By Vitalis Kimutai
Invited guests, journalists, university dons and students, film producers, scriptwriters, actors, fashion gurus and marketers started streaming into the hall shortly before 9am.
The over 500 seats in the hall were filling up by the minute. Those who were already seated nodded and thumped their feet to traditional Nigerian music emanating from five giant speakers mounted strategically in the room.
At the podium, was a small table with a black microphone placed at the centre and two chairs.
The setting was the Prestige Plaza Cinamex on Nairobiâs Ngong Road where the winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, Prof Wole Soyinka was to give a lecture. The Nigerian team made up of actress Genevieve Nnaji (left) and Tina Mba arrive for a session during the Sixth Kenya International Film Festival graced by Wole Soyinka at Prestige Plaza Cinemax on October 26. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]
The Nigerian team made up of actress Genevieve Nnaji (left) and Tina Mba arrive for a session during the Sixth Kenya International Film Festival graced by Wole Soyinka at Prestige Plaza Cinemax on October 26. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]
The interactive session organised as part of the ongoing Kenya International Film Festival (Kiff) was to last an hour. The arrival of the African Literature giant was, however, delayed for two hours.
But the spirit and expectations of the participants was not dampened.
At 10:55am, Mr Charles Asiba, the Kiff director announced guest had just arrived.
"Sorry to keep you waiting. Prof Soyinka is finally here. Please invite your colleagues who could still be out there to come in and be seated," Asibaâs voice boomed through the speakers as the chatter died down and heads turned expectantly towards the entrance.
But it was not until 15 minutes later that Prof Soyinka strode into the hall in the company of Kiff Trust chairman Jim Shoon, Emeka Mba, the Director General of the Nigerian National Censorship and Film Board, and Peter Mutie, the Chief Executive Officer Kenya Films Commission, among others.
The house exploded in applause as the light skinned giant with grey afro hair, clad in a sleeveless jacket, a grey long sleeved shirt, blue pair of trousers, black pair of socks, and black leather shoes walked to the podium.