My first Kwani? poetry performance...disaster?
So, I just came back from doing my first performance of poetry ever at Kwani? I have been attending Kwani?(and other) open mics for months now and I decided it was finally time for me to get up there and perform! If you know em I'm mostly a big procrastinator(I'm seriously working on that) and I had been putting it off for some months now, but finally decided to do it. So i gathered up the courage and printed my favorite poem I've done so far, called "Passion Juice at Java," and one by Blair Wingo called "Allow Me to Re-Introduce the Christ" which I love! Anyway, so thing is I hadn't really practiced before going there, just on the same day I rehearsed for a few hours. So I hadn't memorized the poems and was going to perform by reading off a paper. Well, anyway I get there just before it starts and was last to register, I greet some folks I know and settle down to watch the performances.
Well I've never been really a public performer but tonight I was feeling confident and had barely any hesitancy, in fact i was feeling happy. Well, so many people performed like Nuru Bahati, Kennet B(featured poet), some Kiswahili poets and others. So as the open mic was coming to a close I was called up as the last performer. I was feeling all so confident until I actually hit the stage, then disaster! Nerves suddenly jumped out from behind the stage or something and attacked me! Goodness, I don't know what went wrong I did a horrible introduction of myself and the poem I was going to do, and plus people were talking when I was trying to perform.
OK since Cindy(Kwani MC) said i could only do one poem I decided to do Blair Wingo's poem cause as i said I love it! Anyway I barely got through the first verse until I had to stop. There was some guy shouting weird stuff and I was soo nervous, hand was trembling, and it was just not going the way I thought it would! I had to stop three times before I could even get anywhere with the thing; poetic disaster in the making! Anyway Cindy finally saved the day and calmed down the crowd and put her arm around me while I performed and I was finally able to get through it even though I kinda rushed a bit. While I was performing parts in the poem where I mention Jesus as being the True and Holy One there were people shouting "even Muhammad!" "Also Buddha!" uwongo!" and other such things, it was a bit crazy!
Anway after I finally finished the poem I was so relieved and got good applause.Cindy gave me a hug and I was like wow! I was just not expecting it to go downhill like that. Anyway afterward interestingly people started coming up to me and telling me how they loved the poem, others said good job, others wanted to know more about the poem(I gave my copy to someone),others if I'm saved, another one came up to me and said he wants me to feature on his CD compilation, and perform at his event. Wow! I definitely didn't expect that reaction
Anyway on the drive home after asking God why it went so bad, I realized that even with everything that went wrong I believe God used me in all my nervousness and meekness to touch a few people. I can only see the trees but God sees the forest, and He knows what He's doing. I believe He used me without me even realizing it to spread His Word and affect other people. And that;s when I realize tonight wasn't a disaster but actually one of my best nights ever, I stood up in my weakness and when I spoke God's Word through that poem God showed His strength.
Disaster? No, victory!