Monday, May 14, 2012

Words From the Wise #13--Lesley Koyi

Today I had the great honor and pleasure of interviewing poet, Lesely Koyi.  Lesley is an Information Consultant and Librarian from Nairobi, Kenya.  I could not be more thrilled to be having literary information from around the globe on Words From the Wise.  Sometimes we all get so focused on what we are doing here at home, that we forget about the children who live in other parts of the world.  Lesley was a participant, a very special participant, in World Read Aloud Day.  I hope that you enjoy learning more about this fascinating man.

1.  As a librarian, and a poet you became involved with World Read Aloud Day.  Can you describe your involvement?

Yes I did indeed take part in this year’s World Read Aloud Day, and I must say it was quite a fantastic experience because the World Read Aloud Day became a launching pad for me on how much a wider readership my poems can attract world over. So my involvement with World Read Aloud Day this year March 7 2012 was, first I took part as a guest reader via skype and also my involvement to writing a poem which I titled “The World Read Aloud Day Poem”. This poem was posted on the Litworld website and seen world over and also sent by Litworld to about 3000 friends world over in celebrating this years World Read Aloud Day.

I hope that you don't mind Lesley, but I posted your poem here for all to enjoy!

I hear the echo of a voice, reading aloud to the nations,
I listen to the story and what a story it is,
The story carries my mind and memory to far flung places,
But then
I realize I have had a journey of the mind and for a moment,
I forget about my environment and all my challenges in life.
I hear the echo of a voice, reading aloud to the nations,
I want to know why the voice reads aloud to the nations,
I am told it’s the worlds read aloud day.
I hear the echo of a voice, reading aloud to the nations
It mingles with the tweet of the singing birds, for a morning
Wake up call, for it’s just but morning,
The sun is just but rising, but the voice still goes on and strong,
The story carries with it the tells of literacy to the world, that the young
In the world can grow with strong minds of understanding and knowledge for life.
I hear the echo of a voice, reading aloud to the nations,
I listen to the story and what a story it is,
The sweet voice mingle with various other voices of nature,
The birds chirping, the sun rising, the wind blowing, the trees swaying,
The waves rising and the plains soaring with life.
Then I realize it’s not only, a voice reading aloud to the nations,
But its voices reading, all over the world, and finally,
The sun has gone down, its night and the bats are flying by,
I then continue to hear many other voices read aloud to,
The children into the deep of the night making it full of life.

2.  This blog has followers from all around the world, however, most are in the United States.  Please describe the way the school systems function in Kenya.  

The School systems in Kenya are run on an 8-4-4 system, and basically this means 8 years in primary school education, 4 years in secondary school education and lastly 4 years in university education.

3.  Can you describe what literacy  is like in Kenya?  Are parents actively involved in teaching their children to read or is this something that is primarily learned at school?

 Despite the fact that Kenyans are a knowledgeable lot literacy in Kenya is still a growing endeavor .Some if not many parents do leave the work to the teachers to teach their children how to read but a few parents take an active role in teaching their kids how to read and personally I was lucky when my mum taught me how to read my first book at class three.

4.  Describe your poetry for us.  What inspires you? What types of topics do you most enjoy writing about, and what is your writing process when it comes to a new poem?

My poetry has a great connotation to my own personal endeavors in life and that is from my childhood as a little boy to date. Bearing in mind the various environments I have encountered and life’s experiences in many areas. My poems major on topics of Hope and encouragements through life. My writing process starts with an inspiration, I must for sure get inspired to write a poem and this comes up mostly on the issues I have in my mind that I need a deeper expression about. I personally write my poems in any environment and I do my poems on a single seating by a stroke of the pen, that is my pen is only put down after I have put my inspired poem on paper then I can come back afterwards to edit and do reconstructing where necessary.

5.  Which poets do you most admire and why?

I admire poets like Okot p’Bitek, Adrienne Rich, and this poets use quite a powerful choice of words to pass their message to the readers and they also draw much of their work from personal experiences in life which is one strong factor with me and my poems.

6.  What goals do you have for yourself as a poet?

 My goals as a poet is to write poems that people across all cross sectional divides can draw strength from even in the most difficult and challenging circumstances in life, and more so as a librarian my joy is to make my poems simple and easy to understand to all and also become resourceful and intellectual materials full of information that appeals to all humanity no matter race, creed, religion and any social background. I want to see my poems being a unifying factor in the world as a whole.

Please be sure to stop by Lesley's blog, Lesley Koyi Information Consultancy to read more of his fantastic poetry!


  1. I must say i am so happy Sandra for getting featured by you on this wonderful blog.

    1. I am glad that we were able to connect!

  2. Thanks for the interview Sandi. Very interesting to hear a different point of view from another continent...Love the poem too!

    1. I agree. I am so fascinated by people who live in other countries. I am glad that you enjoyed the post.