Lemn Sissay: Blogging Tides Nairobi Skies

Lemn Sissay: Blogging Tides Nairobi Skies

I’ve been attempting to write my thoughts on Nairobi and it’s like Juggling Jelly on a bouncy castle.  I’ve started this paragraph an hundred times only to crawl out of it splattered with the sticky goo of unintelligible sentences that obfuscate the true intention. Delete.  I guess I am not telling the truth. Paste. That’s it.  I guess that’s why I’ve not been making sense. Paste. That’s it.

So I’ll start at the beginning, the real beginning. The truth. The truth is there are times when I’m paid to  travel to an exotic place  which looks very impressive as a facebook update but in the midst of it all I  just don’t want to be there.  Paste.  I just don’t want to be there.  Paste. I just don’t want to be there. It’s got nothing to do with the Storymoja Hay Festival at Nairobi National Museum.

I do my job though.  It’s just that  I can’t take part in the in-between bits, the cocktails at The British Embassy, the dinners with the writers, the conversations with ex-pats, the social niceties, the hellos and goodbyes…. I hole up in my hotel room and make excursions to my next event and then scuttle back. It’s a condition that afflicts from time to time and when it gets me it gets me. .

I’m proud of the workshops and the performances I gave and I can’t ask for more from a literature festival  than the laughter at The School bell Rings  – a world class event under the Nairobi sky -  to  the tears with Precious Williams on stage. I met so many great writers. I like writers: Giles Foden, John Kampfner, Dinaw Mengistu, Precious Williams and many more.   So there it is. I’m not juggling Jelly any more. I’ve made a sandcastle to be washed away in the blogging tide while the sea corrugates the reflection of a plane which is neither taking me away or home.