Showing posts with label Clubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clubs. Show all posts


Patrons Kukai August 2017


Patrons' Kukai August 2017

***** Location: Greenspan Mall, Kayole, Kenya
***** Season: Cold dry season

On 19 August 2017, the Patrons (Patrick Wafula, Andrew Otinga, Paul Kanga and Jackson Siva) of the four schools participating in Kenya Saijiki met together with the Moderator (Isabelle Prondzynski) in the Java House Café in Greenspan Mall, Kayole, Nairobi. The objective was to discuss the progress of haiku in their respective schools and to exchange ideas. The just concluded General Election was also raised.

An inter club meeting is planned for September, and will take place at the invitation of the Beavers in their school. It is expected that 123 haijin will travel from the other schools to participate in the meeting. Computer certificates will be presented on this occasion. Patrons to co-ordinate with Mr Kimani so that this can be done at the agreed date.

Dates for the 2018 kukai were decided upon as follows :

24 February 2018. Patrick Wafula will report on possible venues at the next Patrons' meeting in November or December.

29 September 2018. Kenkyo na Kokoro will host this kukai.

Ideas for Kenya Saijiki :

~ Isabelle regularly to send the haiku clubs one haiku for their comments and appreciation, and one haiku to be revised and improved.

~ Isabelle to set themes on which the haiku clubs should research and report in time for the February kukai, the result of their research and the accompanying haiku written by themselves to be presented at the kukai. Each haiku club and the Patrons received a topic for research :

Patrons to focus on the jacaranda tree and blossom
Bamboochas to focus on Advent and Christmas Eve
Parrots to focus on Christmas Day
Beavers to focus on New Year's Day
Kenkyo na kokoro to focus on the First Things of the new year

~ Haiku clubs to make use of haiga (pictures combined with haiku) or haibun (narrative combined with haiku) -- each haiku club to prepare its report in the form of a haiga or haibun for the February kukai.

~ Rewards for haiku consistency and quality to be presented by Isabelle at kukai meetings.

We enjoyed a ginkoo in the Greenspan Mall compound and shared the haiku we had written. These follow below.

. . . CLICK here for the Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski !


- - - - - HAIKU - - - - -

my dusty shoes
on the clean pavement --
Greenspan Mall

Java House window --
a human face in the sun
stares at me

. . . CLICK here for the Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski !

Java House lounge --
a palm tree trembling
in the morning breeze

sparkling dew
in a canna lily's bud --
bright sun

ferns peeping
from a bamboo hedge --
Java House

the soft rustle
of a bamboo hedge --
gentle breeze

scorching sun --
star grass in Greenspan
has turned brown

green algae grown
on stagnant water --
metal tap

a bud, an onion
or a bean in the froth --

~ Patrick Wafula


. . . CLICK here for the Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski !

afternoon breeze --
red canna lily blossoms
tremble and tremble

a can top hanging
in the bamboo hedge --
Greenspan Mall

a black ant emerges
out of a red soil heap -
children's fun park

a bee lands
on red canna lily blossoms --
fun park terrace

oxalis leaves
sway in the afternoon wind --
Java Garden

fun park entrance --
green algae covering
an artificial swamp

~ Andrew Otinga


canna lilies
shake in the afternoon breeze --
Greenspan Mall

canna lilies --
I count seven budding stalks
at Greenspan Mall

grown under a palm tree --
Greenspan Mall

Greenspan garden --
three patrons staring
at macdonald's eye

green algae
cover an artificial swamp --
Greenspan Mall entrance

~ Paul Kanga


at Greenspan Mall --
three young girls jumping
on a bouncing castle

at Java House Café --
a kitten hiding
in a flower bed

at Java field --
a black wasp
flying in couch grass

at java field --
a mother on the pavement
scrolling her phone

at Greenspan Mall --
four white cars parked
on the playground

strolling on the pavement --
a mother with a baby
strapped to her back

~ Jackson Siva


Greenspan Mall --
a slight breeze ripples
the little pond

Greenspan Mall --
water toys drifting
in the little pond

lazy Saturday --
a tall merry-go-round
stays idle

. . . CLICK here for the Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski !

Greenspan Mall --
a toy car is parked
in the last fee space

Greenspan Mall --
coloured traffic cones mark out
a parking space

. . . CLICK here for the Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski !

days of drought --
tall water tanks guard
precious supplies

seeking the shade --
a shopping mall entrance
provides some cool

~ Isabelle Prondzynski





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 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



Japan Culture Week 2012


Japan Culture Week in Nairobi 2012
Invitation to the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi
Date: Thursday, 5 April 2012

The members of the Bamboocha and Peacocks Haiku Clubs had been looking forward to the great day with expectation and excitement. Unlike on other occasions, when the haijin had used public transport, this time the school bus was made available for them. It was one of their smoothest and most enjoyable rides from Kayole to Upper Hill, listening to music and sightseeing. The haijin were 78 students and four teachers.

It was a cloudy morning, and it had rained the previous night. This was the first rain signalling the onset of the long rains, which had come a little late this year.

On arrival at the Embassy, we were warmly and courteously welcomed. The security procedure was elaborate and rigorous, as all items were screened and deposited with the security staff. Both the haijin and teachers were amazed at these rigorous security checks. Mobile phones and cameras were not allowed into the Embassy; no photographs in or around the Embassy were allowed. We were only authorised to take photographs in the Embassy Hall.

The first session was a film about Japan, which highlighted the following areas:

-- education,
-- the economy,
-- culture,
-- international co-operation,
-- industry,
-- technology.

Preparing for the film projection

Session two was origami. It was exciting as the students were taught how to make things of different shapes by folding paper. These things ranged from animals to geometrical shapes. It was amazing to learn that it takes four days to construct a horse! After the demonstration, students were each given six papers and asked to make a cube. It was exciting even to the teachers.

I fold paper
the opposite way --

missing one step --
I assemble a wobbly

~ Patrick Wafula

Origami sheets ready

In the third session, the haijin were taught some Japanese greetings, common phrases and the numbers 1 to10. This was followed by an oral quiz to assess which haijin in the hall had been the most attentive. Most as some of the numbers, it turned out, sound like words in the English language. The haijin enjoyed finding those words and matching them with the numbers to enable them to remember the numbers better.

