Too Early For Birds is a performance show of the stories that feature on the Kenyan historical blog written by Owaahh. The performances will be the stories of heroes and heroines like Mũthoni Nyanjirũ and Otenyo Nyamaterere who played key roles in fighting for the freedom of our country.
These stories are often untold in the national arena and not taught in the school curriculum. Other stories that will be performed will be those of the dark events of the Nyayo house torture chambers during the censorship days of former president Moi.
These are some reasons why this show is a must attend.
When you want to oppress a society, you take away their stories. From the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, to our own oppression under the yoke of colonialism, one of the things that we have in common is the fragmenting of our rich culture. This culture passed through generations through storytelling. It is from these stories that we got to know our heritage and learnt to be proud of it.
When the colonialists came, the structures of our society became destroyed due to insensitive mapping of our land. Separation of communities and families and forced labour on farms meant that we could no longer learn about our history from our elders. Without pride in our heritage and lack of knowledge in our history, we would easily be oppressed.
Too Early For Birds helps to bring back storytelling which is so central to African culture. It is a way of passing information on the past so that we can understand who we are as a nation and take pride in that.
You must understand where you are coming from to know where you are going. Through the performances on the Nyayo House Chambers used to torture former president Moi’s critics, we can avoid some of the mistakes that our parents made and vote more wisely to avoid putting a dictator in power. A glimpse into those dark days will probably give us the jolt we need to take an interest in national politics and understand it’s effects on our lives. It will also help to align our vision back towards the brave men and women who fought with their blood to make Kenya a democratic and transparent state. We must not let their efforts go to waste. It is through the telling of their stories that we will know how far we’ve come and guard their legacy fiercely so that we never go through those dark days again.
Telling our stories decolonizes our history. Much of the high school history curriculum focuses on an account of the world wars, the cold war or the Agrarian revolution. Our history books are very bias as the chapters on African heroes and particularly Kenyan heroes and the fight for independence are very little. Sometimes, it’s even reduced to just a paragraph. You leave high school knowing a lot more on an Austrian archduke whose assassination started world war one and next to nothing on Mũthoni Nyanjirũ who rallied 8,000 Kenyans to push for the release of Harry Thuku.
Through the performances of the stories on Owaahh’s blog, we can learn about most important history which is our own history.
The stories will be performed by storytellers Abu Sense and Ngartia. The first volume of ‘Too Early For Birds’ happened on May 17th at The Kenya National Theatre. The second show is happening on two days, the 29th and 30th of July.
Tickets to the June show are available: Early bird tickets go for Ksh. 800 until 30th June, after that advance tickets are Ksh.1000 and tickets are available at the gate for Ksh. 1500. Buy the tickets on M-Pesa using this number 0706 299032.