Reading connects us.
It was around July last year (2020), when the thought came to me about driving people to read Kenyan works and support the unknown voices. I had initially started a BookTube channel to see that readers get to know about Kenyan authors as well as thrive in my favourite element, being a reader and being able to share my enthusiasm with the world.
Thanks to Soila Kenya, who hosted the Afro-fantasy Lit Readathon in July, that encouraged me to do the same. I started planning for it without anticipating the number of people that would really take part. I had also convinced myself that my social media would not be responsive as much but I was so mistaken.
So two weeks to September, I made the announcement video and shared it to my Booktube channel, then went on to spread the word on our twitter page, my Instagram and Facebook as well. If you could’ve met me early last year and asked if i preferred twitter i would simply tell you , i don’t know how to follow some conversations and controversies that are somewhat heavy. I would even tell you, my content on there would not have any impact since i had about 300 followers? Or 70 , i cannot quite remember the exact number. But then, the readathon gave me purpose to be active on it as well for i wanted to get more international people to join in.
#readkenya #readkenyan #kenyanreadathon become a melody in my head. No post would go live without those hashtags.
I created a resource document with some of the Kenyan works that I had stumbled upon and a list of some of our authors per category. I had much fun creating that document, honestly speaking. It gave me the chance to explore many names that had been long forgotten . I gave it my all and hoped it would be helpful to the readers.
I also tried to make the reading marathon as fun as possible. So i created weekly prompts and challenges to guide those who read.
I was active on my social media just so I could answer any questions and give personal book recommendations. Yes, it was a ride for someone who had not been used to social media as much. I tried to keep up with the posts and shared everyone’s reads. It was a marathon itself but mind blowing.
Tell you what! The response was very positive. More than I had expected. I was moved and overwhelmed! I made new friends and read very good stories.
I was also privileged to host eight creatives on Instagram live sessions. The first was Kinyanjui Kombani, the author of Den of inequities then I had six poets, Lexas Mshairi, Norman, Mufasa, Teardrops, Toonhood and Revolutionary spitter! Then lastly I hosted Ida Kemunto, the author of Sins of my father. Remember , this was my first time doing this so you can imagine hosting all these amazing people without shying away.
It was a fantastic week, and i had an amazing time engaging with those creatives, it gave me the confidence to keep on talking about our authors and their amazing works.
End of recap
The Second edition is here and i am so excited!
I created new prompts for this edition as well,
They are more like those from the first edition , I just shuffled them.
Then i have different individuals that i will host on the instagram live sessions.
So save the dates and time!!
I am hoping to have more people from all over to join in and read Kenyan works with us.
Here’s where to find the book recommendations : Kenyan Readathon resource document