Saturday, 20 September 2014


Words are the most powerful element of communication.Words have been used over the years  to express feelings during sad and happy times.As they say, in between the word earth,there is art.So what is art?  Art, at its simplest, is a form of communication. It means whatever it is intended to mean by the artist herself, and this meaning is shaped by the materials, techniques, and forms of the art, as well as the ideas and feelings it engenders in the viewer.

                       Spoken Word in Kenya

In modern Kenya there is a rising hunger for poetry that cuts across tribal boundaries and speaks both to and for each of us. The same differences at the root of the terrible clashes in our history have developed a richness and complexity in our language.Poetry has been there over the years but its being considered an old way of expressing ones feelings with modern youth due to its rules.Spoken word came to revive poetry but in way that capture the hearts of the modern youths.Poets such as Kennedy (Kennet B ) are credited for moving spoken word poetry in Kenya into the mainstream, leading young poets such Tear drops, Mufasa and many others.In the recent years there has been a tremendous growth in spoken word poetry venues and the audience have grown with it.Venues range from Pawa 254, The sarakasi dome,streets,theater..e.t.c. Poets perform in events, radio stations, television and many other places.
One of the reasons for this exponential growth is the sheer diversity of our styles. The traditional poet has not fallen by the wayside: Grand Master Masese with the obokano - a traditional music instrument from his Kisii community - in Swahili, English and his mother tongue Gusii. Hip hop and American Slam Poetry influences can be heard in the likes of Checkmate Mido and Kevin ‘Manjoro,’ whose beat boxing and free styling add texture to their beautiful words. Still other artists, most noticeably Kennet B, mix Sheng, Swahili and English to create a new language and rhythm and speak about common issues facing many of the country’s people.

Women’s voices, across all styles, speak proudly, representing womanhood and poets such as Namatsi and Wangari who are unafraid to challenge stereotypes. All these voices are unapologetic, speak their minds and talk, often to the youth, about complex issues ranging from tribalism and ethnic violence, to sex and sexual health, or even simply love and being in love.