Kenya’s history is filled with lots of stories of amazing individuals who left a mark, however little or big, on the course of the country. Most of these stories will not be told in history classes or mainstream media thus the creative community is stepping up to the plate and taking the lead in expressing these stories not just in a factual but a creative way as well.
One of these story telling platforms is the “Too Early for Birds” show whose third volume takes place this weekend at the Kenya National Theatre. All signs indicate it will be another amazing show by TEFB team led by Ngartia and Abu Sense.
The upcoming volume seeks answers to questions like: Is John Kiriamiti’s story most dramatic in the history of Kenyan crime? Has extrajudicial killing of suspects reduced the crime rate? Who are the predecessors of the current gangs such as Gaza and Superpower?
The team aims to answer these by exploring stories of the Kenyan crime scene. Officers such as Patrick Shaw and Daniel Serone have gained fame through their crime busting techniques. Their popularity is only rivalled by the gangsters they were hunting down. Some who have been talked about so much it is almost impossible to separate their actual exploits from myths. These are the likes of Wanugu, Wacucu, Matheri, Wakinyonga and Shimoli “the Jackal”.
In a country that is dealing with heightened levels of crimes and brazen acts of extrajudicial killings, it is important to trace growth of crime in our history. If we don’t learn a thing or two from it, we can at least put a human touch to these stories and see where we have gone wrong, both in creating spaces that allow crime to thrive and in our methods of combating that crime.
Previous volumes of TEFB showcased the stories of Otenyo Nyamaterere, Mũthoni Nyanjirũ, the Nyayo House Torture Chambers and Paul Ngei (Volume I) and stories of pre colonial and post-independence Kenya’s political dissent (Volume II).
All these are developed from stories on the award winning blog by renown writer Morris Kiruga, more popularly known as Owaahh. The three creatives pick the stories, expand them, seek out new material, push the narrative and expand the details. The aim is to tell Kenyan stories in a fun Kenyan way.
Personally, I am looking forward to the show this weekend and the chance to be in the mix as the rich history of Kenya is explored and a new story of creative collaboration written for future generations.
Grab your advance ticket for 1000 bob (1500 at the gate) through the MPESA Till Number 734196