1: ichi (itchy)
2: ni (knee)
3: san (sun / son)
4. shi / yon: (she / yawn)

Session Four was a Japanese Love and Family Relations Film, which was very much enjoyed by all. It was about a young man called Matsuo and a girl called Izumi, and a restless, ever travelling old man called Tora, who had so many women in his life, but none for a wife, until he met Lily, an aged, but beautiful woman from an island. Izumi was in love with Matsuo, but her parents betrothed her to another man because Matsuo was jobless, but in the end, each of these couples were happily married.

dark room --
the projector’s gentle

Film projection

Lastly the haijin were allowed to tour the library and take a number of photos before boarding their bus and heading back to Eastlands. The rest of the experiences are very personal and are only revealed through the haiku and photos that accompany this write up. All the haiku were written within the Embassy.

The haijin are gratefully indebted to Isabelle Prondzynski, our Moderator, for providing the haijin with transport fare, Otinga Andrew, for organizing the St. Mathew haijin, availing the bus and providing administrative support throughout the excursion; the Japanese Embassy staff, Shemi, David and Susan for taking the haijin through all the exciting events above: David san for a very interesting origami session; Susan san for teaching the haijin Japanese greetings and numbers; and Shemi san for organizing the whole event and inviting us. Last, but not least, the entire Embassy of Japan in Nairobi for their six years of co-operation and support to the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi.

School bus waiting for the return journey


cultural show --
reflected ray from Japanese

~ Caxton Okoth

car park --
our bus enters after
a security check

~ Diana Dolla

rush --
the sliproad overloaded
with vehicles

~ Moses Nyawanga

writing haiku --
her head moves with the
grasshopper's hop

~ Flora Mbayi

origami --
colored papers litter
the grey carpet

security check --
a tweet on leaving
the glass cabinet

~ Brian Etole

origami --
I find it exciting making
colored boxes

learning lesson --
I find it hard pronouncing
Japanese words

dark clouds --
I shiver from light showers and
cool breeze

~ Brian Mulando

slippery floor --
I nearly fall but my friend
catches me

~ Winfridah Malesi

dark clouds --
an eagle flies around
the embassy aerial

~Annabel Mwendwa

dark clouds --
raindrops fall on the
happy haijin

~ John Maina

dark room --
I enjoy a Japanese
comic movie

~ Ezekiel Mbira

the end --
the Japanese movie leaves
me in suspense

~ Dennis Wright

haijins' uproar --
three dolphins dance
on water

coloured cubes
on white tables --

folding --
the yellow paper
gets torn

one bulb after
the other turns on --
roaring generator

~ Andrew Otinga

Andrew Otinga and the origami sheets

we go through
the vigorous screening...
Japan Embassy

~ Jackson Shilaho

origami --
I concentrate on making
my colorful box

~ Metrine Okalo

Japanese embassy --
a warm welcome from
the guards

~ Geoffrey Maina

coloured papers --
I struggle to make
a cube

colorful table --
students display their
finished cubes

lights off --
the start of a Japanese
cultural movie

rain drops --
rythmic mabati sound
lulls her to sleep

~ Elijah Juma

Japanese library --
she is attracted to the left

chilly noon --
trees swaying

~ Marcellina Amunze

upstairs --
he holds a flower

~ Joseph Musango

several folds --
a colourful box on
the table

embassy library --
the books arranged

~ Joshua Kaweto

colourful compound--
flowers nourishes the

~ Agness Ndinda

Japanese Embassy --
the Japanese flag sways
in the breeze

~ Mary Wanjama

a bee sucks nectar
from morning glory --
Embassy wall

rain --
morning dew shining
on the grass

~ Sylvia Mmbone

Japan Embassy --
a paved corridor roofed
with climbing plants

Japanese film --
quiet theatre as we watch
a cultural show

~ Isaac Ndirangu

shuffle of papers
as we make cubes --
silent room

~ Stephen Macharia

Japanese Library --
haijin enjoy Japanese

~ Lucy Mukuhi

jovial faces --
haijin enjoy Japanese

~ Willis Wanga

origami makes
the haijin to think --
calm room

~ Collins Omuganda

noon drizzle --
droplets fall from
a eucalyptus tree

colourful fireworks --
Japanese culture on

~ Eric Mwange

jacaranda tree --
leaves sway from side
to side

~ Irene Aluoch

students tour
the Embassy --
short break

~ Felix Kavayo

Embassy --
such a clean

~ Hillaey Shisoka

dolphins swim
and dance happily --

~ Melvine Ayako

dark room --
cheers after watching
the movie

~ Emmanuel Mutati

Japanese poem --
we understand Japanese

~ Koskei Cornelios

students squeeze
through security door --
Embassy exit

~ Consolata Akoth

haijin sit
on the grass to write haiku --
Embassy visit

~ Anonymous

cold weather --
we put on sweaters
outside the Embassy

~ Mary Njambi

haijin struggle
through the security door --
Japanese Embassy

~Victor Obutho

cold morning --
the scent of flowers
at the gate

~ Susan Njeri

flower bed --
a withered rose
falls down

~ Eunice Katiwa

echoing hall --
the haijins’ jubilation
after the movie

flower bed --
an uprooted weed lies
on the pavement

~ Gloria Kerubo


Report and photos by Patrick Wafula for Kenya Saijiki

Related words

. Japane Culture Week 2008 .



Carlile Kukai 2011


Carlile Kukai, 11 June 2011

Isabelle Prondzynski reports:

Today, we held the tenth kukai of Kenya Saijiki, at Carlile College, Nairobi. This venue, organised for us by our Master of Ceremonies, Antony Njoroge, turned out to be the best we have so far had for a kukai. Specifically, we appreciated St Philip's Chapel, which we were allowed to use, as well as the spacious grounds where we held our ginkoo, and the hospitality of the Carlile College staff. In return, we were told that our group was very well behaved and a pleasure to host in the College.

I was slightly surprised at this reaction by the College authorities, as we were definitely a high-spirited, noisy lot, equipped with drums, energetic drummers, other percussion instruments, excellent singers and amazing actors. When the jury retired to judge the haiku, we were assailed by the screams of tortured humanity -- all part of a drama being acted out during the interval!

The morning started with welcomes, greetings and reports on activities carried out since the beginning of this year.

We were then joined by two Irish girls, Emma Dunwoody and Kirsten Brown. They had become curious about haiku and used the opportunity to ask the haiku club members questions about what is haiku and why write it?
Why choose a Japanese form of poetry in Kenya?
The haijin were articulate in their responses, telling the visitors about the history of haiku, both in Japan and in Kenya, the basic elements of a haiku, and the benefits they had experienced from writing haiku poems and from interacting with haijin in other parts of the world.

The haijin were then awarded prizes for their haiku in the "Lent / Palm Sunday / Easter" competition as well as that on the topic of "Markets". Each prize winning haijin explained the background to the haiku they had written, and they received generous applause.

This was followed by a series of presentations, showing the extraordinary wealth of talent to be found among the members of Kenya Saijiki in the wider cultural world -- dance, drama, recitation. The haijin had committed much of their spare time to preparing these presentations, and the enthusiasm they had brought to the practice sessions showed. Much fun was had by the performers themselves -- and at least as much fun by the audience!

One performance stands out.
This was a drama piece about the life of Matsuo Basho, the early master of haiku, in a Kenyan setting.
Here, Master Basho lives at home, enjoys writing haiku and is the host in a generous and hospitable household. His wife understands haiku very well, and while she is out and about, she joyfully informs her friends and acquaintances, such as a group of market women, about this new form of poetry. Invited to his homestead, Master Basho tells the women all about haiku, and they leave suitably impressed.
The church pastor and congregation too, hear about haiku and come as a group to Master Basho's house to be told more. Meanwhile, his daughter asks many questions, shows her first haiku to her father and becomes an ever better haijin, thanks to the loving care with which both her parents encourage her and answer her questions.

The acting in this story was extraordinary, and we enjoyed the haiku lessons while laughing out loud at many of the scenes.

Just one picture is already here, of Master Basho,
his wife and daughter discussing haiku :

After lunch, we set out on the habitual ginkoo, following which the jury retired and enjoyed going through the haiku while it rained for a while.


The prizewinning haiku, announced as the sun reappeared,
were as follows :

silent chapel --
chirping weaver birds
break the silence

~ Milkah Wanjiku (Bamboocha, F3)

cool afternoon --
a dove flaps its wings
and flies away

~ John Kennedy (Peacock)

wild palm --
a crow perches on the
rustling fronds

~ Beryl Achieng' (Bamboocha, F4)

noon breeze --
again and again
the fronds sway

~ Duncan Karanja (Bamboocha, F4)

parking lot --
she crushes a dry leaf
in her palm

~ Brian Etole (Peacock, F3)

she tries to
describe an avocado tree --
tenth kukai

~ Bonface Kariuki (Peacock)

warm afternoon --
avocado fruit crush
under his shoe

~ Barrack Elung'ata (Cock)

cool breeze --
she lies on the grass
with legs interlocked

~ Monicah Ndunge (Peacock)

scorching sun --
unfinished maize cob
besinde the dustbin

~ Noah Elijah (Peacock)

avocado tree --
a student climbs up
in a hurry

~ Joseph Musango (Peacock)

silent classroom --
he stares as the
busy students

~ Jacklyne Anyoso (Peacock, F4)

rusted cabin --
a mouse moves
in a rush

~ Esther Obwamu (Peacock, F4)

sweating --
a nail slips from a
constructor's palm

~ Eric Mwange (Bamboocha, F4)

windy afternoon --
avocado fruit swings
over and over

~ Elijah Juma (Peacock, F2)

trimmed fence --
a black butterfly rests
on a leaf

~ Sharon Akoth (Peacock, F3)

dirty pool --
a tadpole's tail wags
and wags

~ Mercy Nthoki (Peacock, F4)

sudden wind --
a bird balances on a
guava branch

~ Jescah Auma (Peacock, F2)

cool breeze --
an avocado leaf drops on
a dusty mabati roof

~ Asava Kevin (Peacock, F3)

heckling sound --
matatus loaded with passengers
pass by

~ Willis Wanga (Bamboocha, F2)

water shortage --
she instructs students to use
only one plastic cup

~ Peter Kalivo (Bamboocha, F2)

Congratulations to all the prize winning haijin!

At the end of the afternoon, the haijin set out again for their homes.
All agreed that an excellent day had been had.

We look forward already to the next kukai, planned for early November in St. Mathew's Soweto school.

Big thanks to the many who contributed to this kukai, which was so enjoyable,



Patrick Wafula shares his impressions

10th Kukai--
a stray kitten walks
accross the pulpit

10th Kukai--
jugglers and dancers
in haiku

10th Kukai--
drama and haiku
on stage

10th Kukai--
white Irish guests
in attendance



***** The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi



Traffic park Kukai


Traffic park Kukai
October 30, 2010

The Children's Traffic Park is a park within Central Park, next to Uhuru Park in the centre of the city. The ginkoo took place both within the Children's Traffic Park and Central Park itself.




Central Park --
a boy swings and

~ Abednego Mwanzis (Peacock, F1)

running water --
a jacaranda flower
floats by

~ Rhoda Mutheu (Peacock, F4)

cool breeze --
he lies with a hat
on his face

~ Monica Ndunge (Peacock, F2)

traffic jam --
a hawker sells handkerchiefs
to passengers

~ Kelvin Wanjala (Bamboocha, F2)

green grass --
a lady flicks a termite with
her finger

~ Dominic Kuvonga (Peacock, F2)

Central Park --
a lady laying her head on
a man's shoulder

~ Sylvia Kalekyo (Peacock, F3)

slashed grass --
a termite disappears
in the hole

~ Jecinta Mueni (Peacock, F2)

flowing water --
the blown grass blade
flows away

~ Stephen Macharia (Bamboocha, F2)

jacaranda trees --
scattered flowers
on the ground

~ Fanuel Alala (Peacock, F3)

glowing cloud --
water droplets from tipu tree
wet the ground

~ Eric Mwange (Bamboocha, F3)

cloudy sky --
the ice cream vendor
leans on a cart

~ Titus Mutungi (Peacock, F1)

high tower --
the lift moves to and fro

~ Wayua Pauline (Peacock, F2)

clean pavement --
a leaf falls off from
the jacaranda tree

~ Peter Nguribu (Bamboocha, F3)

Central Park --
a bee sucking from
a day lily flower

~ Samuel Pirias (Bamboocha, F2)

calm evening --
a couple lying on the
green grass

~ Scholarstica Mumbe (Peacock, F3)

star grass --
a grasshopper flaps
its wings

~ Elijah Juma (Peacock, F1)

shedding flowers --
a bee buzzing around a
guava tree

~ Isaac Ndirangu (Bamboocha, F2)

cool breeze --
white high raised flag

~ Stanley Mutinda (Peacock, F3)


Out into the park

Related words

. The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi  



Tumaini Kukai April 2010


Tumaini Kukai April 2010

Preliminary Report

Ready to start the kukai

. Photo Album by Isabelle Prondzynski  


Related words

***** The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi



Long Rains Kukai 2009

[ . BACK to TOP . ]


Long Rains Kukai 2009

St Mathew’s School, Kangundo Road
Season: Long Rains


On 30 May, the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi spent a lovely day as guests of St Mathew School on Kangundo Road, where some 100 haijin assembled for a kukai, including a ginkoo.

