Celebrating East African Writing!

Memories of the Storymoja Hay Festival 2012

It was truly inspiring, not just to hear the writers gathered together, but to meet all the exceptional people we came across every day: performers, poets, schoolchildren, musicians – I felt we had been allowed a  glimpse into the spirit of Kenya.Imtiaz Dharker, Scottish/Pakistani Poet

The fourth international Storymoja Hay Festival was a feast of writing, performance, music, laughter and celebration of ideas, and we could not have asked for a more beautiful and culturally appropriate home than the Nairobi National Museum.

The four days was a heady, thought provoking mix of discussion and performance, from Giles Foden who wrote The Last King of Scotland, to performances by the electric Lemn Sissay.

The Storyhippo Village had storytelling, Robotics by the UoN Fab Lab and our most popular session Publish Your Own Book in two hours….and of course much more. This year, we were also honoured with Chinese writer Jung Chang delivering the inaugural Wangari Maathai Memorial Lecture.

One of the highlights was Dinaw Mengestu receiving a phone call at the festival informing him that he had won the prestigious Macarthur Genius Award.

We wanted to share with you some of the memories from the Festival:

A taste of the Storymoja Hay Festival: watch the video here:

The inaugural Wangari Maathai Memorial Lecture was delivered by the Chinese writer and historian Jung Chang – she received two standing ovations in what was one of the highlight sessions of the Festival. Listen to the Lecture Here.

Watch two young fans share their ‘one of the most interesting experiences of their life’ here.

Read about the controversial Miguna Miguna session here.

Share your Storymoja Hay Festival memories with us: Write to

Tell us, what were your favourite moments from the Storymoja Hay Festival 2012, and share your photos with us. You stand a chance to win a personalized signed Storymoja book of your choice.

Also tell us, what would you like to see at next year’s Storymoja Hay Festival, and was there anything you would like to see done differently next year?


Upcoming Events

The Storyhippo Village was too much fun this year, and we have decided to do it all over again! In December, we will be having our very first ever kids festival – stay tuned for more news.

Keep your ears to the ground for our Festival Celebration Dinner; a glamorous African Masked Ball celebrating the journey of the Storymoja Hay Festival, and launching our exciting Champions of the Festival.

Hay Festival Dhaka, Bangladesh.



This entry was posted on November 12, 2012 by in Writer's Blog.
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