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Poet carves a niche through art and politics

Thursday January 30 2020

Poet Albine Kirui. PHOTO | COURTESY

Poet Albine Kirui. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By HELLEN SHIKANDA

If a mad man would one day shout, "What mirrors the society?" every literature enthusiast present will possibly mumble at heart - Art.

And, if 40 year-old Albine Kirui will be part of the crowd, he would smile and say, that's part of me, I am a poet.

You may have come across his poems on social media, but, because we are in an era that fancies copy and paste, in the spirit of sharing, very few people attribute his poems to him.

He, among many other poems, is the writer of the now viral poem that is believed to have been written by Gladys Shollei.

WORD WEAVING

At the age of 37, Albine's passion for poetry inspired his first poetic piece. Three years on, his word weaving technique has amazed many.

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No wonder the many followers on his Facebook page keep increasing by day. His inspiration being Wole Soyinka.

'English has always been my favourite subject, it, in fact, inspired my love for poetry,” says Albine

When Albine stepped out Moi Minariet Secondary School in Bomet County, he hoped to join the university, a dream that was shattered because he could not raise his school fees.

That was the last time he saw the door of a classroom, but, reading did not stop at that. He has still reads his books.

Since his hopes for getting further education had dimmed in broad daylight, he opted to work as quarry man. A job that helped him educate his younger siblings, whom, he says are doing well.

UNIQUE

He is not your ordinary poet; his style is unique to him.

While Kenyan youth complain of news being depressing, Albine takes advantage of that and writes poetic pieces on what’s making news.

He goes on and analyses what is shaking headlines, poetically.

“I like being up to date, and when something newsworthy inspires me, my mind immediately thinks of a poem.”

He also writes personality profiles in poetry, especially on Kenyan politicians.

His favourite is Narok nominated Member of Parliament, David Sankok, who, is the only one that has reached out to him so far. The parliamentarian has since encouraged him to write a book, something Albine tells Nation.co.ke is in the pipeline.

This father of two now works as a caretaker, and, he says his works of poetry do not help in bringing food to his table.

“I write for passion, I am not paid for any of the pieces that I put up on my page.”

Albine hopes that Kenyans will learn to appreciate art. That, when they share a piece of art that is not originally theirs, they should attribute it to the owner.

A veteran writer, Henry Ole Kulet is one of his favourite Kenyan writers.

In the spirit of keeping up with good mastery of language, Kirui’s current read is George Orwell’s book, 1984.

He urges those with poetic fire burning in them not to have dampened spirits. The old adage, 'practice makes perfect', still makes sense to him.

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