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EXCLUSIVE: Afro Simba Premiere their Music Video ‘Maji’

After hosting their Music Video Launch at our Mageuzi Theatre last night, PAWA 254 is proud to present to you Afro Simba, and the premiere of their Music Video “Maji”.

Afro Simba is a 4 year old Afro-Fusion band that hails from Kenya, with musical influences in Jazz, Blues, and the music of 9 coastal tribes off the coast of Kenya, collectively called as Mijikenda.
Kombo, the band’s architect and lyricist, is a cultural activist who often expresses concern about the lack of opportunities, and diminishing support towards Music, Language, and traditions from tribes who are a minority in their own country.

The album “Pandizo” and the band’s original take on the genre will redefine and reintroduce Mijikenda music to every present-day culture vulture out there.

Rooftop Sundowner with Leo Mkanyia

Rooftop Sundowner with Leo Mkanyia

On Friday the 1st May 2015 Pawa254 invites you an evening of acoustic East African authentic music on our rooftop from 6-10pm.

For this edition of #PAWARooftopSundowner Tanzanian musician Leo Mkanyia will take the stage for a memorable musical sundowner.

Entrance: 500 Ksh Advance/800 Ksh At the door
For Tickets: Mpesa paybill no 360400 account (insert your name)


Leo is a singer, guitarist, percussionist, harmonica player, song writer, composer, arranger, guitar tutor.

Leo Mkanyia, who is a founder of Swahili Blues is a blues guitarist and songwriter from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Born into a family of musicians, Leo has been playing music for 20 years. He was first inspired by his father, a well-known jazz guitarist in Tanzania who was playing with of one of the earliest established bands (and still exists) in the country-Mlimani Park. Leo began practicing music when he was eight-years-old by copying chords from his father.

Before deciding which route to take in his music journey, Leo conducted a lot of researches on Tanzanian traditional dances. He researched traditional dances from different tribes including; Makua, Wayao, Makonde, Gogo, Sukuma. One of his research findings was the discovery of the distinct parallels that existed between the Tanzanian traditional sound and the Blues/Jazz music popular in the southern States of the USA.

It is this discovery that inspired Leo to work out traditional sound and theme in modern environment and available instruments. An inspired Leo created his own modern style, which he calls Swahili Blues.

Swahili blues is not popular among Tanzanian musicians mainly because they consider it to be far more intricate and in some respects not fitting to the pop culture. However, it is very rich in Tanzanian cultural heritage and can be true representative of Tanzanian sound-the genre.

Leo sings in Swahili, English and French, but prefers to sing in his mother tongue, Swahili where he can effectively deliver his message to his target audience who mostly speak and understand Swahili. Leo also sings in native languages like Kiyao and Makua.

AFRO SIMBA: Music Video Launch

AFRO SIMBA music launch poster

On Wednesday 22nd of April 2015 PAWA254 is proud to host the re-introduction of AFRO SIMBA and their Jazzed-up Mijikenda path in our Mageuzi Theater at 7pm.

During this event AFRO SIMBA will talk about their single “Maji”, and their upcoming album “Pandazi”. They will also screen the music video for their single for the first time, and perform a special set for the audience.

Entrance is FREE

For more information about the band:

Audio Links:

Band Page:


GRANT: Open Society Youth Fellowship

The Open Society Youth Fellowship supports young activists and organizers as thought leaders and allies in crafting solutions and new youth-focused approaches to open society challenges.

Youth Fellows should take advantage of the considerable intellectual and logistical resources of the Open Society Foundations and expect to contribute meaningfully to the Foundations’ thinking in return. While fellows will work outside of Open Society Foundations core offices, they will liaise with the Open Society Youth Exchange to identify opportunities for both in-person and virtual engagement with Open Society staff and partners. The Youth Exchange will work with each individual fellow to identify additional opportunities for the fellow to learn from and collaborate with staff and partners through site visits, speaking engagements, and other fora.

Fellows may produce a variety of work products, including publications, such as reports and blog posts; infographics and other visual content; innovative education and training resources and tools; the launch of new campaigns and organizations; and creation of artistic or cultural expression projects. They may also engage in activities such as hosting panel discussions, traveling to conferences, and presenting on their work in other public spaces.


All applicants should be under the age of 30. While we will consider applicants who are currently employed by a civil society organization or university, we will request additional information to confirm that the individual is acting on their own in regards to their proposed project, and that their current employer is flexible with their independent role as a Youth Fellow.

