Born in 1990 in Bujumbura, Burundi, Ivan Irakoze grew up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and has lived in Nairobi, Kenya for the last 14 years. He first started writing poetry at the age of 11 and he has always had a love for the power of words and poetry in particular – whether written, spoken, or in music. His poetry is inspired by his own personal experiences, his environment, and music – especially the hip hop genre.
Ivan first started performing spoken word poetry in March 2014 and has since done it on a consistent basis. He regularly performs at Kwani? Open Mic nights on every first Tuesday of the month and he is also the 58th and current Slam Africa King having won the competition in October this year. Ivan has also had the pleasure of opening up for Nigerian-American spoken word artist, Bassey Ikpi’s show ‘Bassey World Live Nairobi’ in September this year.
On top of being a poet and spoken word artist, Ivan Irakoze is also the Head and co-founder of Ink Overflow, having started it in 2014 while completing his Undergraduate Degree at the United States International University – Africa.
For the nth time she asks, “Why do you love me?
Why do you love me, and don’t tell me it’s beauty
Whether inner or outer like you always do
Be honest, I’ll know whether what you say is true.”
And so for the first time he answers, “I don’t know.
I don’t know how to put it into words. How do you describe love?
Maybe it’s because of how you’re my first thought in the morn’ and my last one at night
Maybe it’s because of how you constantly consume my mind
Maybe it’s how much I miss you when you’re not by my side
~ Excerpt from the poem ‘Why I Love You’ by Ivan.
And on the 5th December 2015 Ivan takes the stage at Word Sessions, join us for wonderful and entertaining afternoon.
See you then!