In 2008, Storymoja, a recently formed publishing company decided to take on the challenge of popularizing reading for everyone. The company’s vision was to place ‘A Book in every Hand.’ What better way to start that great adventure by connecting reading to Kenya’s favorite past times!
The most recognizable Kenyan past time is Nyama Choma afternoons with family and friends. So how about books, storytelling, nyama choma, family and friends? And that is how the Storymoja Nyama Choma Storytelling Festival came to be on 2nd December 2008.
The Hay Festival of literature and arts in UK is an annual literary festival that lasts for ten days. In 2008, Storymoja decided to partner with Hay (UK) to create and bring together the 2009 Storymoja Hay Festival. This Storymoja Hay Festival started off as a three-day event with over 60 events that brought together different creatives, writers, poets, storytellers and musicians at the Impala Club. The Storymoja Hay Festival has since been held at the Railways Club and Nairobi National Museum in the years since then.
The 2013 Storymoja Hay Festival has been the biggest in numbers so far with over 6000 attendees. Over 4000 Children participated in the Schools Programme. 205 artists/creative from more than 14 countries participated in workshops, lectures, talks and performances. (See 2013 Storymoja Festival Report).
Sadly, the festival was cut short on its third day by the terrorist attack on the Nairobi Westgate Mall. Author/Poet Dr. Kofi Awoonor was amongst the souls cruelly taken away in that attack.
On November 2nd, 2013, a mini-festival which included the Inaugural Kofi Awoonor Lecture was held covering some of the events scheduled for the last day of the original programme.
The Storymoja Festival has had its status change from being one of the worldwide Hay Festivals administered by Hay Festival UK, to being a Sister Festival of the Hay Festival UK. We truly thank you for your continued support as we embark on this wonderful, challenging but hopefully rewarding journey!
The 2014 Storymoja Festival willbring together lovers of literature, writers, musicians, poets, artists of all variety and creative thinkers over 5 days from 17th to 21st September. The festival promises creative masterclasses for both children and adults, book related events, film screenings, art exhibitions, provocative debates, poetry showcasing, music concerts and so much more.
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