Screw Power Lists. Here’s a pick ‘n’ mix selection of some young people who are actually doing things. In this #EyesOn2016 series, they tell us what’s going to blow up in 2016.
Abigail Arunga is a Kenyan writer. She wrote and published the poetry book, Akello, and sold thousands of copies independently.
Tell us about your poetry book Akello. What was it like to get it to publication?
It was a battle, but one I fought with good friends by my side. My cousin Ian Arunga helped me with everything else once I had actually gotten the poems together and my niece Awuor was my personal assistant throughout the harrowing journey… it was crazy. Publishing houses won’t touch a poetry book because it doesn’t sell but how else is someone supposed to get published? So I just did it myself. In fact, we should all just rebel and publish ourselves. The bureaucracy is ridiculous.
What are you going to remember 2015 for?
2015 was pretty hard. There was a lot of brokeness, a lot of questioning and a lot of soul searching. Am I going to remember 2015, or am I just going to be glad that I made it? I made it.
Who and what do you think is going to blow up in 2016?
Blow up… I think one of my favourite female vocalists, Dela, is going to do major things. She just did a cover of Adele’s Hello, that, in all honesty, is the best cover I’ve heard and she deserves to be huge. Her voice is delicate and powerful at the same time. I love it.
What’s keeping you busy in 2016?
Launching an anthology with a fellow female talented poet, Wanjiku Mwaurah, under the Over Coffee banner, and launching my own book soon after, an online chapbook with a little more sensuality than my readers are already used to. The human body is a beautiful thing, and it deserves to be celebrated. And boy, do I celebrate it in this volume.
Follow her on Twitter @abigailarunga
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