Inspiring Change Through the Arts

CGC Nairobi's new-found partnership with Kwani? Open Mic, striving to address societal issues through spoken word and poetry.

October 17, 2023

The Nairobi Center values African culture and heritage and prides itself in sharing the continent's rich cultural tapestry through creative and liberal writing, as well as visual and performing arts. The Center has thus curated a platform for African writers and authors committed to documenting African content to share their work with a global audience. The Center also collaborates with various African foundations and trusts to advance and preserve African heritage through training, cultural diversity programs, and support for visual and performing arts.

One of the Center's recent and impactful partnerships is with Kwani? Open Mic, a remarkable trust that empowers individuals aged 18 to 40 to fearlessly express themselves without the constraints of external judgment. This is done through the captivating mediums of spoken word, poetry, and music. The Trust firmly believes in the transformative power of words to drive political, economic, and social change. 

kwani open mic

The majority of the gifted and talented performers, who are typically young and passionate about making a difference, utilize this platform to bring to light the pressing issues that plague Kenyan society. These issues range from the plague of corruption to the challenges of high living costs, the burden of youth unemployment, injustices in the judicial system, mental and emotional health concerns, and the ongoing struggle for women's rights.

The concept of "Open Mic" is relatively new within the Kenyan context, and the educational potential of spoken word and poetry is often underestimated. Consequently, advocating for social change through these artistic forms poses a unique set of challenges. It is precisely for this reason that the Nairobi Center has joined forces with Kwani? Open Mic to sponsor live events. These events have garnered considerable attention and acclaim, and the Trust has featured renowned artists like Juliani, an influential figure in Kenya known for his artistry, activism, and entrepreneurial spirit through the Center's sponsorship.

Through this collaboration, the Nairobi Center is striving to create a thriving space where African culture and the power of expression can shine brightly, fostering positive change within our society.