Today we introduce, Kenya Writes, a new project to showcase writing from Kenya in partnership with Goethe-Institut Kenya.
In 1964, Weep Not Child the first novel written in English by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and the first by a Kenyan was published. Since then, there have been a dazzling array of writers on a huge number of topics. Some of those who blazed the trails have been Grace Ogot, Meja Mwangi, Asenath Bole Odaga, Margorie Oludhe Macgoye, Micere Mugo, Francis Imbuga, Abdilatif Abdalla, Ngugi Mirii, Charles Mangua, David Mailu, Rebeka Njau, Wahome Mutahi, Rocha Kimera, Sam Kahiga, and many more.
The 21st Century came with its own literary stars like Binyavanga Wainaina, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Peter Kimani, Henry Ole Kulet, Parselelo Kantai, Andia Kisia, Joyce Nyairo, Kinyanjui Kombani, and many more who have gained national and international fame.
While these names have been doing their bit to get the word out about the literary riches from Kenya, there is a new generation of writers who are working hard to make their own mark. These writers have gone against challenges few would imagine to get their work published. Some have banded together and founded their own publishing outfits. Others have acquired publishing services from professionals in the field and got a book out. Others have sent their work abroad and gotten published out there. Whatever the method, the means justifies the end to get published.
Kenya Writes is a revolutionary new project aimed at introducing the next generation of Kenyan writers to the world on both blog and podcast platforms. We talk to writers from different counties and do a deep dive into the work they have done, their influences, and much more. Each of the writers will be interviewed for the audio platform and their work as well as accompanying blog posts. Some of the writers will be familiar to this audience but a vast majority of them will be new names to those who first encounter them.
We would like to especially thank our partners at Goethe-Institut Kenya who have provided financial support that allows us to go to the different towns that we are targeting.