chris@okemwa.com |

3rd Spring and Poetry Festival in Istanbul, Turkey

I was a guest poet at the 3rd Spring and Poetry Festival in Istanbul, Turkey,  from 11th to 13th May 2018. Other guest-poets included Ion Deaconescu, Yasar Mirac, Rati Saxena, Laura Garavaglia, Deniz Durukan, Ihsan Tevfik, Metin Kaygalak, Mehmet Altun, Salahattin Yolgiden, Jeton Kelmendi, Mehmet Said Aydin, Dmytro Chystiak and Mina Gligoric.

During the festival, we had music Concert by Haluk Çetin (Guitar and Vocal), Selçuk Korku (Piano) and Selen Korku (Vocal). We also had Music concert by Tres Ensemble. The most interesting activity was on Friday 11th May 2018 about the Commemoration for Tevfik Fikret and Poetry Performance at location of Galatasaray Society. Another fascinating activity was the Boat Tour at the Bosphorus on Saturday 12th May 2018.

On Sunday May 13th 2018, the closing Speeches were given by Ataol Behramoglu and Tahir Doğaç (Acting Mayor of Beşiktaş).

During the festival I mainly presented oral poetry from the Abagusii community of Kenya where I come from. One of the most interesting pieces was titled Mogisangio Akoreke Ekee (My friend, Make a Plate of Reeds), which went as follows:

Mogisangio Akoreke Ekee

Mogisangio akoreke ekee
Ekee nyaboundi
Ekee ekio akeimokie
Akegore kagena
Akagena k’engoko
Akagena akwo akaimokie
Akagore kabori
Mbori ena manwa
Kabori akwo akaimokie
Akagore ng’ombe
Ng’ombe euta rioro
Ng’ombe eyio anyeimokie
Anyegore ‘monto
Monto aibora abana
Abana ebirachuoki
Birachuoki mbiagita ‘mochie
Omochie risangaka

My Friend Weave a Twig-Plate

My friend, weave a twig-plate
A twig-plate made of straw
Take the twig-plate
Trade it with an egg
The egg of a hen
Take that egg
Trade it with a goat
A goat with a young one
Take that goat
Trade him with a cow
A cow that is stronger and feared by others
Take that cow
Trade her with a human being (lady)
The human being to sire children
Children that are fencing trees
Fencing trees to protect the homestead
A homestead that is large.