The journey …thus far…

Hope…to many, this is just a four letter word with very little meaning. A mirage.
To most, this word has no depth when it stands alongside another four letter word…rape.
It has been six months since we started and the journey has been real. We have seen hope. Felt it. Touched it. Found glimmers of it in the crisp corner of teary eyes. We have seen its fire rekindled with every ounce of silence killed.
As ANIKA, we have learned that before silence prevails, hope must be killed. We have gained the understanding that when the little hope that simmers in the depths of our souls dies; silence will claim us. We started out with a vision of hope. A silent promise to ourselves and to those we hoped to speak for that we will kill the silence that muffles our stories of laden pain. It may take a year, a decade or two…but…the story will be told…the pain will be shared.anika1.jpg

anika6.jpganika 5.jpg
It is this hope that led us to partner ‘SEMA / MAPENZI BILA CHUKI’ and The Creatives Garage to bring you the SEMA / ANIKA forums. This has over the past few months been a platform where issues of rape, domestic violence, trauma and gender based violence have been fused with art, poetry and music to stimulate meaningful discourse for a fruitful discussion.
We have shared experiences through our music, poetry and our stories. We have dried tears of reprieve on our shoulders. We have shared ounces of ourselves so that everyone who has encountered these injustices should know that it was not their faults and that its okay to talk about it all. That they can let the pain out. That letting it stay inside will only desiccate them and hurt them the more.
Such has been our mantra. And as we proceed forward with the quest to rekindle hope in the eyes and hearts of mankind, we want to thank you all for your support and continued partnership and involvement with us. We want to reaffirm that we believe in you and in your ability to give back hope to those that need it the most. Give it in your smiles and in your listening ears. Give it in any way possible and in the highest measure you can master. Give it because you can. Give it because if you don’t…no one else will. Just give.
We from ANIKA wish you a prosperous and hopeful new year 2016.

About Anika254


photocredits : slum photography

Anika is a Swahili word meaning EXPOSE.

Its  an art based initiative that uses arts as a platform for change. It started six months ago. Its main objective is to empower the youth to talk about societal issues that are hushed up and also influence change. We  believe that change has to start from the mind, we create platforms that enable people to exchange opinions, tell stories and network hence empowering minds and being able to break the stereotypical mentalities on societal issues such as gender based violence, drug abuse, human trafficking, modern slavery and so on…

photo credits;kilda

Anika has been founded by Gladys Mwende, a Spoken word poet,a film enthusiast and a student at Kenyatta University (Theater arts), and co-founded by a team of six Performing poets, Vanessa Ombura also a member of the Jamlab community , Keith Kimutai, the Cake art affair founder and a journalism student, Corinne Kahi, a University graduate (journalism) and a Hip Hop artist with P31 crew, Stephanie Akinyi, University graduate (Statistics), Robbin Nyakundi ,University graduate (Statistics) and Desmond Ogubi a poet and a university graduate.

Together, Anika has grown for the past six months, we have been able to hold successful forums with help from friends and partners SEMA-mapenzi bila chuki initiative and Creatives Garage Trust, We have been Featured by Fatumas Voice (a weekly forum) to speak about Domestic violence as youth and also at Cake art affair,( a festival) and Sondeka Festival. Our journey has been with surprises  that challenged our growth as a young initiative, also as a team, we are glad to grow together with our audience, more people speaking out and more men supporting our Gender based violence course.

We have been able to work with  artists, from all fields, Poets, Photographers, Visual artists, Solo Musicians, Bands, Graphic designers like Kelvin Kaesa. We also invite panelists who have had a personal experience on topics we discuss each month to share and encourage open discussions.

We hope to expound more on our arts side this coming year and feature as many artists as possible because we believe that, art is powerful , its a mirror that constantly reminds the society who they really are. we believe that art heals, and the more we speak out the more we influence change in our own small ways.

photo credits; brikicho

With love, we can move mountains. Walk with us,We need each other to make a bold step of change.