The Youth Exchange accepts proposals from anywhere in the world, with a particular interest in proposals from the global south. Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their particular field and a record of successful movement-building initiatives, innovative project management experience, and/or experience in research/tools development. Applicants must be proficient in spoken English.

Fellowship applications should relate to at least one of the following areas of work:

  • youth mobilization and innovation in traditional human rights movements (i.e., the LGBTQ rights movement, disability rights, women’s rights, drug policy reform, etc.)
  • youth participation and civic engagement particularly around elections
  • youth-led movements
  • youth-led work in the field of justice (for example, policing, pretrial detention, incarcerated youth, or alternative sentencing)
  • youth tactics in advocacy and awareness raising (for example new media, arts activism, peer-to-peer networks, etc.) around human rights issues
  • youth in closed or transitional societies

Only individuals may apply. We will not accept proposals that are clearly on behalf of an NGO or other formal organization. Fellows may not use stipends to replace funding for activities or projects that a host organization is already implementing. Enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research, and projects that include lobbying activities will not be funded.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $35,000–50,000 depending on experience and current income. The fellowship will also cover some travel and project costs related to the fellows’ work to be discussed.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of Open Society Foundations staff. Reviewers consider whether the applicant’s background, track record, and depth of expertise give reason to believe that the project will be successfully completed and whether the applicant offers persuasive evidence that the fellowship project will significantly inform the public and the Open Society community.


  • Applications due: May 15, 2015
  • Applications review: May/June 2015
  • Applicants notified of their status: late June 2015
  • Short-listed applicants invited for an in-person, Skype, or telephone interview: by July 1, 2015
  • Fellows notified: late July 2015
  • Fellows announced: early August 2015

All interested applicants should complete the online application form and submit supporting materials for consideration. Applicants may submit a project proposal or other materials in a language other than English, as long as they also submit an English translation. Certified translations are strongly recommended.

Once the initial information has been entered, applicants receive login details and an ID number that allows them to make additions and revisions to the form until materials are submitted. The ID number should be quoted in any correspondence. The program strongly encourages applicants to submit only electronic supporting materials. However, if applicants have hard copy materials that they feel are essential to the evaluation of their project, they can list these at the end of the project proposal. Fellowship staff will reach out to applicants should it be necessary to review these materials.

Note: Only applicants without internet access may send an application by post. An application form is available in the Download Files section. All others must apply online. For more information or technical difficulties with the online application form, please contact the Youth Exchange at youth.exchange@opensocietyfoundations.org.

PAWAMasterclass on Script Writing with the Kenya Writer’s Guild

PAWAMasterclass Script Writing
Pawa254 in conjunction with the Kenya Writers Guild present a free practical script writing PAWAMasterclass that will take place progressively on each of the five Saturdays of the month of May 2015.
The requirements for attendance are:

  • A one page STORY that you wish to make into a screenplay (send to etceterap@gmail.com before 26th April 2015).
  • Must have a laptop.
  • Must commit to be there all 5 Saturdays.
  • Committed to working online in between the sessions.

At the end of the masterclass/workshop, each successful applicant will have a fully developed short film script under the guidance of lead facilitator Cajetan Boy (Maisha Film Lab Screenwriting Mentor, over 20 years screenwriting experience). He is credited for Strata, Obohoz 2.0, The Captain of Nakara, Sumu la Penzi (Head Writer), All Girls Together etc.

The curriculum will comprehensively cover the following among other topics:

  • Logline
  • Character Development
  • Story Development (beats, genres, elements)
  • Three Act Structure
  • 8 Major Plot Points
  • Step Outlines
  • Writing Good Dialogue
  • Writing Good Action
  • Premise
  • Synopses
  • Script Analysis

KENYA NIGHTS | PAWA254: Workshop with LEE FOSS



Book Your Seats – Limited Space!! Email kenya_nights@live.com to book seats.

Kenya Nights – Beautiful Faces Beautiful Places & PAWA 254 have come together on the 2nd of May 2015 to host the first workshop in Nairobi with a top electronic music DJ & Producer. Hip Hop influenced, international House and Techno legend, Lee Foss will be talking about music, production, and the culture that surrounds it.

Join us on our PAWA 254 Rooftop on May 2nd and learn how the Hot Creations label boss has made such a dramatic impact on the underground House and Techno scene over the last few years.

We are calling out to all those who are interested in learning about music production, and expanding their knowledge about the ever growing industry. There will be a short Q&A segment as well.

:: Sundowner Session from 6pm ::



Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/leefossofficial
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/leefoss
RA – http://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/leefoss

PAWAFilmForum Vol XVII ‘As Old As My Tongue’ Screening and Discussion’.