Welcome to St Mathew
© Isabelle Prondzynski

While we waited for everyone to arrive and register, we took a look at the sadly burnt-out classrooms which are still awaiting reconstruction.

Anthony Njoroge was once again our Master of Ceremonies, and we appreciated his leadership and his good humour. He recalled for us the joy we derive from haiku, and the many ways in which haiku speak to us in our daily lives (respect for the environment, keen observation, openness to inspiration). We were also happy that the school Principal came to open the kukai and that he gave us a warm welcome in his school.

The new Form One haijin were welcomed, and the senior haijin were appreciated -- both those who will be sitting their final examinations later this year, and those who had returned to be with us for the kukai.

It is a real pleasure to see that the Cocks (the adult haijin) are active and committed, and that those soon following them out of school are eager to join this haiku club as soon as they can!

The computer classes were reviewed, and haijin were encouraged to join Kenya Saijiki as soon as their computer skills allowed.


Shiki Kukai on the kigo of umbrella

Prizes were given to the haijin who had recently submitted haiku to the international Shiki kukai on the kigo of umbrella and had received encouraging results :

8 points
May rain --
an old man repairs
an old umbrella

~ Felister (Peacock)

7 points
rain showers --
a drop on the umbrella makes
a baby smile

~ Maurice (Peacock)

5 points
public meeting --
people under umbrellas
in the hot sun

~ Khadija Rajab

3 points
father and son
walking under one umbrella --
rainy day

~Maxwell George Onsembe

2 points
scrubbing the sticky mud
off the umbrella tip --
shoe shiner watches

~ Anthony Njoroge

radiant sunrise --
two lovers shading under
a red umbrella

~ Duncan Omoto

a man and his sheep
sheltering under an umbrella --
heavy rain

~ Kelvine Muchiri

1 point
drizzly morning --
a mother and baby
under their umbrella

~ Johnson Malombe

rainy afternoon --
four students sheltering
under one umbrella

~ Kevin Wanjala

May drizzle --
the lame old umbrella
leaks water

~ Rhoda Muteu

the long rains...
umbrellas now go for
double price

~ Patrick Wafula

Other entries selected

rhythmic raindrops --
passionate lovers under
an old umbrella

~ Hussein Haji

baby's shield
against hostile sunlight --

~ James Bundi

windy rain --
a man chases after a
destroyed umbrella

~ Emily Wanga

rainy afternoon --
students fighting over
one umbrella

~ Stephen Macharia

the long rains --
umbrellas for sale
and hire

~ Isaac Ndirangu

hot sun --
a bald-headed man shelters
under his umbrella

~ Periz Achieng


Appreciating and improving haiku

The next session was a discussion in small groups of haiku brought to the meeting. The best haiku was selected by each group, and the group proceeded to improve the haiku in a joint effort.

Working in small groups
© Isabelle Prondzynski

The three best haiku brought forward by the groups were :

acacia tree
in the rhythm of the wind --
rain showers

~ Job (Peacock) as amended

cold night --
my cat rubs herself on my skin
for warmth

~ Vivian (Bamboocha)

little boys
dressed in warm jackets --
chilly morning

~ Wambui (Peacock) as amended


Writing haiku at the ginkoo
© David Kimani Mwangi

Ginkoo - the Haiku Walk

After the lunch break, we held a ginkoo, having reminded ourselves of the basic rules of haiku. The area around the school offered plenty of opportunities for walking and observing, and many haiku were written during the hour.

The jury is now growing with each ginkoo, as the Cocks have volunteered to help with the judging. Today, there were six of us, and it was a pleasant experience to work together.

The jury at work
© Isabelle Prondzynski

The final result was :

May showers --
a muddy boot abandoned
under a tree

~ Aisha Malik

sunny day --
mosquito larvae swimming
in pothole water

~ Kevin Wekesa

napier grass dances
to the rhythm of the wind --
May rain

~ Jacinta Wanza
(Pennisetum purpureum
Elephant Grass, Napier Grass or Uganda Grass)

on the wireline
a shirt slowly swings --
breezy moment

~ Emily Wanga

joined wires
they all sag uniformly --
sunny afternoon

~ Jacinta Mueni

from iron-sheet roofs --
sunny afternoon

~ Benard Nyerere

tree frog
rides on a banana frond --
cool afternoon

~ Dorcas Wangare

hot sun
burns my black forehead --
straining my eyes

~ Anne Wairimu

long rains --
a girl jumps to pass
a pothole of water

~ Maurice Opondo

cool breeze --
a cat resting on a
window pavement

~ Arnold

The first ten prizewinners
© Isabelle Prondzynski

cow's hoof
print on the mud --

~ James Bungi

zooming dragonfly
on stagnant muddy water --
sunny afternoon

~ Yamame Winslause

breezy May noon --
the sun hides under
light clouds

~ Catherine Maina

satisfied goats
resting on the green grass --
sunny afternoon

~ Beatrice Omari

hot sun --
two lovers shading
under the tree

~ Duncan Omoto

sunny afternoon --
dirty child seated under
a sisal tree

~ Beryl Muthiki

hot afternoon --
a cat rests beside the wall
for a shade

~ Marion Masinde

lorry stuck in mud
friends gather to push it out --
long rains

~ Margaret Nzilili

haiku members
seriously observing the weather --
hot afternoon

~ Onesmus Mutua

hot evening --
lizard sheltering itself
under the wall

The runners-up
© Isabelle Prondzynski

St Mathew's kukai, 30 May 2009
Photo Album

Text © Isabelle Prondzynski

Related words

***** The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi

***** Umbrella



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Japanese Culture Week 2008

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Japanese Culture Week 2008

The workshop was organised in order to promote Japanese culture among Kenyan children. The Japanese Culture and Information Department invited various Nairobi schools as follows :

St. Elizabeth Academy
Juja Preparatory School
Moi Educational Centre
Bellevue School
Serare School
Mountain View Academy
Riara Road Primary School
Makini School
NPC Academy
Juhudi Children Club

Altogether, ten primary schools (normal age range : 6 to 14 years old) attended the function.

