Too Early For Birds: A Journey Through Kenyan History [Maureen Wakarindi]

There’s a saying that goes: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

If you were like me, the thought of having history as a subject in high school must have given you a cold sweat. You see, in my mind, the textbook would only have rows upon rows of names and dates in history that I was supposed to memorise. I was a already fascinated with world history courtesy of a cartoon that used to be aired on TV called Time Squad. I LOVED it, and the way history was unfolded in the cartoon made me rarely, if ever, miss an episode.

If you were like me, you probably found Kenyan history boring. Don’t get me wrong, our teacher was great, but Kenyan history was so cut and dried. Where was the drama? Where was the intrigue? Where were the dirty little secrets? Even the fights and liberation struggles were too brief, hardly more than a paragraph long. I probably heaved the biggest sigh of relief when we were done with Kenyan history.

If you were like me, you probably stumbled onto owaahh.com blog by accident. Actually, not really. You probably had that one friend on Facebook who used to share articles from his blog and one day you finally got curious enough to see what all the fuss was about. I remember the first article I read was about mysterious murders of women in Kenya, and I followed that rabbit hole till I found myself watching videos of African presidents being assassinated. I just couldn’t stop. The way the stories were crafted, the incredible skill it took to make them not only factual, but also entertaining in how intimate little details were sprinkled here and there made me feel like I was reading about the real Kenya. This was what had been missing all along in the history books. That human connection.

If you were like me, you probably thought that’s as good as it was going to get, right? Wrong.

Enter Too Early for Birds. Incase you’ve lived in a hole for the past one year or so, I’ll tell you what this is. The official description is that Too Early for Birds is Too Early For Birds is a storytelling production that takes tales off Owaahh.com to bring them to life with an aim to inspire awe,terror and admiration. Every civilization exists on stories. On memories. Legends weave the fabric that shapes how people view themselves andtheir history. It defines their esteem and dignity. It is through stories that countries form perceptions of heroes and instances that defined their futures, failures and successes.The team behind Too Early For Birds, which is includes some of the finest performance artists in the country – led by Abu Sense and Ngartia, has gone back into the timeline of Kenya seeking out moments that built who we are as a people. The result is stories of sweat, blood and sheer courage. Raging from resistance against the British colonialists to standing against cold-blooded dictators. Most of which were never taught in school.

MY description is that Too Early for Birds is a showcase of an alternate, yet true reality. A reality where Kenya existed before being ‘discovered’ by settlers. Areality where even though we were colonised, we refused to be oppressed. A reality where our joys, our pains, our triumphs, our heritage as Kenyans is not whitewashed. We were there from the beginning, and Too Early for Birds proudly puts that bold statement out there.

The first time I attended the show, I was blown away, not just by the talent on stage, but also by the way the stories I’d read were brought to life. I was right there through every laugh, every gasp, every shocking statement, every revealed truth. There was absolutely no other place I’d rather have been.

That’s the past and, you know, yaliyo ndwele sipite.

Too Early for Birds will be making a special appearance at the Storymoja Festival 2017 on Thursday, 28 September. The show will be at the Louis Leakey Auditorium at the Kenya National Museum and will start at 7pm. Tickets for the show are 1000 advance and 1500 at the gate,which you can get at M-Pesa Buy Goods Till Number 734196. The tickets are going really fast so get yours while stocks last! You can also send an email to tooearlyforbirds@gmail.com or call 0706 299 032 for more information.

If you are like me, you have already booked your seat and you’re counting the days to the biggest show this year at the biggest book party in East Africa. If you are not like me, what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a ticket and I’ll see you there. Trust me, there’s no other place you’d rather be.

HINT: The opening line of the play will be, “The road is dusty as it can get in the heart of Kangundo.”

Aren’t you curious? I know I am.

 

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