This past weekend I was treated to a very beautiful and refreshing experience. I attended a book club meeting. But this is not just any book club it is a very different experience.
This book club is a unique for many reasons. First of all it’s the venue. The venue is the Pointzero Café located at the Nairobi Gallery at the corner of Posta Road and Kenyatta Avenue next to Nyayo House. The name Pointzero as explained by one of the proprietors is because the Nairobi Gallery is in the centre of Nairobi and from here is where distances from all corners of the country were measured.
Another unique feature is the fact that the book club tries to explore African literature by women. The books to be discussed were Mariama Ba’s ‘So long a letter’ and Taiye Selasi’s ‘Ghana must go’. The books written at different times but have very similar themes. In January they invited Yvonne Owuor, the author of Dust, to discuss her book.
The book club is also accompanied by a coffee tasting. This weekend we tasted Kenya’s Blue Mountain Coffee. One of the founders of the Pointzero Café, Andrea, taught us how to taste coffee by going through the4s’s of coffee tasting; smell, slurp, situate and speak. She also taught us that like wine, every blend of coffee has its preferred food pairings.
Wandia Njoya was also there to talk about the book ‘So long a letter’. Wandia Njoya is a lecturer and Head of Department of Language and Performing Arts at Daystar University, a blogger and an activist both online and offline. She helped us understand the context of the book and she dropped some gems about love and life.
The atmosphere of the book club is very calm, positive and intellectual. It’s a great place to learn something new and participate in a great conversation. The discussions will make you think about life and the society we live and they might even change your mind and view of the world. It’s also a great place to meet interesting people and make some friends. There was a mixture of young and old people from different backgrounds and different countries.
What stood out to me the most is that there was a performance of a few chapters. The performances really brought the book to life in a very unique way. The experience cannot be compared to watching a movie or even a play. It’s an experience all on its own that you will have to go to experience to appreciate.
The book club is free but they encourage donations to keep the book club going and pay the performers and it is worth the donation. The meeting is set to be every third Saturday of the month. The book club starts at 11 am which means you can sleep in and it ends at 2 PM. In the next meeting is a continuation of the discussion of Mariama Ba’s ‘So long a letter’ and Taiye Selasi’s ‘Ghana must go’.
Be sure to attend. You will not regret it.
Featured image via wblibrary.org.