Festival Programme

Storymoja Hay Festival Nairobi 

19–22 September 2013 

at Nairobi National Museum 

Waza Dunia – Imagine the World

Our fifth Storymoja Hay Festival is a celebration of ideas and culture through conversation, storytelling, music, debate, poetry, debates, exhibitions and live performances right here in Nairobi.

Come as a family to participate in events at the children’s Storyhippo Village. Come with friends to debate, tweet, blog, discuss and comment. Come on your own to meet an international gathering of great writers and thinkers as they imagine the world with us. Come show off your kanga couture, shop at the kanga designers market, celebrate kanga stories and dance along at the Kanga Karnival. It’s all happening at the Festival!

We look forward to welcoming you to a weekend of great discovery and celebration.

Aleya Kassam and Maggie Robertson 




Day tickets: Adults 1000/= / Children 500/= (includes a free book).

Season pass for 4 days 1500/=

Premium events
Party with the Stars 5000/=
(includes season pass).
The Wangari Maathai Memorial Lecture 500/=
Classical Music Soiree 2000/=
Music Concert 1000/=
Storymoja Stir Up 500/=
Silence Is A Woman by Sitawa Namwale 2000/=
The Vagina Monologues 2000/=

Booking/Advance Tickets
TEL +254 733 838 161
WEB ticketsasa.com or Reservations
EMAIL [email protected]

Download programme in PDF or Scroll through Below

Scroll Through Individual Events Listings Below

Sunday 11AM Storymoja Amphitheatre

Mshai Mwangola.

Disrupting Sanitised History: The ICC Witness Project

Powerful readings from ‘Their Justice Shall Be Our Justice: A Dialogue on the ICC Witness Project’, which originally appeared in The New Inquiry. The ICC Witness Project is a collaboration between Kenyan poets to imagine and amplify the voices of some of the missing witnesses for the ICC trial, to make sure the victims and survivors of the post-election violence that rocked Kenya in 2008 are not forgotten. Curated by Mshai Mwangola.

With thanks to the New Inquiry

Sunday 11AM Kanga Tent

Dr Neal Hall, Mongane Wally Serote and Binyavanga Wainaina

Black Identity

Mongane Wally Serote was arrested by the apartheid government and spent nine months in solitary confinement. His poems explore themes of political activism, the development of black identity, and violent images of revolt and resistance. Dr. Neal Hall’s award winning book Nigger For Life, reflects his painful discovery that in ‘unspoken America’, race is the one thing by which he is first judged, by which he is first measured and against which his life and accomplishments are measured. Binyavanga Wainaina is the founding editor of Kwani? literary journal. His no-holds-barred Granta essay How to write about Africa drew wide-spread international attention. His memoir One Day, I Will Write About This Place made Oprah Winfrey’s list. In a free ranging discussion, these three powerful writers explore black male identity.

In partnership with The South African High Commission and Kwani Trust

Sunday 11AM Ford Hall

Blogging In Kenya

Join David Mugo (BAKE Kenyan Blog of the Year: niaje.com), Njeri Wangari (POWO and kenyanpoet.com),Jackson Biko (BAKE Creative Writing Winner: bikozulu.co.ke) and Emmie Kio (Tracking The Agricultural Scent: https://emmiekio.blogspot.com) as they talk to Robert Kunga of the Bloggers’ Association of Kenya about their passions online and off.

In partnership with the Bloggers Association of Kenya

Sunday 11AM Discovery Hall

Betty Kairo

Learning Through Play

Through play, children learn about themselves, their environment, people and the world around them; children learn to solve problems, to enhance their creativity and develop leadership skills and healthy personalities. Learn how you can enhance your child’s learning capabilities through play.


Sunday 12.20PM–1PM Meet At The Museum Customer Service Desk

Gallery Tour of the Museum

An exclusive behind-the-scenes guided tour with the curators of the various exhibitions. Meet at the Museum Customer Service Desk and collect your voucher.

In partnership with National Museums of Kenya

Sunday 1PM Louis Leakey Auditorium

Peter Godwin, Juliet Barnes and John Sibi-Okumu

Growing Up White African

Zimbabwean Peter Godwin is author of Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, a memoir about growing up in Southern Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s during the Rhodesian Bush War. It was described by the Boston Globe as ‘devastatingly brilliant’ and ‘one of the best memoirs to come out of Africa’. Kenyan author Juliet Barnes wrote The Ghosts of Happy Valley, a history of Kenya’s Happy Valley houses, in which she explores their ‘tragedy, scandal and dubious legacy’. They swap stories about growing up White African. In conversation with our favourite black mzungu, John Sibi-Okumu.

Sunday 1PM Storymoja Amphitheatre

Teju Cole, Keguro Macharia and Ross Van Horn

#SmallFates on Twitter

#SmallFates are the little tragedies in life that we miss, or glance over. They are about the small fates of ordinary people. They are life in raw:


With a razor blade, Sikiru, of Ijebu Ode, who was tired of life, separated himself from his male organ. But death eluded him.


There were 119 first-class graduates from the University of Lagos this year, some of whom deserved it.

Sunday 1PM Kanga Tent

Punchline Poetry

The State of the Poetry Nation

A conversation between the heads of the poetry families on the past, present and future of Kenyan poetry. A discussion on style, art, written vs performance poetry, the future of Spoken Word and the business of poetry.


Sunday 1PM Ford Hall

Paula Kahumbu

Hands Off Our Elephants

Renowned conservationist, Festival Director and National Geographic explorer, Paula Kahumbu talks about the stupidity of wearing ivory and why killing elephants is murder.

In support of the Hands off our Elephants Campaign 

Sunday 3PM Storymoja Amphitheatre

Wanjiru Kamau-Ruttenburg, Michael Onsando, Caroline Mutoko and Jackson Biko.

FemAttack – Media Misogyny

Portrayal of women by the media is still so chauvinistic, outdated and playing to stereotypes. This panel fiercely debates what can be done to change attitudes and improve the portrayal of women in the media.