The Goethe Institute is partnering with Rusinga Festival for the Island Reading Series, a storytelling and reading event at #RusingaFest2018 which will feature author and publisher Hillary Namunyu, renowned and award winning storytellers Wangari the Storyteller and Chunga Otiende.
The interactive literary session will be among the many events that will take place on the Lake Victoria (locally known as Nam Lolwe) island of Rusinga. Infusing literature in the cultural event is one of the ways the organizer hopes to empower the Suba community as attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to promote their own stories to the world, both orally and in written form.
Literary activities are a constant feature around the island life since the conception of the boat library that is sponsored by the US Embassy. The library enables both children and adults to read their favourite storybooks whilst floating on water, an amazing experience.
As literacy levels continue to improve partly because of the Rusinga Festival initiatives, the introduction of the Island Reading Series will bolster these efforts as the event is meant to run quarterly. The Goethe Institute has been a key player in promoting literary events bringing both local and international artists to its Nairobi headquarters every month. Spreading its sponsorship wings to more remote parts is an important leap.
About the artists
Chunga Otiende’s award-winning story performances have been seen across Kenya and internationally, sometimes delivered in up to three languages and including music, dance and story. In addition to offering entertainment and connection to culture, his performances have had significant social impact in communities, including awareness of healthcare issues, government corruption and youth education.
Wangari the Storyteller is a constant feature on the Kenyan and international storytelling scene. With regular performances at the Nairobi Museum every two months for the #TimeOut Series, she has graced storytelling platforms in Sweden, Iran, Hargeysa, Tanzania, Germany, and most recently India. She is also author of popular children storybooks The Forever Tree and The Colour Magician.
Hillary Namunyu is a publisher and author for children stories, having been a Golden Baobab Prize for children literature finalist. He has featured at workshops at the Storymoja Festival and is a leading literary advocate. Among his books are Teddy Mapesa and the Missing Cash, The Fall of the Jungle Kingdom, Heroine of Muwanza, and A story for Another Day.