WORDS Michaela Stehr PHOTOS Supplied
Curated micro-festival Littlegig is taking its creative ethos to a remote Lamu archipelago off Kenya’s East African coast.
Founded in 2013 by Georgia Black, the festival has taken place in both Cape Town’s Franschhoek and Kenya, taking artistry to intimate and remote settings where guests can fully immerse themselves in the carefully curated experience.
Sixty lucky guests will experience the convergence of some of Africa’s best creative talents such as literature and activism persona Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), visual activist and celebrated photographer Zanele Muholi (South Africa), and star filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya). Music headliner is Grammy-nominated Valerie June (USA), hailed by the New York Times as one of America’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents.”
“Our mission is for Littlegig Lamu to create a diverse temporary community on this tiny East African archipelago,” says festival founder Georgia Black. “We want to amplify the global influence of Africa’s creative economy. And we want to experience the ancient and bohemian setting that is Lamu, with people who share our absolute wonder that such a place exists in our lifetime.”
Spanning over three days, the programme offers talks, art installations, live music and film screenings set up across a variety of exciting locations such as heritage forts, beaches, gardens and villas.
The three-day event itinerary is as follows:
MANGROVE SWIM CLUB (DAILY): Swimming in the mangroves at morning high tide, trailed by a beautifully restored taxi boat is one of Lamu life’s greatest privileges.
SHELA ART BY FOOT: A programme of performances, talks, shows and installations at some of Shela’s famed villas and spaces. Opening address by headliner Tsitsi Dangarembga. Art talk by headliner Zanele Muholi. African music video talk by Blinky Bill.
ALL HAIL PEPONI: Lunch at the legendary Peponi Hotel, whose menu, masterminded by Chef Ray Cournede is one of the best in East Africa.
MANDA VOYAGE & FLOATING BAR UNPLUGGED Dhow Sunset sail with musicians and Chef’s Table Beach BBQ. An Unplugged show at the Floating Bar with a performance by music headliner Valerie June.
OLD TOWN ANCIENT WISDOM: A walking route through Lamu Old Town with good coffee and a performance by Njoki Karu. A visit to one of Lamu Old Town’s most beautiful villas Kinooni House, with a talk and presentation by legendary Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort who will be launching her book ‘Proud South’ to Africa at the event. Introduction by Brian Afande of Nairobi XR (extended reality) agency BlackRhino whose mission is to design, democratize and deploy XR technologies in Africa.
PALM GARDEN THEATRE & FILM FESTIVAL: A 30-minute solo theatre comedy by actor, writer and director Mugambi Nthiga. Followed by a celebration of important moments in East African cinema told by some of its makers, including headliner Wanuri Kahiu and producer Lucinda Engelhardt.
FARAWAY KIZINGO: 20-minutes by speedboat is the other-worldly, beautifully detailed
Kizingo Eco Lodge. Performances and jam sessions by Valerie June, Fadhilee and friends, and heavenly swimming.
BANANA HOUSE BANQUET: Swahili feast at Banana House, Lamu’s lush and low-key hotel hangout for artists and seekers. With music performance by Lisa Oduor-Noah.
MARARAHA DUNE PARTY: Closing party, open to the public, at a music venue in the dunes, Mararaha Village. Including the launch of Blinky Bill’s new album, which he will perform live, and a DJ set by Nairobi’s DJ IV.
There will only be 60 guests, who have either been invited to buy tickets or have successfully applied. Applications can be made here.
Cost includes the full programme, with food, drinks and boat transport where applicable. Cost excludes flights and accommodation.