Monday, July 28, 2008

Revisioning Kenya

Mark your calendars:
Revisioning Kenya:
An interesting symposium featuring visionaries drawn from Kenya and abroad.
Date: 8th August 2008
Ramoma Art Gallery, Parklands, Nairobi
2-6 pm
KSh 3,500 (including Kwanini book), Concessions: KSh 900

The symposium is one of several exciting activities at this year's Kwani? Litfest (KLF). Apparently, the idea for this symposium was inspired by the famous TED conferences. Slum TV will film the speeches of the symposium, which will be available on the Internet and through established DVD distributors. A Kwanini short story book will also be produced and circulated countrywide. The symposium will close with a sumptuous event where speakers and attendees mingle and network.

A wide variety of brains and skills representing a cross-section of Kenyan society will be participating, mixing young and old, opinion and expertise, radical and innovative ideas. The topics of human rights, gender, social entrepreneurship, citizens activity and good governance will be contained within the discourses.

Invited Speakers:

  • Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat (Kenya): Africa Peace Forum and a co-convenor of Concerned Citizens for Peace.
  • Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Kenya): A co-convenor of Concerned Citizens for Peace who was also awarded the alternative peace prize.
  • Kevit Desai (Kenya): Director of Engineering at Centurion Systems, member of Kepsa who organizes a large competion for university inventors each year and tries to find companies to produce the items commercially. His current focus is uses of ICT in rural areas.
  • John Kiarie (Kenya): Former Reddykulas comedian, their social commentary led to “KJ” standing for Dagoretti. Fresh and untainted, he will speak on his Vijana Tugutuke message.
  • Farming Systems Kenya: They work with 20,000 farmers, and assist small-scale farming by harnessing the power of collective bargaining.
  • Irwin Chen: Expert on new media publishing.
  • Reginald Ihejiahi (Nigeria): Managing director and CEO of Fidelity Bank. He will speak of the importance of merging and supporting art and literature and how words can affect a nation’s thinking.
  • Sarah Simons: Seasoned crime investigator, radio presenter will discuss new procedures and techniques.
  • Professor Moses Kizza Musaazi (Uganda): An inventor with practical solutions to African problems. Prof Musaazi was recently advisor to the TV programme Schools Shape Up, where a number of his solutions are viewed in action. He will discuss inventions and their practical applications.
  • Onesmo Ole Moi Yoi (Kenya): World famous bio genetecist and scientist with a simple, but radical way of thinking different.
  • Rafique Keshavjee: Visionary entrusted with creating the Aga Khan University in Arusha and Nairobi on the creation of entrepreneurial spirit and the way to move Kenya towards self-sufficient income generation.
  • George Gachara (Kenya): A young student who set up an sms distress line in the early days of the post-election violence, which received nearly 2000 messages in a week. George’s work led to him advising mediation on youth attitude and issues. He will reflect on the post-election violence.
  • Rob Burnet: Established the Kuona Trust at Kenya’s National Museum in the 1990’s. From 2000-2006 was the Ford Foundation’s program officer for Media, Arts and Culture in Eastern Africa. He now works with Mediae, the producers of the TV series Makutano Junction and a number of other public communications projects.
  • Joyce Nyairo: Program Officer Media, Arts and Culture at the Ford Foundation Office for Eastern Africa, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Theatre & Film Studies, Moi University and Literary Editor for the African Writers Series of Heinemann Publishers.
  • Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone): His memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, has sold close to a million copies. He is a UNICEF ambassador and is working on a novel.
  • Caroline Mutoko: Kenya’s foremost radio DJ, who is credited with being part of the glue that held the country together in January during the post election conflict.
  • John Sibi-Okumu (Kenya): A member of the Editorial Board and regular columnist for Awaaz Magazine. He has published Role Play - A Journey into the Kenyan Psyche and will launch, Tom Mboya - Master of Mass Management, a book for children at the Kwani Litfest.
  • Tony Mochama: A poet and journalist. A Law graduate who has a collection of short stories coming out soon titled – The ruins down in Africa. He published his collection of poetry, What if I am a literary gangster? in 2007.
  • Judy Kibinge (Kenya): Wrote the screenplay and directed a short film for MNET entitled The Aftermath. Her film, Dangerous Affair, won the overall prize at the Zanzibar Film Festival in 2003. She has recently started a Multimedia Hotshop company called Seven.
UPDATE (11th August 2008): A report of the event is now available here.

1 comment:

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