On Saturday 6th May 2017, I found myself seated amidst a gathering of writing enthusiasts and book lovers. I had been invited to attend the 2017 Storymoja Festival Bloggers and Interns meeting, which I later learned was the first in a series of meetings leading up to the festival scheduled for 27th September to 1st October. Right from the time I was ushered to the modest Storymoja offices in Parklands, Nairobi, I observed and could feel that I was amongst very special people.

As the meeting got underway, I was drawn by the simplicity and down to earth mien of Faith the meeting coordinator. Wangari’s forthrightness or rather brutal honesty arrested me. But Juliet Maruru’s sense of humour put me in jail. Her revelations about lupus disease elongated my jail term.

I began to wonder where I have been that I was getting to know about lupus when I am just turning 48. There’s so much we all need to be in the know about but in one way or the other we don’t seem to have the time. Interestingly, there is enough time for Facebook gossip, Whatsapp propaganda, Twitter snipping and, of course, Sportpesa risking.

I find it worrying that most of our smartphones do not make us smart. Most of us  preoccupy ourselves in fun and what’s so mundane that we fail to see and explore the possibilities these wonderful gadgets  have to make our lives and the lives of those amongst and around us  better.

Magunga of the The Magunga was perhaps unique in his own way . It wasn’t just about his unique hairstyle.The humility he exhibited was uniquely Magunga. I am yet to get the appropriate words to describe him.

As we approached the end of the day’s presentations, one Kibali Muriithi awakened the philosopher in me. His metaphysical snippets were irresistibly contagious. He had me locked in a reflective and meditative mode long after I boarded Mololine on my way back to Kabarnet.

The common bonding was unmistakably clear. The conveners of the meeting, the facilitators, bloggers and interns all radiated passion and a sense of purpose. I feel privileged to be in such company. It is not every day that you interact and work with such people. I am beginning to understand why Storymoja Festival, now 10 years old has grown from strength to strength.

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I pray that Juliet Maruru’s She Blossoms and Magunga William’s The Magunga are nominated in their respective categories in the 2017 Edition of BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya Awards)


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