|[image from www.elephantjournal.com]|
Spoken HeArt is a creative and performing arts club in Maseno University that was started in 2010 by a spoken word artist called Pink Poet and a few other artists, rappers, singers and the like. Pink wanted a place where artists from around our university could come together and perform. That way you'd be able to improve your art and gain confidence from the comments and critiques of other artists.
The sessions are usually on Thursday and scheduled to begin at 19:30 and are supposed to end at 21:30, but I can tell you after 3 years of attending these meetings, not once has one ended before 10pm. There's a list that goes round and if you feel like performing you can just write your name down, together with what you do and you'll be called up to perform at some point.
I joined Spoken HeArt about 3 years ago. I saw a poster on one of the notice boards in school and since it talked about poetry and art I thought I'd go and check it out. Until then, I had only attend one spoken word event, Wamathai's, and it was a lot of fun.
What I found there was a collection of incredibly talented people. The types of people that inspire you to greatness, bring you to tears, stir your emotion or simply make you gasp in surprise. Now, I'm not saying that everyone was world class, but it provided you with a space to grow, to improve.
For almost 2 years, I attended the meetings as an audience member; watched maybe hundreds of performances. One particular Thursday we had maybe 12 people in attendance and Pink felt that since we don't have so many people in attendance everyone should perform, which was cool considering the other 11 people were artists everyone except me.
I didn't really know what I was going to do. I didn't have any performing art skill, but then I thought of something I had been thinking of for some time. I always thought that I was a great story teller it was why I had a blog and why I have mad game.
When my turn came up I did a piece that inspired the post on the dudes my sister should stay away from. It was a heady moment when I realised that people liked my story. That I could make a large group of people of laugh and relate to my stories.
I've done tens of stories since that first one. I think I've improved massively since then. But for me the best thing about Spoken HeArt isn't that I get to perform in front of people or that I can put my pieces to a new audience; it's that real artists respect me, the "fake" artist, as creative and artistic. Even more than this is something that happened last week, a poet called Iyad, performed my post on Kenya Power in front of the entire club. It was a big moment for me.