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2017 Earlybird tickets

box office 01497 822 629

Here is our first batch of Earlybird tickets. The full programme will be available in April.
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Mshai Mwangola

Disrupting Sanitised History: The ICC Witness Project


Powerful readings from ‘Their Justice Shall Be Our Justice: A Dialogue on the ICC Witness Project’, which originally appeared in The New Inquiry. The ICC Witness Project is a collaboration between Kenyan poets to imagine and amplify the voices of some of the missing witnesses for the ICC trial, to make sure the victims and survivors of the post-election violence that rocked Kenya in 2008 are not forgotten. Curated by Mshai Mwangola.

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Dr Neal Hall, Mongane Wally Serote and Binyavanga Wainaina

Black Identity

Event 79 Venue: KANGA TENT

Mongane Wally Serote was arrested by the apartheid government and spent nine months in solitary confinement. His poems explore themes of political activism, the development of black identity, and violent images of revolt and resistance. Dr. Neal Hall’s award winning book Nigger For Life, reflects his painful discovery that in ‘unspoken America’, race is the one thing by which he is first judged, by which he is first measured and against which his life and accomplishments are measured. Binyavanga Wainaina is the founding editor of Kwani? literary journal. His no-holds-barred Granta essay How to write about Africa drew wide-spread international attention. His memoir One Day, I Will Write About This Place made Oprah Winfrey’s list. In a free ranging discussion, these three powerful writers explore black male identity.

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Blogging In Kenya

Event 80 Venue: FORD HALL

Join David Mugo (BAKE Kenyan Blog of the Year:, Njeri Wangari (POWO and,Jackson Biko (BAKE Creative Writing Winner: and Emmie Kio (Tracking The Agricultural Scent: as they talk to Robert Kunga of the Bloggers’ Association of Kenya about their passions online and off.

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Betty Kairo

Learning Through Play

Event 81 Venue: DISCOVERY HALL

Through play, children learn about themselves, their environment, people and the world around them; children learn to solve problems, to enhance their creativity and develop leadership skills and healthy personalities. Learn how you can enhance your child’s learning capabilities through play.


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Kwame Nyon’go

I Love Ugali and Sukuma Wiki

Event 82 Venue: KOKO RIKO TENT

This sequel to A Tasty Maandazi, is the latest children's book by Kwame Nyong’o which brings to life the world of a young African boy, Akiki, and his love for his favorite food - Ugali and Sukuma Wiki! In this interactive session, join animator and illustrator Kwame as he launches his new children’s book, and shares his secrets about breathing life into his characters. A must for budding artists and illustrators.

6+ years with parents


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Storyhippo Workshops


Come to the Storyhippo Village for awesome Science Experiments, Fab Lab Robotics, Art and Crafts. There’s something for everyone! Drop in between 11AM–4PM.

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Innovate Kenya

Innovation Workshop - Hackathon

Event 84 Venue: SHIDAS TENT

You have the creative freedom to design the future you want, and to find solutions to problems you see in the country. Let the innovation begin!


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Anna Hibiscus


Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always someone to laugh and play with. She loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow. Hear all about it from the great storyteller and writer, Atinuke!

Children and parents

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Gallery Tour of the Museum


An exclusive behind-the-scenes guided tour with the curators of the various exhibitions. Meet at the Museum Customer Service Desk and collect your voucher.

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Teju Cole, Keguro Macharia and Ross Van Horn

#SmallFates on Twitter


#SmallFates are the little tragedies in life that we miss, or glance over. They are about the small fates of ordinary people. They are life in raw:

With a razor blade, Sikiru, of Ijebu Ode, who was tired of life, separated himself from his male organ. But death eluded him.

There were 119 first-class graduates from the University of Lagos this year, some of whom deserved it.

The #smallfates initiator Teju Cole is joined by consultant Ross Van Horn and Keguro Macharia, blogger and professor to talk about the #smallfates that have trended across the world.

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Punchline Poetry

The State of the Poetry Nation

Event 89 Venue: KANGA TENT

A conversation between the heads of the poetry families on the past, present and future of Kenyan poetry. A discussion on style, art, written vs performance poetry, the future of Spoken Word and the business of poetry.

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Paula Kahumbu

Hands Off Our Elephants

Event 90 Venue: FORD HALL

Renowned conservationist, Festival Director and National Geographic explorer, Paula Kahumbu talks about the stupidity of wearing ivory and why killing elephants is murder.

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Going for Gold

Event 91 Venue: DISCOVERY HALL

Journalist, writer and proud dad, Jackson Biko interviews a surprise guest about their life and times, their hurdles and triumphs.


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Jenny Valentine

Iggy And Me

Event 92 Venue: KOKO RIKO TENT

Jenny’s wonderful series of family stories featuring the mishaps and shenanigans of the irrepressible five-year-old Iggy, seen through the eyes of big sister Flo. Jenny hosts this creative workshop of collage-making and capers.

6–9 years with parents 

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Storyhippo Creative Arts Programme

Event 93 Venue: SHIDAS TENT

A fun writing workshop where you will learn how to breathe life into the characters that you dream up. Find out how to make your monsters scarier, your villains more evil and your superheroes even more powerful!

10–13 years with parents


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Wanjiku Mwangi

Nature, Ancestors and a 2 million year-old Elephant


Who are your ancestors? How well do you know your lineage? What does a 2 million year-old elephant have to do with any of this? Wanjiku, fondly known as Mama Porini, guides this interactive session.

10+ years with parents


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Peter Godwin, Juliet Barnes and John Sibi-Okumu

Growing Up White African


Zimbabwean Peter Godwin is author of Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, a memoir about growing up in Southern Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s during the Rhodesian Bush War. It was described by the Boston Globe as ‘devastatingly brilliant’ and ‘one of the best memoirs to come out of Africa’. Kenyan author Juliet Barnes wrote The Ghosts of Happy Valley, a history of Kenya’s Happy Valley houses, in which she explores their ‘tragedy, scandal and dubious legacy’. They swap stories about growing up White African. In conversation with our favourite black mzungu, John Sibi-Okumu.

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Mara Menzies



A truly beautiful children's production inspired by Ben Okri. The beautiful Starbird loves her tiny little starchicks and every evening when the sun sets, she flies up, up, up into the sky to light up the stars until they sing, giggle and glow. But when a greedy hunter enters her magical forest, her whole world changes forever…Powerful storytelling theatre with a dazzling fusion of music from around the world, story, dance, stunning costume and puppetry.

6+ years and families

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Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg Ph.D, Michael Onsando, Jackson Biko and two other leading media personalities

FemAttack - Media Misogyny


Portrayal of women by the media is still so chauvinistic, outdated and playing to stereotypes. This panel fiercely debates what can be done to change attitudes and improve the portrayal of women in the media.

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Richard Crompton and Kinyanjui Kombani and Nicola Miyawa Munene

Tribal Violence Inspires Fiction

Event 97 Venue: KANGA TENT

Author of The Honey Guide Richard Crompton talks about his unputdownable fictional murder mystery set in Kenya in the aftermath of the post-election violence. Kinyanjui Kombani, author of The Last Villains of Molo, set against the background of the 1991 so-called tribal clashes in Molo, examines the role of children in the conflict, and shows the predicament of the young people, who were only children then but who are now adults with questions in their minds, and anger in their hearts. They talk to the broadcaster and reader Nicola Miyawa Munene.

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