#AWCL2016 Dr. Mshai Mwangola
Dr. Mshaï Mwangola holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University (USA) , a Masters of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne (Australia) ; and a Bachelor of Education from Kenyatta University (Kenya) . Her masters research thesis, “Theatre in Kenya: Reflecting at the Crossroads”, and doctoral dissertation “Performing Our Stories, Performing Ourselves: In Search of Kenya’s Uhuru Generation” both engage Kenyan cultural history and actors as critical reflectors of and of the Kenyan nation.
An oraturist directing and performing in theatre and storytelling as her genres of choice, she has also taught, researched and contributed to policy processes engaging different aspects of culture, arts, theatre and performance for over three decades. She continues to make presentations in a variety of local and international forums on the same. In 2014, she directed (for the second year) the Institute of Security Studies’ African Centre for Peace and Security Training “The Artist as Peacebuilder” course (April; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); featured at the Time of the Writer (March; Durban, South Africa) and Storymoja (September; Nairobi, Kenya) festivals. She also co-directed and performed in the Performance Collective’s preview staging of the Weaving Kenya Collective essay on Panafricanism, Gender Feminism (Nairobi, Kenya) which was subsequently published in Feminist Africa issue No. 20 in 2015. In 2015, she directed “Youth in East Africa: From Asking to Acting” as the keynote presentation at the East African Institute’s (Aga Khan University – East Africa) East African Dialogue Series 2015 conference (Nairobi, Kenya); and presented a keynote performance at SOIMA 2015, a programme of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) focusing on sound and image collections conservation (Brussels, Belgium). She also presented the keynote presentation at the Performing Studies International 2015 Fluid States Eastern Africa forum, the inaugural Transcending Boundaries conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mwangola has previously directed and staged anthologies and representative items of African literature in different venues and forums.
Mwangola is the current chair of the Board of Trustees of the Uraia Trust (Kenya’s National Civic Education programme). She chaired the Kenya Cultural Centre Governing Council for two two-year terms [2009 – 2012], and served another term as a member of the Council.