Philo Ikonya

Kenneth Matiba, once a prominent politician associated with the struggle for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya, is now an ailing old man in a wheelchair. He has sued the government for illegal detention, which caused his present illness. A tribute.

PEN Kenya condemns in the strongest spirit possible the attack on the person of Okoiti Okiya Omtatah on 8 November 2012 and the attempts and threats on his life which he has often spoken about. Regardless of the reasons for his attack, we know Omtatah to be a voice of free expression, a political activist as well as a writer. We know that he has lost a tooth before after an attack by the then acting boss the Nairobi Central Police Station Richard Mugwai (now transferred but who was promoted more

In ‘Migritude’, Shailja Patel bares her soul, mine and yours, the world’s. And out come storms of life that fill every cranny you know, a gust that nobody should stop.

‘Court poets sung praise to power and excesses’ but Tendai Mwanaka ‘speaks truth to power directly’, writes Philo Ikonya in a review of a recent collection of works by the Zimbabwean writer, ‘filled with strong and open political poetry.’


Kenya human rights activist and author Philo Ikonya shares

Daughter of Kenya, Wambui,
I weep with you.

Why has your nation left you alone?
In the moment of pain...

If I sing you a song whose words
You have heard in the west
You will forget that I come from the East
You will tell me that I am a confused Afrikan woman
Who has learned from the west to sting with venom
deriding cultures and speaking in borrowed tongues
Failing to stem Lawino’s tide for all that sharpness
Relying on papers instead of oral wit...


As the extraordinary events within North Africa and the Middle East continue, Philo Ikonya stresses that genuine support for people’s freedom around the world must increase.

Readers across the continent will relate to the characters and imagery conjured up in a jewel-filled collection of stories and poems by Zimbabwean writers John Eppel and the late Julius Chingono, writes Philo Ikonya.

Following the passing of Odipo Jacob Odhiambo, Philo Ikonya pays tribute to the Kenyan activist and shares personal experiences of their arrest together last year.