PRESS RELEASE: TOO EARLY FOR BIRDS IS BACK!
Too Early For Birds is back for its 5th edition, directed by Mugambi Nthiga. This edition will tell stories from the life and death of TOM MBOYA. There will be five shows between 5th October 2019 and 6th October 2019 at Visa Oshwal Community Center, Nairobi, Kenya.
Too Early For Birds is a series of theatrical storytelling productions retelling stories from Kenyan history in a fresh, funky style and from the lens of today’s young generation. Since 2017, they have narrated stories about Wangari Maathai, The Nyayo House Survivors, Zarina Patel, Timothy Njoya, Field Marshal Muthoni Wa Kirima, Otenyo Nyamatere, Syokimau, William McMillan, the resistance at Lumboka and Chetambe forts, Wanugu, Wacucu and Rasta, amongst many others.
The production grew from a collaboration between Owaahh (from the award-winning history blog: owaahh.com) and two performing artists: Ngartia and Abu Sense. Executive Produced by Story Zetu, it has proceeded to sell out 14 of 15 stagings and redefined how stage performances are packaged, marketed, and consumed.
As one of the country’s most illustrious luminaries, Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya – known simply as Tom to those who adored him and TJ to those privileged enough to be close to him – was a rare phenomenon. He embodied a new generation of young, brilliant and driven Africans who were hell-bent on making the best out of freshly independent African nations. We grew up with this enigma hanging over our heads. Yet 50 years since two assassin bullets ended his life, no one has filled his shoes.
Now that they are in a position to do so, they would like to dig deeper and learn who this fast-rising star was. How did a boy from the labourer quarters of a colonial settler farm come to be friends with Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy… before he was 30 years old?! How did his initiatives, such as the airlifts that bequeathed us the likes of Wangari Maathai, Barack Obama, and Philip Ochieng, come to be?
They are exploring stories from Tom Mboya’s life… and death. The juicy, the astounding, the jarring, the tantalising stories as written by Ngartia, Magunga Williams, Mercy Mbithe, Hellen Masido and Wanjiku Mwawuganga.
This edition will be built on the foundation they have laid with the past editions of Too Early For Birds:
- Unsung Heroes – Edition 1: The first volume was staged on the 17th of May 2017 and focused on people who never made it to Kenya’s mainstream history. It was produced by Miriam Kadzitu of Code Ink and directed by Wanjiku Mwawuganga.
- Dissent – Edition 2: The second edition ran on the 29th and 30th of July. It focused on Kenyan stories of resistance. It was produced by Miriam Kadzitu of Code Ink and directed by Wanjiku Mwawuganga.
- Badassery – Edition 3: This edition told stories from the history of violent crime in Nairobi. It was staged on the 13th and 14th of January of 2018. And again on the 19th, due to public demand. It was produced by Miriam Kadzitu of Code Ink and directed by Wanjiku Mwawuganga.
- Brazen – Edition 4: The Brazen Edition was executive produced by the LAM Sisterhood and Story Zetu. Brazen was created, researched and written by the LAM Sisterhood, who are Laura Ekumbo, Aleya Kassam and Anne Moraa. It focussed on telling stories of heroic women in Kenyan history, and was staged by a team composed entirely of women – both in cast and crew. It was staged on the 27th, 28th and 29th of July 2018. It was produced by Gathoni Kimuyu and directed by Wanjiku Mwawuganga.
- Tom Mboya – 5: After a long break, the team is coming together again in October of 2019 at The Visa Oshwal Community Centre with stories from the life and death of Tom Mboya. It is being produced by Gathoni Kimuyu and being directed by Mugambi Nthiga.
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