This February, Nairobi hosts explosive Chinese-Jamaican performing artist and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activist, StacyAnn Chin. The accomplished artist has contributed to The New York Times and Washington Post as well as appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where she spoke of her experience as a lesbian growing up in her native Jamaica. StacyAnn performed and co-wrote a special edition of Russell Simmons Def Jam Poetry on Broadway.
Her three one-woman shows, "Hands Afire," "Unspeakable Things" and "Border/Clash" all received rave reviews at the Culture Project in New York City. Her memoir, “The Other Side of Paradise” gives an account of growing up in Jamaica which is far from the romantic ideas one may have of the island. Chin tells of a heartbreaking experience that includes abandonment, abuse and an absent father. The book gives a glimpse of how her life experience molded her into the resilient and acclaimed artist that she is today.
StacyAnn has toured extensively around the globe and held poetry workshops in England, Denmark, Germany, and South and Africa. Her awards include the 2007 Power of the Voice Award from The Human Rights Campaign, the 2008 Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality, the 2008 Honors from the Lesbian AIDS Project, and the 2009 New York State Senate Award.
Courtesy of The NEST, on February 15th this authentic poet will perform and read from her memoir at the Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel. The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets retail at KES 1000 in advance and KES 1500 at the gate. Her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, will also be on sale at KES 1800. For more information, call +254 (0)20 263 4427 or visit www.becauseartislife.org
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By Josephine Opar