2009 Theme: “Many Stories, One World”
The international Storymoja Hay Festival is expected to draw 10,000 visitors in a three-day celebration of stories, ideas, writing and contemporary culture through books, storytelling, skits, music, live discussion forums, demonstrations, workshops, open-mike sessions, debates, exhibitions, live performances and competitions. There will be plenty of entertainment including music concerts, storytelling and mchongoano competitions.
The festival is modelled on The Hay Festival held in the UK every May in which up to 100,000 people attend – ranging from presidents to authors to fans. The Storymoja Hay Festival will run as a partnership between Storymoja, an emerging local company, and 22 year-old, Hay Festival (UK).
The festival will be held in a temporary ‘tented city’ at the Impala grounds and will include a main stage for live performances and competitions, and themed tents in which 4-6 two-hour events will be held concurrently. The events are intended to generate public debate around critical issues facing East Africa including Literature, Environment, Gender, ICT, Health, Diversity, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Culture, Gender, Beauty and Self-Development.
Venue: Impala Club, Ngong Road, Nairobi
Dates: Friday 31st July, Saturday 1st August, Sunday 2nd August 2009
Day Pass: 500 Kenya Shillings
Festival Pass: 1500 Kenya Shillings (covers unlimited events throughout the festival including the launch ceremony on 30th July)
Over 50 international and local literary luminaries are invited to this monumental event, including leading thinkers and writers Wangari Mathai (Kenya), Hanif Kureishi and Vikram Seth (UK), Petina Gappah and Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe), Danial Morden, Germaine Greer (UK), Monica Arac de Nyeko and Doreen Baingana (Uganda), Sarah Manyika and Tony Kan (Nigeria), Suleiman Addonia (Ethiopia/Eritrea), Mohamed Haroun Kafi (Sudan), Sandra Mushi and Abdou Simba (Tanzania), Mukoma wa Ngugi, Billy Kahora, Rasna Warah and Parselelo Kantai (Kenya) and many others.
What is the purpose of the Storymoja Hay Festival?
The festival hopes to encourage Africans to ‘own’ their problems by exploring our situations/stories, and search for solutions by generating platforms for discussion and debate. To achieve our 2030 vision, Kenyans need to read widely, discuss ideas, and exploit our diversity of stories/backgrounds for the greater good. It is also part of a longer-term campaign to get East Africa to value reading, writing and ideas in general.
Who are Storymoja?
Storymoja, a publishing company formed in 2007 by five writers committed to spreading the gospel of reading, writing and ideas, has held two previous annual festivals to promote books – dubbed Storymoja Nyamachoma Fiesta. We actively nurture partnerships and work closely with NCC, NBDCK, and Enterprise and Leadership Foundation. Our 2008 event attracted 2200 people. The 2009 Storymoja Hay Festival will utilise and build on that experience, and is the next step in achieving our Storymoja mission of getting ‘A book in every hand.’
Build-up events to the festival include:
1. Storymoja’s Cut Off My Tongue is currently performing back-to-back venues in Kenya before going on tour in the UK
2. Battle of the Universities Storytelling Competition commences in June, 2009
3. Mchongoano Competition commences mid- June, 2009
4. Diversity Case Study presentations – Nigeria, USA, India, SA and Rwanda – public discussions from June
5. ‘Women in Leadership’ mentoring series meets once/month from January 2009
6. ‘To Be A Man’ meeting series to commence in May 2009
7. Spelling Bee in 203 schools around Nairobi – ongoing, and televised show to air on Citizen TV from June 2009
8. Writing Workshops – Testimonials (based on interviews and essays), Crime, Fiction, Self-development/Motivation, Writing for Children, Editing, Manuscript doctor etc – ongoing
For more information, contact Storymoja Africa on:
Tel: (+254) 20 208 9595
Text / Call Mobile: (+254) 722 838 161
There will be weekly updates of the programme and participants on the Storymoja Website and Writer’s Blog.