Nairobi Digest News


Nairobi Digest News

source : Caleb Mutua - October 28, 2012

Africa’s best haiku writers meet in Nairobi

The best group of haiku writers in the whole of Africa met in Nairobi yesterday to exchange ideas and participate in a haiku walk competition.
The Kenya Saijiki is part of a World Kigo Database (WKD) that brings together haiku writers from various parts of the world through the internet.

According to WKD owner Dr Gabi Greve of Daruma Museum, Japan, the database of seasonal words (worldwide saijiki) gives poets an opportunity to deepen their understanding of season words in haiku and to appreciate the climate, life and culture of many different parts of the world.

Haiku, a very short form of Japanese poetry, first started in Japan centuries ago and later spread to Europe and further afield.

African countries including South Africa, Burkina Faso and Kenya have in the recent past starting to appreciate this unique genre of poetry, with Kenya Saijiki members leading the way.

“This is an educational site for reference purposes of haiku poets worldwide,” says Dr Greve, who also advises Kenya Saijiki on haiku issues.
Since its inception in 2005, Kenya Saijiki members joined the wider haiku community in the WKD and have been collecting season words, known as kigo in Japanese, for Kenya and writing haiku poems.

The poems are then shared among all members and with the whole world through the internet for comments and discussion on the Kenya Saijiki web pages, starting at http://kenyasaijiki.blogspot.com/ with a long index.
“This was the 13th kukai (meeting) of Kenya Saijiki. The atmosphere was excellent, and all involved participated with full energy and in great spirits,” says the group’s Moderator Isabelle Prondzynski.

Kenya Saijiki is based in Nairobi and currently comprises three haiku clubs; the Peacocks and the Bambochas (based in secondary schools) and the Cocks, a group of poets who have graduated from high school but still write haiku.
The poets include both adults and secondary school students from Kayole Estate and Soweto Slum, Nairobi, with several other poets living in various parts of the country outside Nairobi.

Among other things, the group teaches the students how to write better poems, improve their communication skills and how to use computer and the internet.
The co-ordinator of Kenya Saijiki and the Bambochas’ Patron, Mr Patrick Wafula, recently won a prize after his poem was entered in the Annual Poets’ Choice Competition of the Shiki Kukai.

full moon—
cumulus clouds slowly
form a wolf

The haiku came into my mind while playing with my puppies in my home in Soweto. I have a habit of enjoying moonlit nights and the serenity that comes with it,” Mr Wafula told Kenya Saijiki during its 13th kukai.
During the kukai, the school-going poets enjoyed a one-hour haiku walk observing and writing haiku.

A panel of judges from Kenya Saijiki went through the haiku that were submitted and selected the following top 11 prizewinning haiku.

hot afternoon–
he washes his face
with sewage water
-Rodgers Adega

immense heat
in my white plastic shoes–
i walk on toes
-Brian Etole

scattered feathers
of a slaughtered chicken–
ginkoo walk
-Geoffrey Maina

dry grass–
a black goat struggles
to graze
-Getrude Wahu

scorching sun–
he splashes some water
down his chest
-Dennis Wright

ginkoo time–
she writes haiku
on his back
-Molline Wangui

hot afternoon–
he washes his head
with cold water
Walter Machembe

the rustling Napier grass
bends in one direction
Stanely Joshua Kaweto

scorching sun–
two little boys fight over
a bottle of water
Julieth Oketch

garbage site–
I scare a swarm of flies
from a pawpaw peel
-Margaret Ndinda

scorching sun–
a hawk flying around
the smelly dumpsite
-Stephen Macharia

- Related -

***** The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi


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