They say man is least himself when he talks about his own self, give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth. Poetry provided the perfect mask to talk about my struggles and experiences in a cathartic way.
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 20, 2020/-- As Kenyans celebrate their national heroes and heroines on the 11th Mashujaa Day, Kikao is lucky to converse with one impeccable writer, poet and performer. In the interview, Vickie Ngunjiri delves into her elegantly composed work and the beautiful way of narrating it. She also touchs on publishing on Instagram, her inspiration and what she is currently reading.
Let Kikao begin...
[Question 1] Welcome to Kikao. Introduce Vickie Ngunjiri.
Vickie Ngunjiri has been and is a lot of things, but at the core of them all has been artistic expression. I am a seeker, a writer, a thinker (and maybe a teacher) all somehow connected through artistic expression. In my free time, I am a poet and once in a while a performer.
[Question 2] Going through your work, one can’t miss the deep and witty pieces that allow for both pleasure and resolution. Share with us the poetic journey.
My poetic journey was initially intended for healing. They say man is least himself when he talks about his own self, give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth. Poetry provided the perfect mask to talk about my struggles and experiences in a cathartic way.
After I found “healing” it changes into a way of evoking thought, as a means of teaching. I cause you to think about something and hope that in the process, you learn.
Where your beliefs lie – Vickie Ngunjiri
How did you pick what side of the war to fight from?
Was it the ideologies you defend,
Or the ones against which you fight?
How is this war yours?
Can you even tell the difference,
Between the beliefs that you have,
And those that have you?
How many times have you died on that battle field?
Is this where your god meets his people?
You plead allegiance to creed chanting battalions,
And cult-like devotion to doctrines that defy logic.
Your convictions choke you,
And pass judgment where you fall short,
Is this what you swear by?
Your faith was meant to set you free.
Look at what you’ve done to yourself.
Look at what you’ve done to yourself.
[Question 3] You have an utterly unique way of communicating beyond words that creates visual art. What’s in your visual poetry?
I’ll be honest with you, I often go for visual poetry because it’s easy. I aim to make you see what I came up with or thought of. Pretty simple.
[Question 4] Publishing on Instagram; why Instagram and how has the experience been?
Instagram is convenient for my current writing style. I write in as few lines as possible and posting 4-5 line poems is pretty common on Instagram. It’s a whole community.
Having switched from a blog, I can say IG is fun. It allows for the kind of interaction I aim for with the thought provoking pieces either through DMs or in the comment section. I have made friends (and sworn enemies) purely from conversations around the poetry I post.
[Question 5] You draw attention to everyday stuff that is so familiar yet ignored or held in disdain. Could you speak to that a little bit?
My inspiration comes from one of the first poets I knew, even before discovering spoken word in Kenya. Her name is Sophia Thakur. She says that there is poetry in everything. Every single life experience from walking in the sun to watching kids play can be poetic and her work reflects that.
[Question 6] There is only 2 months of 2020 left. How has your year been?
It’s been a crazy one, this 2020. But being indoors has allowed me to think and organize my thoughts on so many different things. This has in turn translated to creating a lot of content. I have never written this much in a single year.
[Question 7] What books are on your night stand?
I swear by Apollo –Margaret Ogolla
Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo
12 rules of life – Jordan Peterson
An English translation of the Quran
The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for Vickie Ngunjiri – of Vickie Ngunjiri
Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of Vickie Ngunjiri