Stom Wabuko is a poet, mentor, musician and author. He is a man passionate about cultivating postive change through the arts especially in children. The Rafinki team recently had an open discussion with Stom Wabuko have a read!
How long have you been doing poetry? How were you introduced to Spoken word poetry?
I’ve been performing since 2014. In January of 2014, I was robbed on my way from a midweek service. This was the second time it happened on the same month and date, just one year apart. I got mad at God for allowing it to happen then decided to just talk to him in a pray the next day.
As I was walking I noticed there was something unique about the prayer so I wrote it down and asked my pastor one Sunday if I could present it to the church. After my performance, my friends were shocked that I did spoken word poetry. I was shocked as well because I didn’t know what that was. It turns out, I had been writing material for spoken word poetry without even knowing what it was. After that performance, I then went on to research it to better understand it.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get involved in Spoken Word Poetry?
Be authentic and real with yourself.
You were MIA for a while, can you tell us about the period you were away from the stage?
I took a break for personal development and to study art too.
What inspired you to write your book, Mirror?
My life experiences inspired me to write the book. My childhood, teenage life and even adulthood. I really needed the book to remind myself that I am worthy and destined for greatness.
Other than poetry, music or the arts in general, is there anything else you are passionate about?
I am passionate about farming. My dream is to one day own a huge farm where I can rear as many animals and plants.
What is your favourite poem and favourite line from a poem you have written?
The poem Mirror is my favourite poem because that’s the first step I took in making my story known. Telling your own story is one of the best gifts you can give as a person and especially an artist.
My favourite line is my quote that’s on the back cover of the book. Get yourself a copy and check it out.
Could you please tell us about the rising stars project and how it came about?
It’s a juvenile reforms program at Kamiti Prison. I mentor the juveniles through art and tree planting. It came from my own passion of fighting for children and ensuring they live out their childhood and potential. My friend Jananga introduced me to the boys and it’s been a journey of sharing and learning with the boys. They are so brilliant, creative and dedicated. It’s just that circumstances and bad decisions got them there.
Is there anything we should be looking out for as the year progresses?
Lots of new material and shows. I was to do an East and West Africa tour the previous year but it got pushed due to unavoidable circumstances. This year, we go big or stay home. I have a variety of projects lined up and I know you’ll love them. To my fans, thank you for the support thus far. I really appreciate it. To those yet to know me, I ask for your support, not only for me but also for the art industry in Kenya. Let’s listen, buy, share and promote our works. That’s one way we’ll push the industry up. Let’s aim to reach the levels of West Africa and Tanzania and even surpass them.