THEATRE: Too Early for Birds to hold music edition

Wednesday March 18 2020

Music is an outlet for all sorts of emotions, from traditional dirges and work songs to modern songs of protest. PHOTO| COURTESY


Just months after the largely successful run of the Tom Mboya edition in October 2019, cult classic theatre production Too Early For Birds has announced its sixth installation.

This time, the show will zoom in on the history of Kenyan music, a topic that could go just about any direction, as music has been an integral part of the country’s story.

Music is an outlet for all sorts of emotions, from traditional dirges and work songs to modern songs of protest.

The death of former president Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi reminded citizens of a time when the phenomenon of Nyayo songs reigned, too; it described a facet of existence as Kenyans, where even political history mingled with music.


We cannot be separated from our music. We punctuate everything with music. Music might be the only thing Kenyans agree on,” the team argues in their announcement. Since their first show in 2017, Too Early For Birds has exhibited just that, managing to tell different stories in Kenyan history using several artistic tools to keep audience members entertained. One of these tools has been music.

In a sense, they say, Too Early For Birds has done to history what the hip hop genre often does to soul music. By taking known facts and adding their own creative spins, they have essentially sampled and remixed the stories of iconic figures such as Tom Mboya, Wangari Maathai and Timothy Njoya. In addition, they have brought to the fore names of unsung heroes like Field Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima, Zarina Patel and The Nyayo House Survivors, among others.

Too Early For Birds promises fans that the Beats edition will beyet another session filled with excellently curated, prepared and delivered stories, performed by some of the finest actors in the city.

“Since some of the legendary figures in Kenyan history are still alive, this looks to be one of the few instances where art blurs the border between the past and present,” they hint.

While the director and actors of the show are yet to be announced, the Beats edition has already been written by a team led by Too Early For Birds cofounders, Ngartia and Abu Sense.

They are accompanied by Mercy Mbithe, Paul Otieno, Anita Murage, Mosoti Gathogo, Victoria Kagichu, Valiant Waiyaki and Meera Damji.

The show is famous for its elements of surprise, revealing parts of Kenyan history that were otherwise omitted from classroom lessons.

The Tom Mboya Edition, a fan favourite, was staged over the course of two weekends in October and November 2019 due to impassioned public demand.  

It is scheduled for Easter weekend, with two shows running daily from the April 10 to 12, 2020 at the Visa Oshwal Community Centre.

Tickets are now available on Mookh.