Tonight I restart my poetic journey #sitawapoetry6:36:00 AM
|Teaching/Performing at a previous workshop|
It is minus something degrees here in Ngong so your guess is right, I am posting this update from the comfort of my bed, mercies I am forever grateful of, ok it is not minus but it is relatively coooold. Well I woke up a little bit earlier today to go through my verses for the day, poetic verses that is, yep mama is going to be a guest poet at Kwani? tonight and it is a big deal.
Whats the big deal you ask?
Well everytime people give me the opportunity to grace a stage it is a big deal and if you started poetry round my time you know that the two stages you had to perform on to know if you qualify to be called a poet in Nairobi,Kenya were Kwani? and WaPI. The crowds were merciless, they wanted to rip your soul open if you did not deliver and I guess thats why many people loved Numetro Open Mic because it was a cinema hall with no persons releasing their work stress on you, there were no persons on their fifth beer wondering why you are reciting a love poem which former President Moi just did ABC, there were no TV screens showing many other things yes Numetro Open Mic was good breeding ground for poets, ground they prepared themselves on before facing the demanding Kwani? crowd and unforgiving WaPI loyals. For those who dont know WaPI, an initiative by one of the men in the industry that I respect, Buddha Blaze, it is more of a hiphop crowd, the underground go hard hiphop so as a poet irregardless of what you are saying you have to be hard! however you interprete hardness. I was honored to grace their stage early this year when they had a joint event in Kibera with Amani Lazima. I was not booed off stage yaay and it was an amazing experience. As you can remember that week I had flipped so it was crazy in every sense of the word and I wasnt sure I will make it but I did and I thank God for being who He is. Say a prayer of thanksgiving.
As I grace Kwani? tonight I feel like I am graduating. I feel very honored and with the right to tilt my head a little like the big dogs do. I know in many books I already did but this is it,Michael Jackson,for me. I am not a slammer so this is it for me, if I was that would be Stage 3,Slam Africa. My greatest prayer is that I pass my self scheduled test and that I find new heights to explore and pave more ways for the poets behind to go even further, and my biweekly workshops is one such avenue where I keep stressing on the message passed and the art used,we need to respect the art, we need to respect the grounds and platforms and airtime given to us, pass a happy message and make someone's day, teach someone something, provoke them to act, not on you though, but dont call yourself a poet and not do the title justice. I am not sure what stage two for me is, but I am glad I took time to grow as a poet, from that shy girl, I am still shy, to a voice of authority. I have not always been this out there, poetry is the only thing that gives me late nights and early morning which I can do over and over without regret, I did not start writing at an early age but it was that bestfriend I needed when I didnt know what to do after I was raped, the only person who did not judge me and thats why I use it as my voice of authority, thats why I ask for it to be respected, teach how to respect and honor it through workshops because this right here is power, power that our fathers used to get our mothers, power that kings spoke to their subjects through, power the Lord spoke to His children through, I can go on and on about the power of poetry but the bottom line is if you respect and truly know how to use that power you will not believe how high you will go, I am a living testimony.
Special shout out to people who have paved the way for me, including the boring English lessons, you challenged me to make it better and lively, those who came before us in this poetry scene and did or are still doing the title proud. A big pat on the back to all my babies, people who attended my gig Poetry at Discovery which I am proud to say was the third poetry night in Nairobi and the first non sponsored after Kwani? and Numetro sponsored, learnt from me and are now doing their own thing hosting poetry et al,mami is proud of you. To everyone who has heard the authority in my pieces from the rape to depression, mental illness, girl child to the love pieces, the kisses and wishes and felt a part of them lives in me and vice versa, I appreciate it and I looking forward to more.
Today I start my poetic journey a new at the place I first did Open Mic and I thank God for this far he has brought me and I humbled that you are all a part of it. Tonight as I go back on that stage I am not going to perform one piece I wrote the other day to gauge audience response, I go there defined, I am the poetiviste, all my pieces are geared towards social change, they speak of hope, they point out the ills, they teach about rape and mental illness from my corner, from my experience, from the people who have heard my pieces and inspired me to write other pieces. Tonight I restart my poetic journey and I am forever greatful to He who brought this to me and I will continue to lean on Him for He knows the way.
As I go through my pieces, I remember all the triggers and inspirations, all the people, places, faces, all the feelings, emotions, most of all the growth, the friends lost and enemies gained, the friends gained and enemies reverted, the movement from point A to B and I cannot believe how much power I poccess and how much phase 2 of my poetic journey has in store.