We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Getting Heard: [Re]claiming Performance Space in Kenya

[Re]claiming Performance Space in Kenya

Kimani Njogu

Publication Year: 2009

Getting Heard: (Re)claiming Performance Space is the third in a series of publications on art, culture and society released by Twaweza Communications. The aim is to bring to the fore conversations taking place in Kenya about identity, creativity, nationalism and the generation of knowledge. The series is also about the pursuit of freedom through arts, media and culture. In Getting Heard the performance space is shown to offer wider possibilities for knowledge creation. It shows that in post-colonial Africa political leaders have consistently performed over their subjects at local and national levels. There is discussion of: Kenya National Theatre, Story Telling, Radio Theatre, Translation, African Languages, Music, Media and Mungiki This volume opens a window to our understanding of post-colonial Africa through performances.

Published by: African Books Collective

Front Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (210.3 KB)

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.4 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (37.8 KB)
pp. iii

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.2 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (63.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii

This book is the result of ongoing work on media, art and culture at Twaweza Communications with funding from the Ford Foundation, Office of Eastern Africa. The project involves important discussions between academia and practitioners in media, art and culture...

read more

1. Njia Panda: Kenyan Theatre in Search of Identity

pdf iconDownload PDF (118.0 KB)
pp. 1-24

Nestled in a corner of the capital city Nairobi is an area whose relatively small size belies its importance as a significant historical site performing the evolving discourse on Kenyan identity. Separated from the heart of downtown Nairobi by the busy University Way which...

read more

2. From Intellectual Space(s) to Performance Space(s): Strategies of Speaking ‘Truth to Power’ in Bole Butake’s Drama

pdf iconDownload PDF (108.1 KB)
pp. 25-44

This chapter, in various ways, attempts not only to exhibit Bole Butake’s deployment of body and space as sites of performing and undermining power, but more importantly, his location within the black intellectual traditions. Similar to other black intellectual...

read more

3. Sigana and the fight for Performance Space in Kenya: A case for Indigenous Theatre in Kenya

pdf iconDownload PDF (87.0 KB)
pp. 45-56

Over the years, theatre has been performed in various forms and during occasions of varying significance. In Kenya, theater has indeed been under intense pressure, to an extent whereby it is seen as producing nothing. Nothing notable is reported about theatre in national...

read more

4. Fabricating Nationhood: Sigana (Narrative) as Theatre in Post-colonial Kenya

pdf iconDownload PDF (140.9 KB)
pp. 57-81

This chapter examines how popular theatre initiatives fabricate alternative nationhoods within the prevailing morass of a post-colonial polity. Whether it is in the representation of historical figures or the attempt at reconstructing new meanings from ancient mythologies...

read more

5. Radio Theatre: Interrogating the Developmental Narratives of Radio Drama in Kenya

pdf iconDownload PDF (112.9 KB)
pp. 82-96

Studies in the field of radio have explored the vastness of the medium and its usefulness in society. Specifically, the medium of radio is looked at as a relevant means of communication in Africa. These studies including those carried out by Richard Fardon and Graham Furniss...

read more

6. The Task of the African Translator

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.4 KB)
pp. 97-110

Given the number of languages and cultures, different histories either before or after the advent of colonialism, and uneven support of African languages in individual countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, anything loosely termed African translation will have to flow...

read more

7. African Languages as Key to African Identity

pdf iconDownload PDF (80.6 KB)
pp. 111-121

It is a known fact that languages are key to any people’s identity. However, in as much as this is a universal truth, African languages have not been given prominence in the African setting to play this major role effectively. Immediately after African states gained independence...

read more

8. Kiswahili: The Language of National and Regional Integration

pdf iconDownload PDF (124.7 KB)
pp. 122-147

The 2008 post-election violence in Kenya challenged in fundamental ways the country’s national identity. As a geographical space, the nation-state was put in jeopardy and risked fragmentation. Young people, angry and disappointed at the declaration of contested presidential...

read more

9. Politics as Performance: Disposession, Elite Transition and the Performative Exercise of Power

pdf iconDownload PDF (112.8 KB)
pp. 148-163

Performance is generally taken to be a measure of the net output of an action pegged or commensurate to the highest degree of a perceived expectation. Resultantly, the drive to perform has emerged as one of the leading push and pull factors of today’s world...

read more

10. A Kenyan Intro: Identity Politics in the Performances of a Kenyan Popular Music Band

pdf iconDownload PDF (88.1 KB)
pp. 164-174

The chapter describes the opening formula in the performances of a Kenyan popular music band, Ja’mnazi Afrika. The interest is in the group’s performances at the New Sesia Club, Wagon Hotel, Eldoret, where the group is – and has been for some time now...

read more

11. Mungiki: The Fourth Estate and Kenya’sPublic Enemy No. 1

pdf iconDownload PDF (104.9 KB)
pp. 175-191

These sombre and poignant words were first spoken to historian Maina wa Kinyatti by a peasant woman and Mau Mau veteran on July 07, 1978. It is just as well that we preface this review with that solemn reflection of the fate that befell the veterans and supporters...

About the Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (51.2 KB)
pp. 192

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (208.6 KB)

E-ISBN-13: 9789966028099
Print-ISBN-13: 9789966724434

Page Count: 204
Publication Year: 2009