Michael Onsando is a jazz writer, and co-founder of Brainstorm Kenya. Some of his work is available on his site, Unlike Myself. Enkare Review has previously published Onsando’s A Movement on Loneliness. Alexis Teyie, Enkare Review’s poetry editor, met with Michael on a quiet Sunday in February to talk about his most recent work published with Enkare Review, The Making of a Canon, his creative philosophy, and quite a few things in between.
by Michael Onsando
What you are about to see is the creation of a canon. As with all creations, it begins with destruction. Your front row seats are free, they have been paid for, in full, by history. Time, again, is the title sponsor of this event. If you look under your seat you will find rose coloured glasses. They are there for those would not rather see what the act of creation entails. Every seat accommodates one and one only. In the theatre of dreamers every mind speaks for itself as every heart beats for itself. Please keep your cellphone on at all times during the performance. Be sure to take as many pictures as possible – the best of them may survive the journey. If you hear someone next to you talking, kindly join in the conversation – you never know how long you’ll have them near you.
Linda Musita talked to Enkare editor, Carey Baraka about her short story, Squad, on Enkare Review this week, her writing process and feminism.
First, your story, Squad, is in the form of a conversation between two friends. What was the writing process for this particular story like?
They are not friends as friends should be, are they? Anyway, the story took five months to write. I tried writing it in first person and it didn’t come out right. Third person did not work either. So I decided to try writing it in the same style as I wrote Kudinyana…more dialogue and less description. It worked. The tone I was looking for fell into place and it was easier (and faster) to pass the message I wanted to pass in conversation form than it was in proper, traditional prose. Plus dialogue is my strongest writing weapon. I also edited it a lot. It touches on a sensitive issue and I could not afford to be misunderstood. I also wanted the final product to have as much weight as possible because most readers think that anyone who writes a conversation from start to finish and calls it a short story is lazy. Not the case. This story took a lot of my time and feelings. I am glad I don’t have to deal with it anymore.
by Linda Musita
“The tea is not as good as it was last time. We should go somewhere else.”
“You always say that but when given a choice end up here. How have you been?”
“Despite your silence?”
“I am your friend. Talk to me.”