As Right As Rain \\ Mufasa’s unforgettable April poetry showcase
Kenyan poet steals the thunder as heavy rains poured in Nairobi and proves why he’s unrivaled artistically
Every year, in the young days of April, poet Mufasa would plant his seed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi with a spectacular performance. Like a farmer smiling at the clouds heavy with water, Mufasa welcomes the rain jittery Nairobi residents to a calm location behind the famous Koinange Street, just next to the mysterious Nyati house for a coffee-dubbed evening poetry session.
This year was no different, as the poet ushered a word hungry crowd to his den at the Alliance Francaise for the evening that was dubbed Mufasa In Concert Unlike last year, when the event fell a few hours after the Fools day, Mufasa brought his event seven days later. On this particular day, chilly with clouds reluctant to release the rains, the audience sat at the venue’s remodeled courtyard, receiving blessings from the towering trees and the glowing stage permeating the nights with its radiant lights. Sitawa Namwalie-A veteran poet and Performer- the MC of the night, dressed in her signature black, said and rightly so to expect ‘the unexpected.’
Mufasa’s craft is in-depth, complicated and hard to stage. It is big and loud like thunder, but still like water and silent like the after-storm. Over the years, he has regaled his audience with unparalleled shows- a fact that makes his shows fully packed. From Unchained Voices to Mufasa in Concert– the shows have always been full house. Perhaps it is his voice that rises to loud pitched harangue, and then drops to a pleading begging tone, before shaking everything into a desperate plea. Or maybe it is the subject of his poems that range from love, cry for freedom, call for justice, condemning police brutality and corruption and his favorite mum’s tantrums that leave the audience in uncontrolled laughter. Or it could be the band made up of the man with the best vocals in town Lucas Mukethia, Max of Rush the band on the Guitar, Tunu on Bass, Mercy on Drums and Tony fidgeting with the Keys. Whatever, the case Mufasa has always remained the poet to watch.
As a performer, Mufasa has remained on the steadfast feeding his fans with shows year after year. For instance, the March 24, 2016 7 poems took Nairobi by storm. The show was repeated on 30th April the same year. In 2017, Mufasa came back energized with the April 1st showcase dubbed Blame My Roots where the poet showed he can be both vulnerable and charming at the same time. He said poetry performance was indeed his full time calling. However, he has also ventured into theater.
The 2018 show, had several acts including musicians such as Sage and Papillon (Kenya), Swahili Ally (Tanzania) and poets Teardrops, Dorphan among others. The show was the highlight of Mufasa’s career and he used it to further his course- the fight for the weak especially against police brutality. He also furthered his comic banter about his mother and life with her. Mufasa’s love for his mother is deep and his memory of life while young is vivid hence his continuous jocular tales from mother.
As a poet, Mufasa has not just made a name for himself but a poet worth noting. With his counterpart Teardrops (Joshua Ouma), the Slam Africa Festival judge has become a pacesetter- a poet to whom young poets look for inspiration. He has graced various media shows powerfully nurturing talent and making poetry in Kenya great again. Such poets do not need sponsoring pages on social media to make a name, yet his page on Facebook overflows.
Though just an ordinary Kenyan citizen grappling with the day to day Nairobi city chaotic matatu’s, to a great number of young people, Mufasa is a legend. He is a fearless young man whose positive vibes are a pain balm to the sore of a country filled with political incompetency, corruption, ignorance and bad leadership. Many young people, who have had a chance to meet him, adore him. But sadly enough, Kenya is run with sadistic old bureaucrats with slave mind who slowly chip the beautifully art-oriented and joy filled country into the murk of poverty, classism and cartel like society. If not well nurtured by such vocal young minds, I do and rightly so fear the country may slowly disintegrate into Haiti under Papa Doc.
Despite such murky situation, the country’s citizens still smile and laugh at stereotype jokes and occasionally attend poetry event in the city to listen to the tale of their sad miserable lives led by poetry greats like Mufasa.
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