As the regions pioneer walking in the un-walked path Pachagazine prepares a special feature with teddy who is not only an art enthusiast but also a law erudite.

Teddy Odira: Teddy is a poet, an actor and a law student at the University of Nairobi. I wrote my first poem “Life in the Ghetto” in class 6 and I fell in love with it. It was love at first sight. I then started performing poetry on stage in class 7 and was my second love till Corona did us part.

10 Facts about myself

1. I’m 20 years old

I’m a poet,

I hate my middle name

I was raised by a single dad

So I played GTA to be

WANTED.

2. When I am stressed

I eat ice cream, cakes

And sweets coz

Stressed spelt backwards

Is desserts

3. I used to write poetry

In the third person,

But I came to realize

I was the third person

So sorry it’s not “he loved her”

Its I love you, I miss you

And I want to spend the rest of

My life with you

4. I ain’t really religious,

My faith in God died

When mum died

And God failed to give explanations.

5. I saw her eyes in a girl’s

Eyes so I believe heaven isn’t

 A place we need to die to get to,

6. I have been depressed

So many times,

Depression is afraid of

Attacking again,

6.I had hope in the rope,

 I found myself

 In bottles and smoke

6. The more I lit my lighter

The lighter my lighter got

Until it was too light to light.

Rastafari never dies.

7. My ribcage still cages

A heart so broken

MY heart still hurts

When I remember the

Things I struggle with but

Don’t talk about

8. As a man, I am strong,

I should not talk.

BOYS DON’T CRY

No, I don’t cry in public

I cry behind closed doors

Because society doesn’t even care,

They want stories to share and laugh

9.I get panic attacks,

I stammer when I talk to my crush.

I hide behind a “love contract”

With a girl I actually like.

10. My friends tell me

 I will still celebrate

Women’s day till I grow a beard

And my voice gets deep enough.  

©Theodiraodira 

Pachagazine Does that mean you stopped poetry after the pandemic?

Teddy Odira: I stopped performing on stage after the pandemic. I still do poetry online including Instagram live and Google meet but it is not as fun.

Pachagazine What inspired you to poetry?

Teddy Odira: I was taken to a poetry festival as a kid and I saw poets writing about themselves. Back then, I found it hard to make friends, so I started writing about myself. I made a friend out of my poetry book. But what still inspires me is the fact that everyone sees, hears, thinks and loves differently. This makes poetry a window to another soul. It is the only true way to express oneself through words.

“Even a plain sentence is poetry if it is honest”. Teddy Odira

Pachagazine How did you get yourself in acting?

Teddy Odira: Funny story, I was not even going to be an actor. In high school, I wanted to be part of the school dance team. In the auditions, we were 20 but they only wanted 8 dancers. Our drama director said anyone who wanted to be a dancer must be in the play. So we hid in a crowd scene in the play. I hid behind the main character then one day he got suspended. The director said I should have the script. Long story short, I went to the nationals 3 times as the main character.

Pachagazine What are some of the challenges in the industry?

Teddy Odira: Most poetry lovers are poets. Comparing it to music and other genres, we have few poets. Convincing someone who isn’t a poet is difficult.  Additionally, in poetry, you are only as good as your last poem. You can’t perform one poem every time. Again, finding poetry events out of Nairobi is difficult and even in Nairobi, in most of the events, you will perform for free (unless you already have a well-established brand.) But again we are here for the fun.

Pachagazine Who do you look upto in poetry?

Teddy Odira: In Kenya, Mufasa is still the one. His style is incomparable. I also look up to Mumbi the poet- A lady can sometimes be a king

Pachagazine If given a chance to make adjustments the poetry industry what would you change?

Teddy Odira: I would ensure there are more poetry events upcountry. We have a lot of good poets but because they are not in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa or Kakamega you will not hear them.  I would also make a way in which poets can be paid. A lot of people quit poetry because it doesn’t pay.

Pachagazine did you aspire to do poetry in childhood or it was automatic?

Teddy Odira: It depends on the poet. Some people start poetry because they were heartbroken. Others start because they love a girl/ a boy and are too afraid to say it out loud, some because of pain. So I think it’s something you grow with. It is always in the blood waiting for the right time.

Pachagazine What’s your favorite piece

Teddy Odira:

Beauty Standards

To my future girlfriend,

Soul mate, crush, whatever!

My name is Teddy,

So in case you are reading this,

In which case, I don’t believe you exist,

Please know, I am not him.

I am not prince charming

Who will save you from a tower

Guarded by fire breathing dragons.

I am Shrek, the ogre.

The one you won’t be waiting for.

So princess,

Before you make the first kiss,

Before you stay with me

Just like Fiona did,

 You have to know a few things.

 I have loved three times.

My first love hated John legend

So she didn’t like all of me,

She hated part of me

Or didn’t love me-

Now let’s move to the second.

My second love

Led me to my third love;

”Pain,”

And trust me it

Wasn’t love at first sight.

We used to meet in a corner

In my room talking about

Why my second love left

Then I fell in love.

She was the only one

Who understood me.

She made me smile

And cry at the same time-

She was confusing

But that was fine,

Coz She didn’t betray me

like others did.

So to my future girlfriend,

Soul mate, crush, whatever!

Before you give up on me

Know that I will have started

Listening to you instead of

The demons inside me

And if you won’t see

A man out me

Please tell me

I will not ruin it

It will be a perpetual

Tag of war that won’t end

 ©TheodiraodirA

Pachagazine Single, dating, married?

Teddy Odira: dating

Pachagazine How can people find you on social media?

Teddy Odira: Instagram: the.only.1.odira 

Facebook: Teddy Odita

[Teddy Odira: twitter: @OdiraTeddy

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