Written by Elizabeth Ombati
Dayan Masinde had a lovely session with kids from Kibera Mpira Mtaani at the Publish your Own Book tent.
Excitement rent the air as the children took to their sitting positions readying themselves to publish their own books. “So far we have just written compositions in the classroom setting,” some could be heard whispering.
When Dayan asked if they loved to read, all hands were held up as they listed books they loved. They mentioned The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiongo, Kifo Kisimani by Kithaka wa Mberia, The Magic Calabash as among those they had enjoyed to read.
“What makes a good story?” The children felt that a good story should be captivating by having good drama. They listed Machachari on Citizen TV, XYZ on Kiss TV, Tahidi High and Papa Shirandula as among stories with a good drama going on. The Daily Nation’s cartoon by Gado, Tingatinga tales were also said to be good illustrations.
Dayan said a nice story also has to have a good title and cover. He introduced illustrators who would help the children to make good covers for their stories. They were Melitas Ogallo, Joel Siaga and Ndinda as the writer to help the kids to give colour to the stories.
The children were then engaged in a lively discussion to come up with ideas on a fictitious story. The title of the story was to be ‘The Most Embarrassing Toment…’
Before suggesting story ideas the children gave accounts of their most embarrassing moments.
“When I was in Form 1, I joined a group of girls who were noisemakers. Once the teacher found us making noise, took us to the staffroom and gagged our mouths with cello tape. We were lined up and other students were told ‘Socialize with them at your own risk’” said one of the children as the others laughed.
The children then came up with fictitious characters for a common start to a story. Afterwards each of the children was to give their own endings.
The children decided to write a story about Akulu. Her father was presenting a gift during her brother’s wedding ceremony aired in all TV channels only for Akulu to realize that his zip was open. What happened next?
The children’s common beginning went…
MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT!
One day, my father and I were attending a wedding at Uhuru Park. My brother Otongolo was getting married. The wedding was being broadcast live on many TV channels; even in the very famous Magoti TV. My brother is a very famous man, so many people had attended this wedding. His bride, Nyaboke looked very spectacular in her white gown.
When people started giving the newlyweds gifts, my father Mr. Odhiek stood in haste to gift the couple some dried fish he had travelled with from Ugenya.
I was sitting next to Maria, a friend of mine from Katumbo Primary School. When my father was just about to speak, Maria nudged me with her elbow, telling me that my father’s zip was wide open.
I was in dismay. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say. The camera men were focusing on my father, unaware of his zip situation. I tried to signal him, but I was too hidden in the crowd to get his attention.
I was still trying to compose myself as fast as I could. I quickly strode to the dais despite the dense atmosphere.
“EXCUSE ME BABA, YOUR ZIP IS WIDE OPEN,” the speakers blared all over Uhuru Park! I had forgotten that the microphone was on.
The whole crowd went silent. Everyone stopped murmuring, staring at my dad……………