Ngatia Bryan is a performance artist, poet, writer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. His performances blend storytelling with poetry in a unique way. He goes by the moniker “Ngartia” while performing. This, he insists, contrives the art that lives within him.

 

Would you say you are the poet you wanted to be five years ago?

Am I the poet I wanted to be five years ago? No. And that is a good thing. Five years ago, I had no clue what kind of poet I wanted to be, I was reading a lot and writing a lot, but I had just gotten introduced to performance and it was changing the way I perceived self-expression. There are things that the me from days past thought I’d have done by now, like publish, that I haven’t accomplished yet. There are things I’m doing now that that guy couldn’t even imagine. Like writing some material for over an hour long performance and following it through.

Poetry is subjective and yet all talent needs to be nurtured. How has this fact influenced your work?

I think subjectivity is poetry’s strongest pillar actually; the fact that personal feelings and views are so intrinsic to the art. If we were all only aspired to objectivity, then our work would sound like reports and investigative journalism. My writing is for me, primarily. I need my biases, likes and distaste to hold a position of influence so I can keep myself rooted. I write to see myself, understand how I relate with the universe, how I think, make another baby step at this endless journey of self-discovery. It is being subjective that puts the human touch in art. Else, it wouldn’t touch people so. And would it really matter then? Realising the essence of writing for myself led to me producing work I am more in touch with. I don’t want to look back ten years from now and wonder how the heck I managed to be so pretentious.

Tell us a bit about Storyzetu and what your greatest desire for it is?

Storyzetu.com is a blog dedicated to providing a free and uncensored platform for young, emerging and established African voices in art. We put up fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and op-eds almost on a daily basis. We are also quite active on facebook, twitter, instagram and will be launching our YouTube channel soon. Recently, we joined the vibrant performance space that is Nairobi with concept events geared towards encouraging experimentation and pushing boundaries. It is run by a team of four: Hellen Masido, Tonny Muchui, Mutwiri Njagi and I. We initially meant it to be a place for us to collaboratively push our writing, but we soon realised the potential it held and followed that instead. Our desire is to host writing that sparks changes and influences progressive discussions in Africa. We hope to help in the continuous challenging of established retrogressive systems of thought and in the process; help young writers and performing artists develop their voices.

Storyzetu will be conducting a three-day spoken word workshop during the #Babishai2016 Poetry Festival. Tell us a bit about that.

In collaboration with Babishai-Niwe, we reached out to a number of Kenyan spoken word artists who have been instrumental in shaping the Kenyan Performance Poetry scene and they have agreed to attend the festival. The idea is for the workshop to be more of a thought exchange with our counterparts from around Africa who will be present during the festival. American Spoken Word is big online. We all draw inspiration or are influenced by it, whether directly or unconsciously.

Ngartia mic

Some of the questions we hope to explore are: How do we make our scene as big? How do we get our voices heard? How authentic is our work? What have we learnt so far? How do we use that to map out our future? How do we improve our performance and writing skills? What we are hoping to do is to take chats artists have while walking home from gigs, and throw them around for discussion, re-examine them and face what we fear most in them.

Why was it important for you to accept our invitation?

Other than the thought of Ugandan food? I attended the Kampala International Theatre Festival late last year and was enthralled by the piece of Uganda’s art scene that I was privileged to experience. That aside, I watched the festival unravel online last year and was quite excited by what was happening. Having read A Thousand Rising Voices and Boda Boda Anthem, the opportunity to work alongside those who have made that possible was quite thrilling. I also can’t wait to interact with artists from other countries… And of course Beverly can be quite convincing. Not that I needed much of it…

What are the two main subjects you find yourself constantly writing about?

Social issues and human relationships.

How do you feel towards art for social change?

Change is inescapable; we are in constant evolution. Art has the responsibility to be the crest of that wave – to lead the park into the next level of thought and perception – right there next to science and philosophy. Artists need to be progressive thinkers; we have the ability to touch the depths that other disciplines may not reach. We are with the people, therefore should speak to the people and for the people. Fight for them and talk to them at the same time. Art cannot run from addressing social change, and I am glad it cannot.

We look forward to hosting you. Any concluding remarks?

Does plantain have to be in season? If yes, will it be in season in August? Because the last time I was in Kampala, I couldn’t have enough of that.

DON’T MISS OUT!
Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

72 COMMENTS

  1. After going over a number of the blog posts on your web page, I honestly appreciate your technique of blogging.
    I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking
    back in the near future. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.

  2. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as
    exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

    Also visit my blog; Ilok Air Reviews

  3. I am now not positive where you’re getting your information, however great topic.
    I must spend some time finding out much more or working out more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was in search of this info for my mission.

  4. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Kudos

    My web site; Dermal Pearle Reviews

  6. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this web site.
    I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well.
    In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to
    get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly.
    Your write up is a great example of it.

    Also visit my webpage – duna-anapa.net.ru

  7. Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with
    us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Wonderful blog and terrific style and design.

    Feel free to visit my web-site :: Vigalix

  8. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read
    more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  9. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is beautiful price sufficient for me.
    In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did,
    the net shall be much more helpful than ever before.

  10. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice methods
    and we are looking to exchange solutions with other folks, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  11. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?

    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  12. Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest factor
    to remember of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst folks consider concerns that they just don’t realize
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing
    without having side effect , other folks can take a
    signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

    Also visit my webpage – http://23.95.102.216

  13. Excellent blog here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast!

    What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate
    hyperlink for your host? I want my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol.

    Also visit my web blog … Semzia Keto

  14. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your
    stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I actually
    like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re
    stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

    Here is my webpage … http://forum.m2clasic.ro/viewtopic.php?id=101022

  15. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue
    this in future. Lots of people will be benefited
    from your writing. Cheers!

    Here is my web page: polywebhost.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here