Presenting| Mwafrika

Acknowledge yourself that you want to succeed, plan how you want to be successful and categorise what you want to be as a poet.

Mwafrika

The Kenyan spoken word/ poetry scene has made major leaps and bounds. It is currently and arguably the most appreciated art form within creatives. Poets are the only artists who are listened to. No matter who you are, where you come from, the audience is always accommodating and supportive as compared to other art forms. The fans are loyal and they are always ready to listen to someone new and give them a chance.

I met Mwafrika at the first edition of the YCafe and what struck me was his humility. I could tell he was genuinely enthusiastic about featuring on the magazine and he had passion for his work. We finally got to have a sit down with him and the phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover kept ringing in my mind.’

Your fans know you as Mwafrika the poet but what are your official names?

I am called Dennis Amusavi.

Why did you settle on the name Mwafrika?

I  have always wanted to keep it real and original as a black man from Africa.

What and where was your first gig and what other stages have you had the chance of gracing?

My first gig was at the Michael Joseph Centre at an event called Arts and Dignity by World Youth Alliance Africa(WYAA). I have also performed at the Career Manenos breakfast launch.

That’s very impressive. How long have you been doing poetry?

7 months.

That is more than impressive. How did your poetic journey begin?

Back in high school, I used to perform oral literature at music and drama festivals. I was very fond of using sheng and I even got the nickname Sheng Spear. After leaving high school, I joined campus where I am currently pursuing a degree in Human Rights Activism and a short while later, I dropped the name sheng spear and became Mwafrika the poet and here we are.

What influences your poems and how can you classify your style?

I have always wished to have  a story to tell. I never speak in a vacuum, I speak with content. The power of spoken word is just a reward to the world for the rhymes, the rhythm we deliver can make you change and live long.

My style is conscious poetry accredited with social change and justice. I am an activist.

So you derive elements of your work from your course?

Exactly.

Apart from poetry, I understand you are involved in various other ventures. Do you mind sharing that?

I am a volunteer at YMCA and Made in Kibera project. I also happen to be an interior designer currently working in a company called Jelani designs. I am also a Web designer. I organise events from time to time and I am currently involved with some events happening at the YMCA. The first one is Poetry at the pool which happens every last Friday of the month from 6-10 pm and the second is M Creative Go Talent which happens every Friday from 4-6.

I also host a radio show at Vihiga Fm which goes by the name INITY show. The name Inity is a Caribbean term that means unity. The aim of this shoe is basically to unify our society at large.

That is a very impressive resume. That aside, what do you think of the Kenyan Art Industry with regards to poetry? 

It is growing well. However, I think poets need a hub special for poets and poetry. A place where we can be free and are the main facilitators.

What advice can you give a aspiring poet and/or artist?

Acknowledge yourself that you want to succeed, plan how you want to be successful and categorise what you want to be as a poet.

To link up with Mwafrika the poet, just click on the links below:

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