Njeri Wangari (or KenyanPoet) is ranked as one of the top bloggers in all of Africa and a top 20 blogger in Kenya according to on Afrigator. She writes a blog where she shares her life through her poetry and highlights the arts across Africa.
Afrinnovator sat down with this amazing lady to pick her brain on how she got into blogging and why, how she managed to become such a popular blogger, as well as ask for some tips for emerging bloggers. Read on…
Afrinnovator.com: Tell us a bit about yourself.
KenyanPoet: I am a poet and performer, IT admin and arts blogger.
Afrinnovator.com: When did you start blogging?
KenyanPoet: Towards the end of the year 2006 – that was 4 years ago
Afrinnovator.com: Why did you start blogging?
KenyanPoet: It initially started as an online self publishing project for my poetry. I needed to know how people were taking my poetry, criticism, honest opinions and lets just say some encouraging words didn’t hurt either, the words actually kept nudging me on even when I felt unsure. With time I also started sharing my other interests in the arts – music, Theatre,poetry performances and others.
Afrinnovator.com: Is blogging for you a pastime or something you do seriously?
KenyanPoet: It is a Past time hobby- I have a day job with a publishing company as a Sys Admin.
Afrinnovator.com: You are ranked by Afrigator as one of the top 20 Kenyan bloggers. Tell us in a nutshell a bit about your journey to this point from when you started blogging.
KenyanPoet: Yeah, I was surprised to see that – I have never been keen on rankings but they do tell you that you are getting heard(read in this case) I honestly wouldn’t say that I had a clear objective for the blog from the start, it was more like a rebellious venture of “if the publishers won’t take me then I don’t need them” however, I started realizing that my poetry was actually speaking to many in the sense that, they could identify with my experiences as I mostly write from experience and also from keen observation. Thus a private journey become something that others could become a part of by giving their thoughts.
It is with time that I realized that there was no source of information on the arts online. This is how I started posting information on various art news and information. This is because I have a deep interest for the arts both fine and performance. The blog just gave me a chance to talk about these interests, share my thoughts on a performance I attended, artists I talked to, music I liked, etc.
Right now, those who frequently visit my blog do so because they know that they will find information on the arts, some poetry and generally something interesting to read.
It actually proves that Kenyans love art contrary to popular belief. Maybe the question lies in – can most afford it. thats a story for another day
Afrinnovator.com: How would you rank the prevalence of male to female bloggers in Kenya/Africa?
KenyanPoet: There are generally more male bloggers in Kenya and Africa in general, this is just from casual observation. I would attribute this to the myth that blogs are very techie and only coders and geeks can have them. Well, initially that was a thought that many shared but with time, most have come to realize that it does not require any technical background and all one needs is a good story and some basic computer skills. I would say that there are quite a number of female bloggers that are coming up, atleast looking at the number of female poet/art bloggers that I have seen start.
Afrinnovator.com: What is the most striking thing about blogging to you? What really get’s your adrenaline going when you think about blogging and the power of blogging?
KenyanPoet: I have always despised the way that media houses control information and even acting as the gatekeepers on the kind of info that the public should know.Thus to me blogging was the answer to my prayer in getting the power of information from one source or few sources to the masses.
The best thing about blogging is the way that online readers can know which blogs are reliable with genuine info and which ones are not.
I see blogging creating a new breed of journalists – Citizen journalists and its already happening. People being able to tell their own stories and letting the whole world know. That is enough to get me going.
Afrinnovator.com: Some tips for other bloggers or aspiring bloggers out there?
KenyanPoet: To the aspiring bloggers – What are you waiting for? forget Facebook and start a blog – that way, you learn to tell the world your experiences. Thats where the future is.
To the bloggers – Let us learn to use the power of the blog-sphere and the net responsibly.