Translating as ‘initiation’, Kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. The poems of Kayo Chingonyi’s remarkable debut explore this passage: between two worlds, ancestral and contemporary; between the living and the dead; between the gulf of who he is and how he is perceived.
Underpinned by a love of music, language and literature, here is a powerful exploration of race, identity and masculinity, celebrating what it means to be British and not British, all at once.
‘A brilliant debut – a tender, nostalgic and, at times, darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief. A gorgeous and necessary collection from one of my favourite writers.’ – Warsan Shire
Kayo appeared at our very first Verve in 2017, performing wonderfully at our Saturday headline event, while Joelle Taylor clapped every poem and the rest of the audience waited politely for him to finish his whole reading before bursting into applause!
Date: 1st June 2017
Extent: 64 pp