The Bamboochas for their part attended as facilitators to their junior brother and sisters specifically as regards Introduction to Japanese Poetry -- Haiku. The following haijin (all Bamboochas) represented the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi :

Jedidah Nduku, James Njoka and Judith Muthengi (Form One)
Caren Cheptoo and Anne Wairimu (Form Two)
Martin Kamau (Form Three)
Raymond Otieno (Form Four)

They performed superbly well in all their presentations. They managed to inspire other children to write haiku and even invite them to their schools to teach them haiku! The haiku written by the ten schools have been sent to Wairua Sensei of the Japanese Cultural Centre for publishing on the website of the Embassy of Japan and in the Embassy Bulletin Magazine.

The following are the lecturers / facilitators who presented during the workshop :

Mr Kikuchi : Welcome
Mr Kimani: Juhudi Childrens Centre : Ice Breakers
Dr Jiro Nozaka : Origami
Mr Wairua : Video on Japanese Culture
Tamura Sensei : Karate
Mr Patrick Wafula : Japanese Poetry : Haiku
Mr Nakagome : Introduction to Japanese Language
Ms Onaka : Chinese Dance and Show
Dr Florence Munyiri : Kenyan Experience of Japanese Culture
Mr Gachie Kiruri : Kenyan Experience of Japan
Ms Irene : Children Folk Games

Programme for the week

The first day was one of the most exciting and memorable days in the lives of the members of the two-year-old Bahati Haiku Poetry Club (the “Bamboochas”). Following the invitation from the Japanese Embassy to attend their cultural week, the members were able to seize the opportunity with unsurpassed enthusiasm and attended the great culture exchange event which took place during the week of 25 February 2008.

Initially, I was the one who was invited to facilitate a haiku lesson, but after further discussion with the Embassy, I was allowed to bring along six haijin. So we deicided that each indivual should present a specific aspect of haiku poems. We had only 25 minutes at our disposal.

Raymond Otieno : Senryu (3min)
Jedidah Nduku : Kireji (3min)
James Njoka : The Structure of Haiku (3min)
Martin Kamau : Saijiki (3min)
Judith Muthengi : Saijiki (3min)
Caren Cheptoo : Haijin (3min)
Anne Wairimu : Kigo (3min)

After the haijin had presented, I took the opportunity -- about 10 minutes -- to lead the class through a haiku writing session. By the end of the haiku session, the children had written over 50 haiku poems, which we handed over to Kikuji san, the Director for the Information and Cultural Services. He said the best haiku will be published on the Embassy Website. The audience was a sizeable one comprising different ages and classes.

In each of the three haiku teaching sessions: (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), there was a different audience participating.

Text and photos © Patrick Wafula


Haiku from the Bamboochas participating

February morning --
in Japanese Embassy
watching music video

February morning --
learning Matsuo Basho’s

February morning --
Patrick sensei teaching

February morning --
walking towards Upper Hiill
to the Japanese Embassy

how good it is here --
a girl dancing Japanese

juice on the table
ready to drink --

February morning --
Jedidah haijin reading

~ Jedidah Nduku

a frog jumping
into the stillness
of an ancient pond

deep in the stream
the big fish lies motionless
facing the current

the garter snake
goes in and out of the grass
at the same time

ice scattered
everywhere --
winter Shikansen

brown leaves
fallen on the bare ground --
autumn season

Monday morning
walking past the blooming flowers --
Japanese Embassy

a beautiful lady
performing the Japanese acrobat
Japanese Embassy

February sun --
sweat drips down
my forehead

~ James Njoka

February dry wind --
trees swing east and west
leaves scatter

February morning --
pupils in Japanese Embassy
writing haiku

~ Anne Wairimu

Bamboochas admiring the exhibition at the Japanese Cultural Centre

Haiku from the children attending the
Introduction to Haiku lessons

February femine --
lions hunting
for antelopes

~ Khadija Kivuvani (Makini School)

February morning --
fresh air from my window
birds whistle in the trees

~ Michelle Wangechi (Makini School)

January evening --
wiping sweat
how tiring

~ Jane Wambui (Makini Middle School)

February morning --
going into Japanese Embassy
walking towards the video room

~ Brenda Muthoni (Makini School 5Blue)

February morning --
in the Japanese Embassy
so much to learn

January morning --
a lot of dust in the air
I breathe in

August evening --
shivering in cold
no food to eat

January morning
the sun

~ Suzane Akinyi (Makini School)

November morning --
rainy day
dripping wet

January morning --
New Year's Eve

~ Sveta Victoria (Makini School)

February sun --
I sweat and
loosen my tie

~ Joan Wateto

February heat --
in Mombasa
relaxing on the beach

~ Nicole Nduku (NPC Academy)

February morning --
birds whistle
from a tree

~ Stephani Joy (NPC Academy)

February morning --
I brush my shoes
but the dust keeps coming

~ Jude Sam Olang (NPC Academy)

February evening --
feeling the breeze
dry sweat on my forehead

~ Elizabeth Ndinda (NPC Academy)

February evening --
celebrating my birthday
the cool breeze

~ Said Salim (Makini School)

February evening --
celebrating my birthday
in a light dress

~ Diana Adhiambo (Makini School)

February morning --
watching a vulture eating
a dead animal

~ Tony Ochar (Makini School)

February evening --
waiting silently for
the dusty sunset

~ Valerie Wasilwa (Makini School)

February sun --
water flowing in the river
flowers blossom

~ Ashley Chebet (NPC Academy Nairobi)

February morning
at Japan Embassy --
learning my first haiku

~ author unknown

February famine --
dry leaves
no food

~ Sheila Mwende (NPC Academy)

February heat --
I loosen my tie
and rest under the tree

~ Sharleen Muoki (Makini School)

February morning --
leaves shedding
from a tree

~ Joshua Mwanga (Makini School)

February heat --
blazing sun
above my head

~ Marvel (Makini School)

February dust --
polluting the air
I breathe in

~ Joel Mutiso (Makini School)

February heat --
wiping sweat
from my face

~ Sandra Wekesa (Makini School)

February morning --
learning to count
in Japanese

~ Isah Ochieng (NPCA)

February morning --
learning numbers
in Japanese Embassy

~ Daniel Chege (NPCA)

February dust
landing in my
meat stew

~ David Ndambuki (NPCA)

February morning --
learning Japanese
language and culture

~ Allan Riunga (NPCA)

February dust --
moving in the air
as the bus drives away

~ Andrew Wanyoike (NPCA)

February morning --
clearing rubble from
post election fights

~ Daniel Ng'ang'a (NPCA)

February morning --
dusty shoes
being brushed

~ Japheth Mutie (NPCA)

Enjoying Bonsai trees

Enjoying temari balls and dolls


. Japan Culture Week 2012 .

