ComMattersKenya recognises that culture is one of the biggest contributors to social and economic development of not just eastern Africa but of humanity. However, this can only be achieved through the availability of accessible researched, documented and well presented documentation.
It is on this premise that ComMattersKenya has put the following publications on the market:
Our flag ship, ArtMatters.Info is an arts and lifestyle website, e-letter and magazine covering–nay, flaunting–art, dance, fashion, film, music, poetry, puppetry, storytelling, theatre, travel and lifestyle in eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. With the click of the mouse, one is instantly presented with important arts and culture-related information in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Reunion, Seychelles, Mayotte and Comoros. After noting with concern that these important social activities were treated flippantly by electronic and print media in the region, Ogova Ondego–who had worked with virtually every reputable media in Kenya and written for numerous international publications—founded ArtMatters.Info to exclusively cover these neglected part of humanity.
ArtMatters.Info is now a reference point on the arts and lifestyle in eastern Africa, relied on by producers in leading global media organisations. Without pandering to tokenism, ArtMatters.info brings out independent in-depth analyses of the regional arts and culture information from a journalistic viewpoint aimed at educating, informing, persuading, entertaining and flaunting African creativity.
Besides exposing creativity, talent, expertise, myths, experiences, and values as a way of encouraging creativity and human coexistence by talking about numerous success stories, ArtMatters.Info also exposes the human shortcomings and flaws in the same areas as away of creating correctional references through her articles.
ArtMatters.Info also carries important information on travel and a diary of local and international arts and culture-related events. Also not forgotten are announcements related to the area of coverage and presented as Classified advertisements, Links of arts-related websites, and ArtMatters.Info fortnightly e-letter highlighting breaking arts and culture stories and informing subscribers of new developments on the website and other developments within the ComMattersKenya organisation.
The eight years ArtMatters.Info has been in circulation–as manifested to by the remarkably soaring daily hits–has proved that such information was highly lacking from the Information Superhighway.
Carrying profiles of artists, an arts and entertainment diary, a fortnightly email newsletter, a gallery, a comprehensive list of related websites, and classified adverts on arts, artists and arts-related events in the eastern and southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands’ region, ArtMatters.Info is a handy tool for any one interested in the arts–general members of the public, musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers, fine artists, designers, sculptors, trainers, journalists, publicists, models, promoters, arts foundations and councils, funders and trusts, archivists, educationists, students, researchers, travel agents, tourists, diplomats, investors–to network and for the benefit of the arts in the eastern and southern African and Indian Ocean Islands’ region.
Through ArtMatters.Info, ComMattersKenya receives enquiries, consultations and acclamations daily from all over the globe, a testimony that a critical service is being rendered by this portal. This is testimony enough that ArtMatters.Info is not only being read, but is also being taken seriously by information seekers, researchers, academics, journalists, arts trusts, governmental and inter-governmental organisations and other decision-makers worldwide.
How to Write on 1001 Subjects! is a manual for professional writers that tackles creative writing, criticism and journalism. It not only teaches any one how to think logically and coherently but also assists any one interested in writing to find direction and preserve professional consistency.
Stories From Life is written on the premise that history is written not to justify anything but to inform, educate and caution. Running almost the whole gamut of human experience, Stories From Life is also meant to entertain and celebrate humanity in all its manifestations.
From Terror to Hope
Twelve years after politically-instigated ethnic violence destroys his family and ‘ends’ his life in Africa at the age of 12, I–the entire book is written in the rare first person singular perspective–graduates at the top of his class at New York City’s Ivy League Columbia University. That is the deceptively simple synopsis of From Terror to Hope.
From Terror to Hope (ISBN 9789966706911 & 9966706917) may have been inspired by the perennial suffering of people in socially and politically unstable African nations like Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Congo-Kinshasa and Ivory Coast, but it tackles contemporary issues around the world–from sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, and from Asia to Europe and North America.
The book talks about hypocrisy in areas such as race, ethnicity, gender, and religion. It describes, with ease, the discrimination black people face while travelling in Europe, North America and Asia. For instance, European Union member countries now use Biometric data in processing visas for Africans in the guise of fighting possible ‘Mistaken Identity’, ‘Identity Theft’, ‘Illegal Entry’ and ‘Human Trafficking’.
The Braggart’s Day
The Braggart’s Day is an adventure story revolving around a 12-year-old boy who trudges deeper into the dark equatorial forest in spite of the dangers lurking behind sky-clutching trees, man-eating plants, angry rivers that swallow humans and octopus-like creepers that trap all and sundry in search of medicine for his ailing sister.
The story is set around Kakamega Forest, the eastern arm of the fast diminishing African equatorial forest, in western Kenya. The 24-page book (ISBN 9789966706904 & 9966706909) was written and edited under the direction of children aged 6-12-years old in order to appeal to children in middle and upper primary school.
While Sunday Nation describes Braggart’s Day as “an enthralling children’s story relying heavily on traditional idiom” with a good ending that will delight children, The Standard says it is “a fast-paced story whose riveting drama and universal themes capture the imagination of children and adults alike.”
The Kenyan Spectator says, “The language used to craft the story is simple, the plot easy to follow and the twists and turns gripping as the story races towards a satisfying ending.” Although a children’s book, the weekly notes, Braggart’s Day is nevertheless “good for all ages.”
Rose Wanjiku, the weekly’s book reviewer, further notes that the pace of the story is ‘too fast and should have slowed down a little to give the reader a chance to catch their breath.’
The People Daily says the children’s book addresses the importance of division of labour in the rural African village family, and reminisces on the olden days nostalgically without forgetting to teach modern children where they come from. By spicing up the story with humour, reviewer Nkirote Gikunda says the author manages to keep young readers turning pages.
Braggart’s Day, she says, is set to thrill adults who enjoy creative writing.
Silverse Anami, Kenya’s Director of Culture, says Braggart’s Day is an “important resource for students of social sciences, environmental studies, linguistics and philosophy.”
Anami of the National Heritage and Culture Ministry sees the values of respect, tolerance, courage, love, and cooperation as having taken the central place in Braggart’s Day that, he says, highlights interaction between humanity and environment. The belief systems, family structures, indigenous knowledge and the technological idiosyncrasies of the Luyia people upon whose culture the story is based, Anami observes, are what propel communities to sustainable development. Saying Braggart’s Day demonstrates the importance of language as a functional instrument upon which human behaviour is constructed and disseminated, Anami notes that culture is the foundation upon which development is built.
Though set in a Kenyan village, the writer tells the story within a timeless frame and addresses universal themes of love, sacrifice and pride that easily appeal to anybody, anywhere.
Traditional Wisdom: Folktales from Uganda isa gem for the enthusiasts of cultural studies, scholars of orature and folklore, and all lovers of stories. It is researched, compiled and edited by Dominica Dipio (associate professor of literature at Makerere University, Uganda) and Stuart Sillars (professor of English at Bergen University, Norway)
The Eastern Africa Independent Television and Audiovisual Media Practitioners Plan of Action (The Nairobi Declaration) is a report on the proceedings at the first Eastern Africa Film Summit that brought independent television and audiovisual media practitioners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Congo-Kinshasa to deliberate on the state of film in eastern Africa and suggest solutions to what ails the sector.
African Cineweek Kenya 2003 is an introduction to film and tourism business in Kenya.
Publishing for and with others
ComMattersKenya consults, writes, edits, markets, and distributes publications for both local and international individuals and organisations. Inquiries about this service can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org