Eric Onyango Otieno is one of those young people that you wish you can be like when you literally‘grow up’. He is so young and yet so accomplished that you just wonder how he does it all and still looks dapper and well put together (I look forward to seeing him in flesh in Nairobi on my next visit).
Now Eric is co-founder of Fatuma’s Voice. Author of “Touring My Mind”. Kenyan poet, born and bred in Nairobi. He began writing poetry at the age of sixteen, while going through a turbulent phase of his teenage.
He has been performing his work in several poetry events including Kwani? Open Mic, A Word & A Mic, Poetry At The Park, Kenya Poetry Slam, Poetry Spot, Upgrade Poetry (Nakuru), Poetry Under The Stars (Naivasha & Embu), Words Galore, Sitawa Ignited, Babishai Poetry Festival (Uganda), among others, since he was twenty, under the pseudonym ‘’Rixpoet’’.
His poetry has been featured in ‘The Power Of Words’ Anthology, published by the Kenyan Poets Lounge in 2013, ‘Breaking Silence: The In-depth Words of a Poet’ Anthology published by James Robert Myers in Ghana, and Badilisha Poetry X-change; an online audio archive and Pan-African poetry show delivered in radio format, based in South Africa.
Onyango is also involved in mentoring young poets across East Africa; is a social media executive when not creating poems, makes music beats, and youth leader at Community Presbyterian Church, Madaraka, Kenya.
He’s the first of three kids, loves turquoise, was suicidal at the age of 16 and that lead to a South Korean church featured his life story in their monthly bulletin, loves simple but finer things of life, he boasts of being the only hairy person in his clan, has had the singular honour of attending seven primary schools and four secondary schools (even with my army brat status, I can’t top that ) and knows for a fact that his mother is a god and goddess rolled into one.
He feels that Juliane p’Bitek’s pem collection 100 Days is reflective of her family experiences with the political situation in Uganda during Idi Amin’s time and was helpful in relating with what Rwanda went through in 1994. It was a good shot at helping us reflect on the ravages of war.
He continually reads up the works of Rumi, Maya Angelou, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Sanya Noel, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni. His brand of poetry is to push for better policy making around Africa. He would love to do beat boxing if he wasn’t all shades of awesomeness that he is currently as he loves making music. He has a quote book in ebook format which can be found on his old blogs online – http://books.magunga.com/store/touring-my-mind-by-rixpoet/
He’s currently working on his first poetry collection and a new website and yes he writes all day everyday (meaning no case of floetry block whatsoever..lol)
He’s all for social media marketing as he happens to be a part time social media manager which translates to the fact it is a field he invests time on seeing how it has worked for his writing and performance to reach a wider audience.
Finally, he co-founded Fatuma’s Voice with Chris Mukasa. Fatuma’s Voice is a literary forum that encompasses art and thematic discussions on societal issues, bringing people together to voice out the goings on of their lives and environment. They partner with like-minded organizations who major in particular causes that are of interest to youth, marrying our sessions with poetry and music performances to get people talking. The plan is to plant Fatuma’s Voice all around Africa but for now are in three ‘Kenyan’ counties; Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru and Kisumu soon. Find out more here – (http://www.fatumasvoice.org/)
You can connect with Eric:
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/riconyango
Facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/rixpoet/
Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/ericonyango