As Old As My Tongue

For this edition of #PAWAFilmForum, happening on Friday the 17th April 2015, Pawa254 will screen the award winning documentary film ‘As Old As My Tongue – The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude’ by ScreenStation Productions with Busara Promotions in celebration of her 2nd anniversary.

The Pawa254 Film Forum is committed to showcasing independently produced, often non- commercial work that has little opportunity of reaching the general public; highlighting social, political, cultural and historical realities. By featuring the voices and visions of truly independent media artists from Kenya and beyond, we aim to expose diverse audiences to a range of artistic expressions, cultural perspectives and critical inquiries.


An intimate portrait of living legend Bi Kidude, probably the oldest singer on the world stage today. Her home island of Zanzibar has long been a meeting point for black African and Arabic influence. The island’s music is its most potent expression.

Bi Kidude beguiles audiences wherever she travels but domestically she continually courts controversy, her behaviour challenging perceptions of the role of women in a Muslim society.

As Old As My Tongue reveals the dramatic contrasts in the life of this iconic musician and features a classic soundtrack spanning one hundred years of Swahili music.

PAWASalon XXXIII: ‘The Role of Journalism in Exploring the Somali Story’

PAWASalon XXXIII Facebook

#PAWASalon is a forum that gives a professional / pioneer in a creative industry a platform to share with other professionals, students and general enthusiasts hands-on skills, knowledge and insight into their creative industry work.

On Thursday the 16th April 2015, we invite Abdi Latif Dahir to hold a lecture and discussion around his exploration of using journalism and new media as a tool to alter the narrative on currently day Somalia. The conversation will be infused with a photography exhibition. The photos are mostly abstract representations of the war in Somalia.

“As a nation coming out of war, there are a lot of misconceptions about Somalia. This is more so in Kenya, especially since Kenya’s invasion into the country in 2011.”

Abdi Latif Dahir is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Abdi worked as a business correspondent for the Daily Nation, wrote for the Africa Review website on Somalia, and reported from across Kenya and Somalia as a Fellow with the United Press International. Abdi has also written about the efforts to revive Somali art for The Africa Report, reported on the thirtieth anniversary of the Wagalla Massacre for Al Jazeera, and documented the dangers facing Somali journalists in exile for The East African. Abdi’s interest in digital media and narrative storytelling, coupled with his absorption into the Somali story, pushed him to launch SAHAN JOURNAL, an independent site that covers the Horn of Africa, East Africa and the Somali diaspora.

Follow him on Twitter: @Lattif and on Instagram: @abdi_latif

Garissa Memorial Concert in Nairobi

Garissa Memorial Concert

A Memorial Concert for the #Garissa terrorist attack victims and survivors will be held today, Tuesday April 14, 2015 from 4.00pm to 7.00pm at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park in the Kenyan Capital, Nairobi.

The event will include the survivor’s testimonies, poetry and music performances by Kenya’s leading artists, including Sauti Sol, Atemi, Eric Wainaina, H_Art the Band, Juliani, Rabbit, Mufasa Poet, Idd Aziz, Valentine Ziki and more.

This concert is being made possible by the generous contributions from concerned community members. The concert artists have been generously curated by Roots International‘s Rashid Jibril. Live Gigs Corporate AV Ltd have provided sound,stage and back line.

Additional sponsors are continuously being added and all support is welcomed. This is a free concert and all of the artists are performing without compensation . The concert will conclude the ongoing vigil at Freedom Corner,Uhuru Park.


To support the concert logistics cost:

Safaricom Mpesa 0701 222 211

Airtel Money 0731 222 211.

Opportunity! Apply for Forum on ‘Emerging New Media Artivists in Kenya’

Are you a creative? Do you make use of new media in your creative work? Is your creative work geared towards social change?

PAWA254 is looking for creatives under the age of 35 who make use of new media in order to carry out their artivist work. We will be convening a forum around the theme of art, new media and its role in social change in Kenya and beyond.  The forum will showcase leading actors in the new media space, and act as a networking opportunity for emerging new media artivists.

The forum will look at how Art and New Media feed into each other, and lead facilitators and participants into discussions which explore creative strategies of how to utilise new media in visual and performing art spaces.

The forum will also explore the various possibilities and intersections of art and new media in a globally networked culture.  It will investigate new media and art practices from a position of innovation and change, and how the practice and culmination of art and new media informs social and political dialogue

Deadline is Wednesday 15th April at 11.59pm.

APPLY below: