The first Nakuru regional Storymoja Festival kicked off in Nakuru on Wednesday with over 14,000 participants expected to take part in the event.
Speaking to Kenya Monitor Storymoja Assistant Media Liaison Officer Juliet Maruru said that the event will provide a platform to celebrate the best of African literature by displaying exemplary performances and the finest artists and talent in Africa and beyond.
This is the first time that the event that has currently been held in Nairobi is taking place in Nakuru.
“It was started in 2008 by a collective of writers who are committed to publishing contemporary East African writing of world-class standard, ”she said.
She said they were expecting the participants to turn out in large numbers since they had worked closely with the Nakuru county government which “had taken enough time to mobilize the residents about this event.”
“We will have more than 140 sessions for children where they will be involved in creative art, painting, dancing, reading and also interaction with professionals who are meant to mentor them.”
“We shall also have sessions with adults, couples and family so as to educate them on how to cultivate a reading culture on their children and also show them how to find solutions to life’s problems through the attainment of knowledge”, she added.
Maruru said the main target audience were students and pupils as they aimed at encouraging them to read for life skills as opposed to reading for examination purposes.
Commenting the Storymoja team for holding the event in Nakuru, Michael Kamunya a resident said it was a great move.
“It’s a welcome idea, we are getting a chance to interact with books and get exposed to writers and the writing process,” he said.
Kamunya who is a household name in creative arts in the county also commented the team for holding the event at the national library.
“It’s a chance to know where the library is and the services it offers for the people on Nakuru.”
During the festivals that will culminate with poetry and dance performances in a special event dubbed Koroga poetry and Music a special encyclopedia on careers will be launched.
“Most students do not even know how to start the reading process thus stumble into career and subject decisions that impact them for life. They are poorly prepared for the job market as they do not have the skills necessary for career success,”
she said adding that they hope through such an encyclopedia the students will end up learning how to become job creators.
Among the writers that will be gracing the event is Ken Walibora the author of Siku Njema a Kiswahili novel that was taught as a set book in Kenya a while back. American Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec is also expected to attend.
This is a good opportunity for Nakuru residents to learn how to read and write for self life skills. One can only hope that they will attend the festivals in great numbers.
By Lorna Abuga.