Bamboocha's Visit to the Japanese Embassy 2011

. Visit to the Embassy

source : Photos from Caleb

Related words

***** The Haiku Clubs of Kenya since 2006

***** BAHATI Haiku Club, Nairobi



St Patrick’s Outing

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Haiku Clubs’ Outing to St Patrick’s Church Kayole

***** Location: Nairobi, Kenya
***** Season: Hot dry season (3 April 2007)
***** Category: Humanity

St Patrick’s Outing

Co-authored by Isabelle Prondzynski (in plain font) and Anthony Njoroge (in italics)
All photos © Isabelle Prondzynski unless otherwise mentioned.
More can be seen here in the album !

On 3 April 2007, the long awaited day for the Outing of the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi had arrived -- and a fine day it was, even while we were waiting for the rains to begin.

The venue was a surprise to many. We had been hoping to organise an excursion into a new venue in Nairobi City Centre, but technical problems had made this impossible. So, the community leaders of Tujisaidie Self-Help Project under the Urban Development Programme (UDP) of All Saints’ Cathedral had approached St Patrick’s Church in Kayole and requested the use of their tented hall for the day. The Haiku Club Patrons, who visited the venue on 31 March, found it to be excellent -- which indeed it proved to be on the big day.

The day is Tuesday, the 3 April. It is again another great day for the Kenya Haiku Clubs. It is a day that has been in every heart of the members. The new haijin in particular cannot hide their eagerness to be in their very first all club members' meeting and their very first ginkoo.

The first to arrive were the adults responsible for the day, who organised themselves, their papers and the hall, and then settled down to enjoy a chat and to wait.

There were Ms Louise Wambui Githire and Ms Kathleen Anangwe Warambo of the UDP, Ms Lucy Irungu of the UDP and Tujisaidie, and the Patrons, Patrick Wafula Sensei (Bamboochas and Co-ordinator), Madame Anne Nechesa and Madame Mercy (Peacocks), Mr David Kimani (Computer Teacher) and Mr Anthony Njoroge (responsible for haiku outreach to the wider community and Master of Ceremonies for the day).

The meeting was supposed to start at eleven. By that time few had made it to the venue.

eleven o’clock
anxious faces
long waiting

calm moments
gazing at the fence

Just some few minutes past time, the Butterflies came in, followed by the Peacocks and then the Baboochas.

brightened faces
Isabelle dashes
at last

shaking hands
smiling haijin
the crowd stranded

Peacocks Bamboochas
march in

Soon, the haijin had signed the list, and the hall had filled with chatting friends, glad to be together again. Anthony Njoroge (my co-author here and also the Master of Ceremonies for the day), greeted the haijin and the Patrons and visitors and encouraged the eager participants to begin the day well, by singing a few favourite choruses.

Singing choruses to start us off

Our host for the day, Revd Charles Kimani, joined us to welcome everyone and say a few words of encouragement to the students, which were very well received.


eyes closed

The Patrons one by one greeted the gathering, telling of the progress of the individual clubs.

speaking out
delighted hearts

I reported on recent successes of Kenya Saijiki -- the publication of our haiga in haigaonline (December 2006), the success of the stars and night sky challenge, the contribution of our haiku to a planned book on peace related haiku, and the reading of one of our haiku on a radio show in Ireland :

corruption is daily --
you must pay cash

~ Christine Nyakado and Jacinta Minoo (Peacocks), 2006

The haijin were delighted to hear that we are now among the foremost haijin in Africa and able to participate as such in many haiku fora.

Computer certificates

Revd Charles Kimani had mentioned examinations... And indeed, our first agenda item was to applaud the students who had passed their final computer examinations after a year of study, both theoretical and practical, and to award certificates and prizes to them.

Mr David Kimani, the computer teacher, was greeted with cheers and applause.

The students who were presented with beautiful certificates and individual prizes, were the following :

1. Catherine Njeri Maina (Bamboocha)
2. David Caleb Mutua (Peacock)
3. Raymond Otieno (Bamboocha)
4. Walter Otieno (Bamboocha)
5. Gladys Kathini (Peacock)
6. Jacinta Minoo (Peacock)
7. Cyprian Awino (Bamboocha)
8. Gideon Gichamba Wangui (Peacock)
9. John Mwangi (Bamboocha)
10. Nyakado Christine (Peacock)
11. Khadija Rajab (Peacock)
12. Simon Magak (Bamboocha)
13. Dorine Atieno (Peacock)

certificates awarded
prizes in hardy

All 47 haijin who had completed the computer course were in addition presented with haiku notebooks and encouraged to make good use of their new skills!

The computer graduates with their certificates

Stars and Night Sky Challenge

The next item, eagerly awaited by all, was the announcement of the winners of the Stars and Night Sky Challenge, and the presentation of prizes for some spectacularly beautiful haiku. I was very proud that we are now able to assemble such a splendid collection!

winners announced
night stars goes on
end marked

The report on this Challenge, together with the photos of the happy prizewinners, both student and adult, can be found here :


Ms Louise Wambui Githire, the Co-ordinator of the Urban Development Programme of All Saints’ Cathedral, then brought bottled water for everyone, and smiles of relief could be seen all round the sun-heated tent.

dry lips
water cans provided
lighting faces

After a short discussion, the sun had passed the central point and the shadow was now moving west.

withered faces
empty stomachs
hard going

Anthony Njoroge reminded the students that it was still Lent, and that many Christians were fasting at this time. David Kimani’s remark, raising his water bottle : “You have now had your lunch!” brought the house down!

