LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH SAISI’S STORIES
Peter K. Saisi (stage name ‘Saisi’) is a young artist based in Nairobi and Kisumu. He is a budding linguist and literary from Maseno University. Saisi practises poetry, spoken word and script writing. He writes and produces plays and theatre concepts fused with poetry. His latest projects are ‘Shakespeare Meets Africa’ and ‘Mohammed with the Bible’ that were performed at The Michael Joseph Centre and The Kenya National Theatre respectively. Saisi is currently preparing for his first ever solo project ‘NAKED’; a poetry showcase addressing Mental Health and that will also serve as the launch for his book and album, which are to be released soon. All this, he achieved under El Voyage ink, an art collective of which he is the cofounder.
Saisi’s poetry addresses matters of the soul, personal struggles, love, pain, God and friendship.
He tells us how he has always held on to the fact that poetry is exceedingly personal. He feels that in laying his soul bare through this work as he address these elements, resonates well with his audience and most importantly, they get to relate to the material he presents. The result is that his poetry becomes impactful!
“Poets exist to nourish the soul of the society. To Remind them of the simple things ignored each day; that they are not alone in whatever struggles they encounter. To fearlessly ignite important questions and make sure reality is never forgotten. Poets introduce souls to their souls.”
Saisi draws his inspiration from looking within and from using day to day observations as a mirror into his own self . He acknowledges that that practise keeps him going.
His ultimate goal is to leave a mark, make a real difference and not just with poetry, but with all the art forms he is involved in. He hopes to one day to build an El Voyage Ink Complex that will bring young people together and just allow them to create without any pressure from the rest of the world.
“The day my mother passed on, sixteen years ago. I was right next to her. My name is the last thing she said. I got the courage to write about it when I was way older. But that incident affected me in unfathomable ways. Yet still weirdly inspires me to date,” Saisi confesses.
Saisi has been writing for as long as he can remember; but he did his first performance piece in 2014 and later turned professional in 2016, right after his appearance at Poetry Slam Africa.
“I really like that I sometimes read poems I have written in the past and they speak to me so powerfully as though someone else wrote them. One time I even went online searching out this verse I found in my notes to see who the actual poet was. I couldn’t believe that I was the one who actually wrote it. So I love that my poetry develops a life and soul of it’s own and that I am not exempt from its power!”
One of the challenges Saisi has faced is that as a writer and performer, to be effective, you have to grow into a distinct style that is singular and unique to you. He says that, “To be able to do that, you need an understanding of yourself. That in itself is a long, hard journey. Making sure you don’t sound like anyone else.”
The best piece of advice he ever got was from Abu Sense and Dorphan (both awesome artists,) who said to not worry about growing an audience at the expense of your craft. Grow your craft and the audience will come through.
Here goes Saisi’s favorite poem.
A COLOURFUL POEM.
Have you ever felt like
colors have got taste, and breath, and life?
and letters got smell…
Blue is warm
is that why boys like her?
Red is hot, keeps me awake!
All of me!
Red is blood, fire, life eternal!
Green is sour.
Yellow is noisy!
Yellow is young, almost childish
Black is deep,
it knows my worst, my fears!
And orange is not the new black,
at least not for me!
Orange is weird.
Like that overweight aunt
who appears at every family gathering
takes charge of the kitchen and everything in it!
Orange tastes like syrup…euuw!
Well white is that ever sweet grandma
Whose chickens know it’s dooms day when they see you approach the gate!
oh Lord let him leave sooner!
White are those friends
who can’t wait for my next poem!
Who see the poem hidden inside this poem!
Present in all your heartbreaks,
like the smell of air after rain… fresh, ever present!
That whisper a prayer for you…
They don’t have to
They tell you the truth,
even when it bites you!
They see the pain in my letters,
and the joy in my words!
My love for you is white as snow!
Deep as still waters
Wide as the ocean berths
Sure as the sunset!
l know l don’t say it enough!
l love you idiots!
White is love.
And love is God.
Pink is cute.
Well, almost cute
Pink is aaaw!
Trust me it pains me to say it!
And l only say it because
Pink is my primary school crush, desk mate.
She knew l hated pink,
And decided l would never get enough of it!
She immediately baptized herself a new name!
Each morning when l got to our desk…
"Good morning, my name is Pinky Pitchy and l looove Pink"
She even wrote a composition for our next assignment,
Named it ‘The Pink Story’
She scored 30/40… So unfair!
But l also knew she hated my belching!
So she went ‘Piiiiiink’
And l went ‘beeeeelch’
That is after boiled eggs, malenge, managu and other unrelated food items!
Well, pink is nostalgic…
I miss her!
Purple is royalty!
Purple is Queen Cersei Lannister
Her evilness melt my heart
Purple is King Leonidas and the 300
Against a massive Persian army, unshaken!
THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!
Purple is my mother
I miss her every day
She is a Queen, eternally!
And l am glad to have your eyes ma’
Because l get to see you every day in the mirror of mine!
Purple is my father
That man would give out his heart for us!
Like straight up pluck it out of his chest for us!
You are royalty pa’
Black is deep
It knows my worst, my fears!
White is love
And love is God
Red is fire!
White is peace!
Red is His blood shed for me, at Calvary
Red is victory
Red is fire burning the heck out of my soul
Black is my wound, my scars
The vile of my heart
Black is the dose of evil in me!
Its the brokenness, occasional shame
And a never ending appetite for pure evil!
Black saved me!
I drowned in its abyss so deep,
Yet l rose again
And when you see black all your days
White is a breath of life, literally!
Life is short!
And I have only a few days left.
I choose to live each one as though my last,
Open your eyes,
To the beauty of the sunset,
And the glory of the sunrise!
Allow yourself to smile every chance you get,
Smile more, give more hugs!
I know there might be little to smile about,
But take advantage of those few!
Go on coffee dates,
Watch movies all night,
Read Sheldon and Baldacci and Grisham and Chimamanda and Yvonne Owuor and Jagero and Zukiswa!
Read the Bible,
The Quran too!
Listen to music…
I prefer NF and James Arthur and Ed and Passenger…
I’m into the deep stuff!
Listen to Poetry,
Find Mufasa, Koleka Putuma of South Africa, Janette ikz, Jackie Hill Perry, Sarah Kay, Ezekiel!
Listen to Bolo the blinker, and Saisi… Saa hizi
Get hit on, smile, blush even!
When l tell you, you are beautiful!
Don’t fight it,
I know you want to.
Let your insides melt
When l take you up in my arms,
You hardened your heart like steel!
I know you have been hurt before,
Just let me love you!
Let me make you smile,
Let me make you
laugh like a child again!
Because colors got life and breath and taste…
And letters got smell
But l have no intention of knowing the color of regret!
‘I wish I had more time
I wish I had lived differently
I wish I had loved more!
Or laughed more!
And don’t apologize for it!
We haven’t got much time!!
To enjoy more of Saisi’s work, peep his You Tube channel; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCShM3dqTXy8GnuUH6V1Glpw