Bahati Club

Bahati Haiku Poetry Club

Founded on January 9, 2006.

By Isabelle Prondzynski

It was impressive! This afternoon, I met for the first time the Bahati Haiku Poetry Club, which has been in existence for this week only, having started last Monday, 9 January 2006, the return-to-school day in Kenya.

For the past week, the students have been staying on after school to learn about and write haiku, encouraged by Patrick Wafula, a member of Kenyasaijiki and a teacher at Bahati Community Centre. Neither Patrick nor the students had heard about haiku before, and were learning with the help of materials sent by Gabi.

I was able to explain and illustrate the basics of haiku, which will enable the students to continue thinking and writing. The question which came were excellent, and we had a good discussion. The school's Principal, its Treasurer, its Founder Members and several teachers participated in the session as observers.

It says something about the excellent status of the club that it is set up directly under the school Principal, with Patrick Wafula acting as mentor and guide. The students have already elected a Chairperson and Secretary of the Club, and today they appointed the Correspondent who, after some computer training, will become a member of Kenyasaijiki and represent the Club.

There were three aspects of the Club's work so far that were particularly striking. The first was that the students love reciting poetry -- as indeed I already knew from my previous visit. And so, when I asked what they had done so far, they were immediately ready to stand up and recite their work, with proper introductions and bows to the visitors and teachers. Such poetry recital is close to drama, as is accompanied by the relevant gestures and moves. The works they showcased, were their own, and all of them recited without so much as a glance at any notes. Admirable!

The second aspect was that the students found it hard to contain all they wanted to say within one haiku of at most 17 syllables. Most of the haiku continued for at least 3 to 5 verses. The themes were those of concern to young Kenyans -- love, loneliness, poverty, and above all drought.

too short --
seventeen syllables for
this beauty and pain

We had a great discussion and exchange -- it was a huge pleasure working with these young eager students. Most of them had just started Form 2 (i.e. were about 15 years old) and are bright and ready for any new challenge.

At the very end, they performed a haiku in which the whole class participated, moving together in a circle :

happy looking guys
simply truly together
share bamboocha fun

Bamboocha is a slang word, meaning enjoying themselves, chatting. It really expressed the spirit of the club. I wish them much more bamboocha fun over the next few weeks, while we stay in touch by e-mail and get ready for my next visit in May. But before then, we should have Catherine Njeri, the Club's new Correspondent, joining Kenyasaijiki and our discussions.

BAHATI HAIKU POETRY CLUB, First Haiku Collection, January 2006

BAHATI HAIKU POETRY CLUB, Records of all Haiku Collections

Join the Kenya Saijiki Group, on open discussion forum !

Look at the Bahati Haiku Poetry Club Photo Album


Isabelle Prondzynski with Lucy Irungu of the Urban Development Programme (UDP) visiting Bahati Community Centre (BCC) on Saturday 12 November 2005.


Patrick Wafula's Bizzare Tales

Teaching Haiku to Children / also usuful for adults


January 16, 2006
We have the following tasks to carry out:

1. Train the students' rep. how to use computer so she can correspond with the rest of the kenyasaijiki.
2. Observe and write haiku using the guidelines given us by Madam Isabella.
3. Create a website for Bahati Haiku.
4. Collect haiku for kenyasaijiki.

The spirit is enthusiastic.

Bahati haiku club
Students recite their verses
Bravo Isabella



Further Development, Patrick Wafula

Plans for the future, Isabelle Prondzynski

Meeting of the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi
November 2006


Click on the haiku for the photos !

spring sunshine -
young buds sprouting
from the dry earth

Gabi Greve, for my friends in Kenya
March 2006


Please send your contributions to
Gabi Greve / Isabelle Prondzynski
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1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

bamboocha -- where does the circle start?

When I saw the word "bamboocha" it reminded me of combining two words "bamboo" and "cha" which would mean "bamboo tea".

ai... chibi


drinking tea
from my bamboo cup <>
bamboo cha fun !

Sometimes we cut fresh bamboo, make cups of it and use it for tea or sake ! It tasts extra good !


. bamboo cha fun ! .