Written by Faith Oneya
I have watched him perform at numerous Open Mic and Spoken Word events so I am bound to wax lyrical about his electric performances. Michael defines himself as an artsy sports junkie.(Which explains a few things for those that have seen him in person and been enthralled by his words).You can catch him perform at Wamathai March ,Saturday 10th March 2012, at the Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom House.( https://literarychronicles.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/event-wamathai-march/)
LC: What did they call you as a child?
MK: My mum and dad used to called “Maiko”.My late uncle Zedekiah Amakabane used to call me “Mikaili”.My sisters and neighbors called me Skinny Balinki (Coz I was skinny).I was also called “Sir James” by my classmates in primary. They thought I was comical. I thought I was serious!
LC: Tell us more about yourself…
MK: Simply put…I am an artsy sports junkie…I love the arts and sport in equal measure. I have been a successful rugby player in another life, trying to break out in the world of art, music, poetry.My day job is as a Content Developer and Editor at a Nairobi publishing firm. I am the Media Officer for the Kenya Rugby Union and also do independent sports media consultancy. I am passionate about sport, the arts and music. These three can be fused to spread so many messages of love, peace hope and unity. My hobbies include rugby, soccer, travelling, reading, writing and music.
LC: If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
MK: Since this any one thing is not defined…. It would have to be her presence (If you find her bring her to me :))
LC: What book(s) are you currently reading?
MK: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare….I’m currently on “Taming of the Shrew”
LC: Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character from a book? Tell us about it.
MK: In all honesty…NO!! 🙂
LC: What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
LC: What kind of poet are you?
MK: Conscious poet…I think…
Well…I write about every day stuff…life…love…society….
Hence the definition…conscious poet….
LC :Do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allowing the words to flow?
MK: I think about my words…every poem to me is a story/narrative…there needs to be a flow….and it’s got to be structured
LC: When did you first start writing and were there any incidents in your life that made you want to write?
MK: Started writing in high school…on the teacher’s orders…Was pushed into further writing by my lecturer at University who saw the potential in me. I started writing about rugby after my team won the Kenyan league a few years back but got minimal press time. I started writing poetry after a girl broke my heart in unit…my first poems were painful….but with time I got to write about more.
LC: Who is your favourite writer/poet and for what reason are they your favourite writer?
MK: Njeri Wangari, Wanjiku Maura and Kennet B… for lack of a better word…they are on point
LC: Do you have a fauvorite poem among those you have written? If so, which one. Please write down a few lines from it
Letter from Kamiti
The afandes wake us at four
In the early morning
As the familiar rumble of guts
Negotiate the murky corridors
That smell of potent body odor
I’m thinking of bacon and eggs
The scent of your sweet perfume
But my thoughts are interrupted
By the 27 men in the 2 man cell next door
LC: Have you been published before? Any plans to do so?
MK:Well, My poem was published in Kwani? 5, my works are yet to be published…and yes I harbor plans of doing so…
LC: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass on to your children, what would it be?
MK: Modesty, Open Mindedness and Tolerance
LC: What question have you always wanted to be asked as a poet and how would you answer it?
MK: The one you have just asked!!!! 🙂 Honestly, I take the questions as they come, without thinking about the “perfect question”
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