American Corner Nakuru Hosts Storymoja Festival

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Kenya Library Services Nakuru Branch

American Corner (AC) Nakuru together with the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Nairobi supported the regional Storymoja Festival held in Nakuru May 28-30. The 3-day festival attracted thousands of students, teachers, artists, musicians, publishers and business people.

The Storymoja Festival is a platform to showcase, discover and nurture local talent while providing an opportunity for interaction with international talent. It is centered on 3 things: creativity to stimulate the mind and spark curiosity; exposure to diverse cultures, work, ideas and international artists; and collaboration of both international and local creative groups, and partners and stakeholders.

Special guest U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec attended the festival, reading to hundreds of students and answering many questions. He read a poem he wrote on the magic of reading. Storymoja CEO Muthoni Garland was also present and entertained the youth by telling stories. Author Dr. Auma Obama, a Storymoja patron, was part of the festivities attending a gala, the proceeds of which go towards developing libraries around Kenya. She also led a program on the how sports are important to character development.

Programs were also presented by various guests from U.S. Embassy Nairobi, each event geared towards showing youth ways to empower themselves by learning a new craft, promoting their skills and accessing resources available to them. Information Officer Tiffany McGriff inaugurated a Crochet Club; Deputy Human Resource Officer Brenden Molloy spoke to over 300 students about resume writing and personal branding; and Regional Library Officer Henry Mendelsohn discussed the benefits of studying in the United and States and shared the many resources available to the community offered by the American Corner. Every program focused on the theme of Careerpedia to explain to youth how they can prepare for finding jobs.

A poem by U.S. Ambassador Godec (with apologies to Dr. Seuss!)
The Cat in the Hat’s Tale (Or… Why reading is magic!)

I’ve come here today, with my striped hat and tie; for reading is magic and I want to say why.

So this I must tell, for it is just what is true: when you read a good book, you’ll never be blue.

Left all alone? No one to play? Read a short story, it’ll take you away!
With books as your friends you’ll go many places. Some far, far away…
Why you’re off to the races!

There’ll be castles and dragons and flights to the moon – Oh my, my, my, my, don’t you want to go soon?

One day you can run a race out on Mars. And the next you can sip tea with the stars.

You can cross a great desert on a camel in the sun and find a lost kingdom- Now won’t that be fun!

Want to climb a tall mountain? Meet a wizard or two? Just open a book. There’ll be wonders for you.

For me a good book or a story so right is just what it takes to make life really bright.

So I hope you will read and give adventure a try. For there’s magic in words and now you know why.

Well, it’s time I must go, but I’ll leave you with this: Trust the Cat in the Hat and you just cannot miss.