Fortunately, Louise had brought bread and milk in plenty, and soon, there was satisfied chatter all over the hall.

milk and bread
hunger defeated
life restored

As the Falcons and the Oaks had been prevented by exam schedules from participating in the outing, there was a glut of bread, milk and biscuits -- a glut that did not last for long!

April Ginkoo

It was soon back to activity -- the eagerly awaited ginkoo. As we had a large number of new Form One students with us, who were trying a ginkoo for the first time, the rules on this occasion were quite specific :

- the first word of each haiku is the month, i.e. April
- the second word is an important characteristic of the time, for instance :
~ sun
~ dust
~ clouds
~ wind
~ heat
- the second and third lines will contain an observation
- the students were asked to find a place and write all their haiku in that same place
- each student would write up to ten haiku
- each haiku would start with the same two words (April + ...)
- students would preferably write individually, not in groups
- haiku were not to be written about other haijin
- each would hand in the best two haiku, unsigned, but for the club name

The students then dispersed around the compound and soon, all were concentrating here and there, observing, and consulting the adults as they circulated among the students, offering words of advice and sharing in a smile or a laugh here and there.

Patrick Wafula sensei joining the students

The compound proved to be a good place. The natural beauty and the artistic make up provided a great setting for the ginkoo. After a short briefing on what was expected: -

moving out
pens and papers
nature focused

eyes opened
confined at a point
all in ones

under microscope
no escape

After handing in the ginkoo haiku, the judges took their time to evaluate and come out with the best of the best. The winners were announced in the midst of a jovial session.

The prize winners of the April Ginkoo

Alan Summers, our Stars and Night Sky judge, gave us great pleasure by adding his comments (see below each haiku).


April sun --
dry clothes swing and swing
on the line

~ David Caleb Mutua (Peacock)

A haiku full of movement and capturing the breeze without even needing to mention it by name.

April wind --
girl's long hair
blowing upwards

~ Anne Wairimu (Bamboocha)

Lovely, I can imagine it in my mind straightaway!

April sun
slowly vanishing --
a thick cloud taking over

~ Paul Wandera (Bamboocha)

Captures the changes in the sky wonderfully!

April wind --
the leaves dancing
to beats of Eshikuti

* Eshikuti is one type of Luhya traditional music

~ Esther Keyombe (Peacock)

Fantastic blend of breeze and musical beats!

April sun --
a cock and hen resting
under a hedge

~ Catherine Njeri Maina (Bamboocha)

A very beautiful haiku, full of plain language, and making it universal.

April dust --
handkerchief covered with mucus
cursing the month

~ Dorine Atieno (Peacock)

A very good haiku capturing part of a season, and not afraid to include 'mucus'. The great poet Shiki would have appreciated this haiku!

April sun --
the brown grass leaves
crunching under my feet

~ Vivian Adhiambo (Bamboocha)

Excellent, a haiku full of sound and texture!

April wind --
sand whirls spirally
papers go up

~ Cyprian Awino (Bamboocha)

We have all shared the nightmare of papers being blown about by the wind, thank you for the universal image.

April wind --
itinerant traders
with dust on their goods

~ Teresiah Wanjiku (Bamboocha)

Wonderfully evocative! It just goes to show that there is no need for lots of complicated words to evoke a strong image.

April sun --
the sound of dry grass
under my feet

~ Jane Njeri (Bamboocha)

Both Vivian and Jane's haiku remind me of a favourite one of mine, which the BBC liked so much they filmed me making a live version!

April sun --
sweat running down my
dusty face

~ Sarah Adero (Bamboocha)

Very imagistic. I can also feel the heat, and sensation of the heat.

April dust --
ants struggling to scuttle
through the dusty sand

~ John Mwangi (Bamboocha)

I love your alliteration with "struggling" and "scuttle" and "sand"! This is very difficult to do and make a successful haiku and you have done it, well done!

April sun --
a car under a shade
for cool seats

~ Gideon Gichamba (Peacock)

Simple yet very provative, and it brings back hundreds of memories. A very good haiku!

The UDP car with Kathleen, Louise and Lucy
Photo © David Kimani Mwangi

April wind
gives a must-dance to
the trees

~ George Ombima (Peacock)

Very original, and quite brilliant, well done!!!

April wind --
cloths flapping on
the hangline

~ Caren Cheptoo (Bamboocha)

I like your use of a different word other than clothesline. Your choice of 'hangline' also gives extra layers of meaning. Another excellent haiku.

The jury then read out the haiku and the authors came forward to huge applause, to collect their prizes. Special congratulations went to brand new haijin Esther Keyombe (no. 5 prizewinner), whose first ever haiku had done so well!

Thanks and prayer

I congratulated all on a wonderful day spent together, and indicated that our next meeting would take place in August -- something for all of us to look forweard to! Meanwhile, a new challenge was set -- haiku about animals, to be written between now and then, with prize winners to be selected in time for that event.

After a word of prayer and vote of thanks all left at their own pleasure.

come come
longing for you
oh august

Sweet memories of all those observations!
Photo © David Kimani Mwangi

Related words

***** Stars and Night Sky Challenge

***** The Haiku Clubs of Nairobi

***** Meeting of the Haiku Clubs in Tujisaidie, 4 November 2006

***** Bahati Ginkoo, 27 May 2006

Please send your contributions to
Gabi Greve / Isabelle Prondzynski
worldkigo .....

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Bahati Kukai 0709

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Bahati Kukai, 1 September 2007

Location: Bahati Community Centre Secondary School


On 1 September 2007, the Haiku Clubs of Nairobi held their Fourth Kukai. Bahati Community Centre Secondary School, the home of the Bamboochas, acted as host.

Many photos of this enjoyable day can be seen below on this page, and more have been saved here :


The Bamboochas and Peacocks started to arrive at 10.00, and were registered by Raymond Otieno (Bamboocha). The haijin enjoyed the run of the whole school -- it was the last day of the August holidays, and there were no other school activities taking place that day. Since our previous meeting there, the school had been greatly improved, extended and beautified, and the kukai took over one of the enlarged classrooms for its plenary sessions.

Haiku Club members preparing their hands for the first round of applause
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


The Peacocks’ Exhibition

The Peacocks had brought an exhibition of their recent work, which they were showing for the first time. This included haiku on the kigo of “August holiday”, and the themes of “clean water”, and “lunchbreak”. Most of the Peacocks had contributed to the haiku, written up in beautiful handwriting on three large charts, for all to see.

