Said Suleiman Ali is phenomenal poet based in Zanzibar, he is the founder and director of the prominent CHAKUWAZA (CHAMA CHA KUENDELEZA WASHAIRI ZANZIBAR) a Swahili poetry organization.
Haji Gora Haji is a poet, a writer and a minstrel whose art remained largely unknown to a wider Swahili public until the publication of his brief anthology Kimbunga (The Hurricane) in 1994. For forty years he has been active in a broad spectrum of Swalili literature. He is a word artist in the true Swahili tradition.
Issa Amiri Kilimo was born on the 12th December 1988, in the Tanga region of Tanzania.
He only went school until 3rd year in ‘O’ levels, he couldn’t go further due to life hardships. It was during this time he decided join different art groups that were anchored in Traditional Dance (Ngoma), Theatre, and Poetry.
Through these groups, he has been fortunate to participate in various workshops and ‘Swahili Slam Poetry’ competitions.
He has been featured in films, and various radio adverts.
Maalim Omari Bakari Kichapwi’s artistic alias is Wimbi Kuu, which means ‘the big wave’. He was born in 1945, at Uteta Rufiki in Kibambo village, in the region of Pwani in Tanzania.
He has loved poetry since he was a teenager. He used to relish reading poems from other Swahili poets.
He’s been writing in 1963.
Adidi S. Rugemalira’s artistic alias is ‘Best Mwami’ which translates ‘from the elder who is patient, and wise’. He was born in the region of Kagera, the district of Misenye, in 1962 in Tanzania.
He started composing poems in 1984 and he has published many of his poems in various media outlets within and outside the country. He’s also been part of various poetry contests. In 1985 he was the country winner of a poetry contest, sponsored by the ruling party CCM. They had requested poetry entries in celebrating their 18 years. He won a national contest sponsored by the newspaper ‘Uhuru’ in 1991.
To date he has composed over 800 poems.
Justine Kakoko, known to many as Brother GSP, is a passionate poet and Pan-Africanist living in Southern part of Tanzania. This 23 year old is a student at the University of Dodoma pursuing Bachelor of Arts and Public Administration.
He was inspired to start writing poetry by likes of Amiri Baraka, Last Poets, Mutabaruka, Alicia Walker, Saul Williams, his Comrade George Kyomushula and other many more.
Although, he does not get many opportunities to perform his work due to the lack of poetry events in his town he is determined to continue writing.
Odongo Kennedy Leakey, known in the entertainment industry as Kennet B, started writing spoken word poetry 14 years ago. He began performing actively in early 2009 after winning the Slam Africa Poetry Championship founded by Imani Womera of Imani Inc. Prior to this, he had recorded his first spoken word poetry single Reality Absurdity, the video for which is forthcoming. Driven by the global concern about HIV and AIDS, his lyrics are majorly pegged on the social issues that are responsible for the spread of the virus.
He has four albums on the table; Coming of Age, a seven track pure spoken word poetry album , Success a 15 track musical-poetry album, Cheka na Kennet, and Refugee.
Currently Kennet is working on a short stories compilation The Sheng Anthology vol 1. This is a collection of conflict-laden social narratives aimed at impacting the repeated emphatic distress felt when a favorite character is seen in imminent danger. This often enhances the enjoyment of the stories and one sees the resolution of the threat (HIV&AIDS) as the narratives unfold.
Lolani Kalu is a veteran Kenyan journalists, multi-linguist, musician, actor and comedian and Swahili poet. As a Journalist he has had a rare opportunity of interacting with Kenya’s diverse and rich arts and culture.
Lolani is the founder of Safari47.org, which was established as a way to identify, nurture and develop raw talent identified in 47 counties of Kenya.
Growing in the towns of Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi City, Jemedari is a spoken word poet and Hip Hop artiste. Having involved himself in poetry from school level competitions, his style is a gritty mix of English and coastal Swahili. His focus on topics is mainly politics and social justice, with the occasional dabbling in matters of the heart.
Grandmaster Masese is a Kenyan poet, actor, and writer as well as a Fahamu Pan African Fellow on Social Justice. He is also an Obokano player – a traditional harp from the Gusii community in western Kenya. Masese has performed in festivals across Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, India, The UK and Tanzania. He has been featured in numerous Kenyan online magazines. He has a band called Ritongo Afrika and is also a member of the Mstari wa Nne poetry group and Al Hazira FM comedians. He currently has three students who he teaches to play the Obokano – two young girls and the renowned poet and visual artist Mama Charlotte Hill O’neal.
Evans Nganga is a Kenyan contemporary artist, dancer, poet, yoga instructor and beadwork craftsman who concentrates on performing arts based on African traditions and modern art. The past few years have included months of varied art projects, workshops and performances with both local and international artists, choreographers and dancers and travel for research and performances.
He has received his artistic academic training through open forums, seminars and self study, while practical training included dance workshops and apprenticeship receiving instructions in choreography and electronic media at the tertiary level. Evans has choreographed a Solo Dance Piece titled the poem performed at Encounters from Africa festival, the annual festival of solos and duests at Goethe Institute in Nairobi and Dance Week in Kampala, Uganda.
Prof.Kithaka wa Mberia was born in 1955 in Tharaka in the Eastern Province of Kenya. He attended primary school in Tharaka before joining Chuka High School and then Alliance High School. In 1976, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1979. He later obtained an M.A. and PhD from the same university.
Since 1982 Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has been teaching and doing research in the Depertment of Linguistics and Languages, University of Nairobi. He has also taught in the United States of America as a Fullbright Scholar-in-Residence at Virginia State University, Petersburg. Moreover, over the years, he has taught students from several foreign universities and university colleges during their semesters in Kenya. He has also served as an External Examinor to both local and foreign universities. Besides publishing papers in academic journals, Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has to his credit numerous books of poetry and drama. These include Kifo Kisimani, Mchezo wa Karata, Natala, Bara Jingine, Maua Kwenye Jua la Asubuhi, Redio na Mwezi, Msimu wa Tisa and Zimwi la Theluji. Several of these books have been translated and published in English.