‘Too Early for Birds’ leads pack as 2019 Sanaa Theatre Awards nominees unveiled

Nominees for the sixth edition of the Sanaa Theatre Awards have been released, and the ‘Too Early for Birds’ crew are leading the pack with their Tom Mboya Edition masterpiece.

The award ceremony was founded by veteran journalist and playwright George Orido in 2013 to recognize the field of performing arts in Kenya.

Among some of the other nominees include actor Ian Mbugua for ‘Breath II’ (Best Actor), writer Jackson Biko -popularly known as Bikozulu – for ‘Impervious’ (Best Playwriter), as well as the Tom Mboya edition of ‘Too Early For Birds’  (Best Production).

Akothee, Makadem and Serro will battle it out for the ‘Best Live Music Performance’ award.

Mr. Orido, in a statement released last month, stated that Deputy President William Ruto would be the Chief Guest at the award ceremony set to go down on December 17 at the Kenya National Theatre.

Below is the final list of nominees:

Best Actor

Abu Sensei – Too  Early For Birds, Tom Mboya

Ian Mbugua  – Breathe II

Bilal Mwaura – Impervious

Bruce Makau – Free Fall

Peter Kawa – Deliberate Contempt

Xavier Ywaya – Lwanda Rockman

Best Actress

Alison Nyawira – Lwanda Rockman

Sheila Munyiva – Sarafina

Wakio Mzenge – Man Moments by Back To Basics

Nice Githinji – The Dying Need No Shoes

Best Actress in Supporting Role

Mwikali Mary – Man Moments

Sybil Mukandutiye – Sarafina

Wakio Mzenge – Impervious

Pauline Kyalo – Deliberate Contempt

Auudi Rowa – Man Moments by Back To Basics

Best Actor in Supporting Role

Ian Mbugua – Man Moments

Bruce Makau – Impervious

Sam Psenjen – All I Ever Wanted by Hearts Of Art

Junior Nyongo – Too Early For Birds

Martin Githinji ‘Sabela’ – Sarafina

Best Director

Nick Ndeda – Breathe II

Mbeki Mwalimu – Impervious

Stuart Nash – Sarafina

Lwanda Rockman – J.J Jumbi

Mugambi Nthingi – Too Early For Birds

Best Playwright

Too Early For Birds – Tom Mboya

Walter Sitati – Deliberate Contempt

Justin Mirichii– Free Fall

Biko Zulu – Impervious

Xavier Nato – Son of Agich by Millaz Productions

Seth Busolo – Corporate Wife

Best Production

Lwanda Rockman

Man Moments


Too Early For Birds, Tom Mboya Edition

Sarafina by Nairobi Performing Arts Studio

Best Musical Theatre

Wicked by Karengata Players

Lwanda Rockman

Sarafina by NPAS

NBO Musical Theatre Initiative e.g. Pani Puri

Wicked by Karengata Players

Best Play in English

Breathe II by Jackson Biko And Mbeki Mwalimu

Too Early For Birds, Tom Mboya Edition

Sarafina, NPAS

Lwanda Rockman

Man Moments

Best Producer

Masuti Mwalimu

Gathoni  – Too Early for Birds

Nice Githinji

John Jumbi

Stuart Nash

Best Theatre, Art and Culture Magazine

Kenya Buzz

BD Life In Business Daily

People Daily

Ketebul Research Series

Best Art and Culture Writer

Bill Odidi – Ketebul

Amos Ngaira – Daily Nation

Caroline Nyanga – Pulse

Best Supporting Institution

Alliance Francaise

Visa Oshwal Community

Kenyatta University

Pawa 254

Best Performing Theatre Space

Kenya National Theatre

Alliance Francaise

Oshwal Community Centre

Pawa 254

Michael Joseph Centre

Most Improved Theatre Space

Nakuru Players Theatre

Michael Joseph Centre

Nairobi Film Centre

Kenya National Theatre

Little Theatre Club Mombasa

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jamal Nassasor – as Baba Junior, KTN

Judge – Vitimbi, KBC

Susan Kadide, Mombasa

Prof. Omondi Washington

Best Production On Governance And Human Rights – Martin Luther King Junior Award

Written On The Body by Andia Kisii, Directed By Mugambi Nthige

Son Of Agich by Millaz Productions


Deliberate Contempt

He is Far Too Much, The Silent Itch, Mombasa

Too Early For Birds – Tom Mboya Edition

Black Republic

Best Narrative Theatre

Too Early For Birds – Tom Mboya

Random Stories Of Kauzi

Dodo The Guitarist

George Chunga – SMS

Ogutu Muraya – Running

Best Set, Light and Sound Design

Lwanda Rockman


Black Republic


Best Costumes

Chatterbox Productions – Lwanda Rockman

Too Early For Birds, Tom Mboya Edition

Sarafina By Nairobi Performing Arts Studio

Black Monday by Khweva Players

Best Tragedy

A kiss through the veil


Roll the dice


Breathe II

The Dying Need No Shoes

Best Comedy

Because You Said So

Heartstrings’ Cat And Mouse

Poison Ivy By Seth Busolo & Wholesome Entertainment

Son Of Agich – Millaz Productions

Best Dance Theatre

Art In Motion



Origins’ Unflow

Mid-Summer Night’s Dream By Dance Centre Kenya

One Fine Day Ballet

Best Play In a Local Language

Ambe Wenje, Fanaka


Laser Arts, Kisumu

Best Production On Reproductive Health

Written On The Body

Roll The Dice

Nobody Can Stop Reggae

Corporate Wife

Best Production on Women’s rights and gender-based violence

Heartstrings’ Cat And Mouse

Poison Ivy by When

Corporate Wife by When

Best Production On Child Rights And Protection

Coast Chorus Music Academy

Forbidden, Kabarak Primary

One Fine Day Ballet

Best TV Art and Culture Magazine

The Trend, NTV

Tuesday Lifestyle, KTN

East Africa Got Talent, Citizen TV

Best Production On spoken word

Poetry After Lunch (PAL)

Ogutu Muraya’s ‘Because I Always Love Running’

Mufasa The Poet


Best Production Primary School

Forbidden Acts  – Kabarak Primary

Coast Chorus Music Academy –Mombasa

One Fine Day Ballet

Best Production Secondary School

Blast From The Past – Loreto Convent Msongari

Faceless –  Rusinga Schools Nairobi

Nail in the Flesh, Nanyuki High

Best Production College and University – Prof Chris Wanjala Award

Kenyatta University

Strathmore University

University of Nairobi, Parklands Campus

Best Live Music Performance – Daniel Pearl Award




Distinguished Diaspora Award – Owiso Odera Award

Ogutu Muraya with ‘On Thin Ice’


Wanjiku Victoria Seest

Nation Media Group

The Standard



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