“You re-introduced East African poetry to me”
…these were the words that Kennet B, a renowned Kenyan poet, uttered after our stay in East Africa. In June 2013, Badilisha Poetry visited Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, Arusha in Tanzania and Kampala in Uganda. We aimed to record 60 poets during our three-week recording tour, but ended up recording a total of 86 poets – most of whom have subsequently been uploaded onto the Badilisha Poetry website.
Kennet, like many other African poets, did not know the vastness of his own country’s poetic scene. By working with Badilisha Poetry on this trip, he discovered the work that other poets were busy with in different regions. He was also able to trace the roots of his poetic bloodline through his meetings with historical, master poets. Kennet had the incredible chance to meet a master poet who wrote books he was required to read in primary school. This trip, like all of our trips, was a re-affirmation that the work we do as Badilisha Poetry is both necessary and relevant.