A Poet Called Mercy
July 30, 2009 by Webmaster
Thirty One year old Mercy Moige Mecha was born in Kenya to a family of eight where the only two forms of entertainment available to them were reading or occasionally listening to ‘Play of the Week‘ or stories on BBC radio. Her parents brought them books from school libraries of the schools they worked at and due to their insatiable appetites enrolled in the local library.
“That words could create such endless vistas, had me mesmerised for years(even now) and I became addicted to books to such an extent that I was banned from reading in school and my mother even confiscated the library cards so that we could not borrow books. I hid books under my skirts, read under torchlight and with my sister we pilfered books from the local library and picked those that the library threw away,” revealed Mercy.
The story Teller
She began ‘weaving’ stories of her own before she could write and even came up with her own secret language and under the table club where they took turns telling stories with three of her younger siblings.
At eight she took her first creative writing class, which she enjoyed so greatly that when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she claimed with pride, ‘An Authoress’.
At fourteen she began to experiment with poetry after reading Lord Alfred Tennyson and that same year she won the language prize for her form.When she was seventeen she wrote her first Novel under lamplight ‘The lady of Flowers’ which when she gave it to her eldest brother (whom she considered a literary giant) for his appraisal he said it was trash and for years she became a closet writer.
Mercy wanted to study creative writing at the university but was compelled by her parents to do something that would earn her a living. She then pursued a degree in education with majors in English and Literature. She kept on writing all those years.
Mercy taught at two International Schools where she initiated Journalists and writers clubs and produced a journal and school magazine. She developed an interest in children’s literature, writing stories for her class to explicate what it meant to operate in a creative realm.
Post teaching-writing aspirations
In 2007, Mercy left teaching and her ambition was to join a creative writing course, in the United States as this would give her time to polish her work but this was not to be. So she spent time as a freelance TEFL tutor, fashion consultant cum entrepreneur and freelance writer. She initiated a writing group in Mombasa, initially intended to be a Women’s Writers Forum but ended up being inclusive and later called ‘Angalau Pwani.
It was a dream to be a writer that brought Mercy to the UK. She was admitted into the University of East Anglia Creative writing MA( poetry) and left after one month as it was not meeting what she needed to grow as a writer. She moved to Northampton, where she is part of the Northampton Writers group and on the way to having her short stories and some of her poetry published in their literary journal.
Mercy loves to travel and has travelled all over East Africa and has been to Sweden , Belgium. Her ambition is to travel all over the world.