Just a few examples to show the high quality of the work exhibited :

in the school compound --
August holiday

August holiday --
family members gather
to celebrate

clean water --
in a container
I see myself

hang on a vendor’s bicycle --
clean water

the bell rings
students rush to the kitchen

students outside
with plates in hands --

In addition, the Peacocks had ventured for the first time into the world of haiga. Using newspaper cuttings of pictures, they had written haiku to accompany the images -- some from nature and animal life, some from human family life.

The Bamboochas gathered around the sheets, admiring the work of their colleagues and determined to prepare an exhibition of their own next time.

Admiring the Peacocks’ haiga
Photo © David Kimani Mwangi


A brief discussion on computing followed. Many of the haiku club members are now able to send their own haiku themselves, which is making the discussions in Kenya Saijiki much more interesting and lively. David Kimani Mwangi is teaching a second group now -- and he will be available on Saturday afternoons for any haiku club members who may appreciate his presence when sending in messages.


Haiku appreciation

August had been used by both haiku clubs to discuss how to appreciate other people’s haiku. With the help of examples from the Shiki Kukai, they had already discussed haiku from writers in other countries -- and now came the opportunity to discuss their own!

Each haijin had handed in his or her own favourite haiku at the beginning of the meeting, and a time was set to discuss these. Participants formed themselves into five groups of about six people per group, and were given one haiku per person, written by their colleagues who had been allocated to other groups. The haiku were signed only with the group numbers of the authors, not their names.

Groups were assigned a classroom each, and soon, the whole school was buzzing with concentrated activity. The students discussed haiku, while the teachers concentrated on watching a huge flock of white ibises, which flew in, rested on the trees surrounding the school for a while, then took off again.

When the haiku club members reassembled, they were ready to present the favourite haiku which each group had agreed upon, reading it to the plenary and commenting why they had chosen their particular favourite.

The most appreciated haiku of the five groups were :

the car's tyre
deep in the mud --
rainy day

~ Emily Wanga

cold morning
dew is on the grass
my legs are wet

~ Rhoda Mutheu

barefooted baby
walks along dirty water
afraid of mud

~ Ann Njoki

dry season --
women at a borehole
fighting for water

~ Makila Moses

bumper to bumper
Jogoo Road roundabout --
traffic jam

~ Peris Wanjiru

Here are four of the five authors of the most appreciated haiku, with their prizes of Japanese cotton cloths (furoshiki, 風呂敷) :

Emily Wanga, Rhoda Mutheu, Anne Njoki and Peris Wanjiru
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


The next item on the agenda was the lunchbreak. Bread and milk was enjoyed by all, as was the chance for a pause and a chat.

Anthony Njoroge, the haiku clubs’ Master of Ceremonies, busily organising a Talent Show for the afternoon, dropped in and congratulated the Peacocks on their exhibition, as well as appreciating the prize winning haiku and wishing us an enjoyable afternoon.

Lunch break
Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


The Ginkoo

The main item for the afternoon was the much anticipated ginkoo. While the haiku club members settled outside the school to observe and write, the Patrons (the Co-ordinator, Patrick Wafula for the Bamboochas, and Anne Nechesa for the Peacocks) and teachers (Kevin Safari and James Macharia for Bahati Community Centre Secondary School) and I got together for a relaxing chat.

Concentrated faces at the ginkoo
Photo © David Kimani Mwangi

The great novelty of the event was that the hajin did the judging themselves. They split again into the same five groups, each member being given a haiku from someone in another group. Each group then selected their two favourites. There was some animated discussion in the groups, after which the haijin gathered back in the plenary, and excitement grew.

Each group introduced its two haiku, written up on large sheets and taped to the blackboard. The spokesperson for the group read out both haiku and explained what had particularly pleased the members about each of the two.

When all haiku had been read and posted up, a discussion ensued, during which other haijin rose and took the floor in support of their own respective favourites. Eventually, it became clear which of the haiku had more support than others, and prizes were awarded by consensus and distributed until the final two were reached, and a vote was taken on which was to be no. 1 and 2 respectively. By that time, great excitement reigned, and the two top winners were greeted with much enthusiasm. Here are the ten haiku chosen by the haijin as the ginkoo prizewinners :

a thirsty boy
slowly drinking water from
a nylon paper

~ Catherine Njeri Maina

Note : A nylon paper is a very thin plastic bag, which street vendors use to sell their wares

hot sun --
children playing with a skipping rope
sweating vigorously

~ Vivian Adhiambo

Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

a rooster
seeking shade under a tree --
September sunshine

~ Arnold Malcolm

busy chicken
scratching the ground
optimistic to feed

~ Christine Onimbo

September wind --
acacia flower blown
down swiftly

~ Raymond Otieno

hot sun
an insect under a leaf --
cool shade

~ Khadijah Rajab

boring movements
for non refreshed people --
hot day

~ Martin Kamau

papers blown
plants twinkle and shake
whirling wind

~ Emily Wanga

green leaf
threshing plants --
cool breeze

~ Simon O. Magak

windy day --
my hair blows over
my forehead

~ Anne Wairimu


The Presentation

At the end of a lovely day, the Bamboochas came up with a surprise presentation of appreciation -- a specially woven kiondo (sisal and wool basket), with a text which on one side read “We love you Isabelle” and on the other “Bamboocha Group”. This was so unexpected and so wonderful that it momentarily stopped me speaking! When I opened it and looked inside, it was filled with fruit, as well as a text which read :

haiku is
sharing --
these fruits

Which is what we did -- two hands of sweet bananas, three apples, and a bag of fresh macadamia nuts! What a superb way of ending a beautiful day!

And so, I want to thank all involved -- the hard working Patrons, the management and staff of Bahati Community Centre Secondary School, the students who fetched our lunch from the shop, Raymond Otieno who worked hard all day to register the participants, be timekeeper and haijin in charge, David Kimani Mwangi who photographed events as they happened, and finally the Peacocks for their superb exhibition and the Bamboochas for their very personal gift.

You are all great! And I am already looking forward to our next kukai.

~ Isabelle Prondzynski.

Related words

***** BAHATI Haiku Club, Nairobi

***** Bahati Ginkoo May 2006

***** Tujisaidie Meeting November 2006

***** St Patrick’s Outing, April 2007

Please send your contributions to
Gabi Greve / Isabelle Prondzynski
worldkigo .....

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