Khainga O’Okwemba is both a journalist and a creative writer. He has published extensively in the Kenyan newspapers, Standard and Nation, and he is a former columnist with The Star newspaper where he penned the authoritatively weekly column, Literary Postcard. He is the author of the poetry collection, ‘Smiles in Pathos and Other Poems’, and has two forthcoming books: ‘Mama, I Too Want To Write’ (collection of essays); and ‘Garden of Grief’ (a novel). Khainga is the host of the premier literature/writers programme, The Books Cafe that goes on air every Saturday 2pm to 3pm on KBC Englsh Service radio. He also hosts and produces the Saturday Morning Interview on KBC English Service. He has probably interviewed many writers both from the continent and outside than any other Kenyan journalist. Khainga is the serving President of PEN Kenya Centre.
Among the many writers Khainga has interviewed are: Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Prof Chris Wanjala, Barrack Muluka, President Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigerian), Prof Arif Khudairi (Egyptian), Shivaji Das (Indian), Prof Patricia Jabbeh (Liberia), Prof Mongane Wally Serote (South African), Prof Okello Oculi (Ugandan), Prof Mugyabuso Mlinzi. Mulokozi (Tanzanian), Tsitsi, Dangarembga, (Zimbabwean), Dr Richard Leakey, Richard Vaughan (British), Martin Minns (British), Peter Godwin (American), etc, etc.
On my brief talk, i will dwell on writing and its place in society, and touch briefly on the creative writing programme i initiated as President of PEN Kenya Centre, a few years ago among secondary/high school students to demystify writing, and mentor/nurture the next generation of Kenyan/African writers. This programme has become very popular among students and their teachers, and the school administrations because what it does in fact is to compliment the government efforts towards achieving a literacy and reading culture. Mrs Joan Sikand has facilitated one such programme with students from Rift Valley, Western, and Nyanza Provinces at Kapsabet Boys High School.
Below find KBC English Service link about Khainga: