Jahazi is an arts and culture journal whose vision is harnessing the wealth of artistic and cultural synergies in East Africa and how they are influenced by communities, even as they contribute to social change.
The Jahazi Journal is a knowledge sharing platform and a vehicle for mentor artists, theorists, cultural thinkers as well as the general enthusiast.
The journal aspires to be a bridge between theory and practice since clearly it is this synergy that can propel cultural thinking and artistic practice in the region to greater heights.
The Journal views cultures as dynamic and recognizes that human beings carry multiple and malleable identities, often expressed through language and art.
Culture is essentially a search for meaning about the world formulating, in this journey, certain value systems. It is
a driver and enabler of development.
Bantu Mwaura was the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Jahazi.
By the time of his death on 27th April 2009, aged fourty years, he was a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at the New York University, USA.
A week before his death, he had appeared on national television defending the rights of Mau Mau freedom fighters and castigating the post-colonial regime for betraying its citizens.
He was an intellectual artivist whose research was largely focused on examining how performance theory interfaced with theatre practice in Africa, how culture impacted and was influnced by real politics, and on the politics of performance space.
Bantu re-enacted the lives of ordinary citizens on stage through theatre and story-telling. He was at the centre of popular culture in Kenya and occasionally retreated to theorize on it.
During his life was arrested severally by the Kenyan police. His trademark dreadlocks and the power of his performance must have created the impression that he was radical and leftist in his thinking.
An award winning performing artist, director, playwright, storyteller, poet and university lecturer from Kenya, he was also a political and human rights activist and a cultural theorist who worked mostly with civil society organizations using theatre and performance in human rights and developmental work.
He worked with students, churches and prisoners at the Lang’ata Womens Prison.
His poetry is available in several journals and anthologies in English, Kiswahili and Gikuyu.
He was commissioned by organisations such as the World Council of Churches and the World Social Forum to write and perform poetry in international forums, performing poetry and spoken word in Europe, the United States and several countries in Africa.
In Kenya, Bantu appeared in the monthly poetry slams organised by Kwani? and was part of the Poetry Africa programme at the World Social Forum in Nairobi in 2007.
He taught poetry, storytelling and playwriting in different universities in Kenya and the United States and his plays were performed in Kenya, Zimbabwe, the USA and the UK.
We are privileged to have the support of the following organizations.
We currently do not accept unsolicited articles. If you would like to work with Jahazi or have your works considered for publication, please contact us.