niq Mhlongo, and Nick Ndeda.

Niq Mhlongo and Nick Ndeda rock Goethe’s Artistic Encounters.

Niq Mhlongo and Nick Ndeda were the starring attractions at the latest edition of Goethe-Institut-hosted Artistic Encounters. The event which was moderated by Zukiswa Wanner happened on July 12, 2018.

Started in 2017, Artistic Encounters is a unique project that brings together two artists to share their art in front of an audience together at the Goethe-Institut Nairobi. The project curated by Kenyan-based South African Zukiswa Wanner has seen artists from Kenya, Germany, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Gambia. In its inaugural year, the project featured artist Victor Ehikhamenor and poet Koleka Putuma, trumpeter Christine Kamau and poet Philipp Khabo Koepsell, novelist Lola Shoneyin and storyteller Maimouna Jallow, author Angela Makholwa and actor Patricia Kihoro. The 2018 edition of the project kicked off with novelist, short story writer, and academic Pede Hollist and actor Hana Kefela followed by mbira player and singer Prudence Katomeni and poet Adipo Sidang’.

On Thursday evening there was a full house at the Goethe-Institut on Monrovia Street as Nick Ndeda went on stage and started featuring three of the stories that are in Niq Mhlongo’s short story collection Soweto Under the Apricot Tree. He picked the stories Private Dancer Saudade, Roped In, and Whistle-blowers and Vuvuzelas .

At the end of the performance, there was a discussion with the actor, the author Niq Mhlongo who had flown in from South Africa moderated by Zukiswa Wanner. The two artists spoke about their craft with Kenyan Nick explaining how he chose the stories and his process of picking the stories that he picked. On his part, Niq spoke about how Kenyan literature influenced him with him declaring his favourite as Meja Mwangi.

The discussion included questions from the audience before books were bought by the audience and signed by the author.


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