From the poetry book ‘Is it any wonder’

The Essence of Kwani Nights

 By Eudiah Kamonjo

I gave them what they wanted

The reality and the dreams

The truth and the not so truths

Those Kwani? Night lovers

 I told them about my first orgasm

Right here on this stage

When Shailja Patel held her first slam here in Kenya

Even before Dennis did a heart-stopping poem for Lilian Muli

Before Marion told us about being black and proud

Before Smitta’s mind-bogging phrases about Russia

Times when Winyo’s mellow voice drained us

In pools of music

Before MC Mageria’s ‘Kitu kuruka…kitu kupaa..’ catch

Those memories that hold the very essence of Kwani nights

 Before rising from my seat,

 I asked myself“Why the heck am I doing this?”

Now I know, what they say is true

“We write, not because we have the answers but so we can find the answers within those written lines.” 

I told them of things inexpressible in ways other than poetry

I told them of inequality and rape

Of AIDS and wars

Though little I’d seen of these…. 

It was two years ago when I first met Kwani?

She welcomed me though my voice was shaky

Developed me, gave me freedom

To say whatever I wanted, however I wanted to say it

 When everyone else put the words in their heads

She allowed me to retain my raw version

To retain it as a pure read

And though my paper trembled…I went back….Still… 

These rare nights…these Kwani nights

Are like a drop of dew in a desert

Or an extra large ‘phallus’ in a sea of isolated men

These Kwani nights

That cause both ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, sometimes ‘booos’

When artistes step onto the stage 

A myriad more nights will soon come up

But nothing will ever be like Kwani Nights

My two years with you are memories to behold 

Dressing up or bringing a date

Did not quite tickle my fancy

What really mattered and still does

Is wining, dining and talking with Kwani

With you guys….you…

What really matters and still does

Is the very essence of Kwani Nights    


2 Responses to “From the poetry book ‘Is it any wonder’”

  1. Andy Zawadi Says:

    True Eudiah, we don’t write those lines because we have answers but we try to find answers in between those line we plot.
    You are an amazing poetess, coming up with something summarizing them Kwani nights, hope i’ll fika to your status and any time you see me dont hesitate to halla.
    Peace, black sister.


  2. Kingwa Kamencu Says:

    And no wonder your on my top five list of poets. Beautiful stuff!! Keep on writing, i cant wait to buy your first book out. I also liked the poem on the fine, hot man, i thought it was great. You think he is misunderstood? Maybe. Either that or he just doesnt exist. Cheers mama, keep em coming. The poems that is. Mad love.


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