The Play

The Story

Tales of the Accidental City is a play about four residents of Nairobi who find themselves stuck together in a three-day anger management class after being accused by the courts of various misdemeanors. Diana, Jacinda, Louis Njoroge, and Sarah Obama must explain what got them there, and with the help of their quirky counsellor Rose, find a way to heal the wounds inflicted on them by life in the crazy city of Nairobi.

Nairobi

In 2019, eight Nairobi-based writers got together to write a collection of stories inspired by their city. Humans of the Nairobi sought to explore Nairobi 120 years after its ‘creation’.

Once a seasonal swamp on the edge of a forest, Nairobi was not meant to be more than a railway depot for people and goods on their way elsewhere. Today, Kenya’s capital city is home to over four million people. It’s a throbbing metropolis in which dreams collide and where lives are swallowed up and spat out again. A place where some come to run away from the ghosts of their past, some finding respite, others carrying their demons with them.

Through this portrait of Nairobi, the authors tell the story of many African cities challenged by population growth, inequality and social injustice.

Tales of the Accidental City is an adaptation of four stories from this collection: Black Paint by Sitawa Namwalie , Banana Jam by Kevin Mwachiro , Finding Home by Margaret Muthee and God is My Witness by Maïmouna Jallow.

Our Journey

Tales of the Accidental City was originally written for the stage and as an audio drama by playwright  Maïmouna Jallow

When Covid-19 hit, and faced with the reality that the play would not be able to be staged in front of live audiences, Maïmouna adapted it into a screen-play.

In came Director of Photography Gregory Kiwo and Editor Faith Musembi , and together with a fantastic cast and crew, she directed an experimental home-made feature-length film in which ‘Zoom’ is the stage. The result is a true celebration of literary and performance art. And a testament to the power of adaptability!

A Positively African production, supported by grants from the
African Publishers Innovation Fund and the African Culture Fund.

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Sitawa Namwalie

Sitawa Namwalie is an award winning Kenyan poet, playwright and performer known for her unique dramatized poetry performances which combine poetry and traditional Kenyan music. “Cut off My Tongue,” her first performance was performed in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and at the Hay Festival 2009. In 2010 “Cut off my Tongue” was selected by the Sundance Theatre Lab in the first East African Sundance Lab held on Manda Island. Sitawa’s growing body of work includes dramatized poetry productions and plays, “Homecoming” (2010), “Silence is a Woman”, (2014), “Black Maria on Koinange Street” and “Room of Lost Names” (2015), “Taking my Father Home” (2020). Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and publications including; “Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets”. Anthonia C. Kalu, Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, editors 2013.

Kevin Mwachiro

Kevin Mwachiro is a writer, journalist, podcaster, and queer activist. Kevin’s first book is, Invisible – Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community. He was part of the editorial team for Boldly Queer - African Perspectives on Same-sex sexuality and gender diversity. His first play, Trashed was published in the anthology Six in the City – Six Short Plays on Nairobi and his poems are published in the Pan African queer anthology, Walking the Tightrope.   His most recent work is the short story, Number Sita is that is published in the anthology, Nairobi Noir.  In 2017 he launched a story-telling podcast, called Nipe Story, which produces audio versions of short-story fictional stories from the African continent. Working in collaboration with the Gay Kenya Trust and the Goethe Institut – Nairobi, Kevin is a co-founder of the Out Film Festival which is the first LGBTQI film festival in East Africa. Kevin currently serves on the board of the LGBQ coalition, Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya – GALCK and Amnesty International- Kenya.

Margaret Muthee

Margaret Muthee is a trained journalist and writer working and living in Kenya. She is an upcoming African writer who has been part of various writing events across the region. She is part of the Amka Literary Forum. She was part of the 2015 Writivism Workshop and later a mentorship program that saw her under the mentorship of Richard Ali (Nigeria). Other workshops she has attended include Story Moja and the Miles Morland Workshop (July 2017). Her short stories have been published by One Throne Magazine, Lawino Magazine, Brittle Paper, and Bahati books which published the short story collection, A Season for Mending. In 2019, Margaret was part of the team that organized the Macondo Literary Festival. She is keen on developing her creative writing skills and hopes to get more published in the future.

Maïmouna Jallow

Maïmouna is a storyteller, editor, playwright and director. In 2018 she received the Sanaa Theatre Award for Best Narrative Theatre for her adaptation of Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, which she toured internationally. Maïmouna is also the editor of Story Story, Story Come - a collection of 12 re-imagined folktales from across Africa (Pavaipo/Ouida Books 2018). In 2019, she published a children’s book in collaboration with Book Dash, entitled I am the Colour of Honey” on identity. She is the writer and director of Tales of the Accidental City.

Gregory Kiwo Maole

Gregory Kiwo Maole is the Founder and CEO of Kiwo Films Limited Filming Company. Specialized in lights and grips and as a camera operator, he has eleven years of local and international experience in short and feature-length films, TV series, talk shows, documentaries, reality TV, music videos, commercials and more. Kiwo is a two-time winner of the Kalasha Awards for Best Lighting Technician (2017 /2014). In 2018 he was awarded the Machawood prize for Best Cinematography and Best Set Design & Props for his Sci-fi movie Solo. In 2020 he directed his first feature-length film Chequemate.

Faith Musembi

Director of Photograph and Video Editor

 

Faith Musembi is a filmmaker with a deep affection for masterful storytelling through motion pictures. She has crafted award winning films including CHUMA, Underwater Treasures and Salt Water Survivors. Her documentary films aim to educate about the natural world, while including local communities as experts in their own narratives. Her narrative fiction films showcase the beauty and complexity of the African continent’s collective past and present. Faith currently plies her trade as the creative force behind Faimus Films based in Nairobi, where she is in constant pursuit of the wedded bliss evoked by the perfect marriage of the written word, moving images and sound.