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MISSUE NO. 3147 

November 21 - 27, 2008

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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SYLVIA DELAP EXHIBITS AT
LAMU CULTURAL FESTIVAL

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Coastweek - - Sailing off the Lamu seafront.

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'MUTANU' - HAPPINESS IN KIKAMBA:
NAMED BY PEOPLE OF KAYATA

Coastweek - - Two recent works by talented north coast artist Sylvia Delap who is hosting an exhibition of Oil Paintings entitled "Ancient Lamu In 2008" at the Lamu Fort from 4.00 p.m. on Thursday, November 27th 2008.

Sylvia was born in Kenya to Alan and Jeanine (the latter wrote under the pseudonym. Francoise Arned) who met in Madagascar during World War II.

Her parents were well known for the creation of the then legendary garden and coffee plantation, Kayata (Donyo Sabuk), where Hollywood made three movies - two Tarzan films and Sean Connery's movie debut.

Alan brought in Peter Greensmith, a naval Officer, trained him at Kayata and then supplied all the palms and tree seedlings Peter planted along Nairobi's avenues.

Alan's parents had come to Kenya in 1919 from England. J.O.K. Delap (family from Scotland in 16th century) also built Nairobi's water system and Nairobi Dam.

He commissioned his friend Edwyn Lutyens (the renowned English architect) to build a large "folly" at Kayata complete with swimming pool and open air bathroom on top of a tower.

Coastweek - -  The artist Sylvia Delap in Lamu with her Spanish guitar.

Alan's mother was the famous Audrey Delap, later of Muthaiga.

President Kibaki now lives in her old house.

Sylvia's maternal grandfather was the grandson of the Marquis De Bissy.

He played a crucial role in Madagascan history when he repatriated the queen's body from Algeria and buried her at home, in the process averting a revolution.

Sylvia went to school and college in Nyeri and Nairobi and lived at Kayata and Vasco da Gama Point in Malindi with her two brothers.

She was a founder of Nairobi 'Hootenanny' in 1968, a highly successful traditional Folk group which played to large public audiences and privately for Jomo Kenyatta and Tom Mboya at Gatundu.

It is still going strong 40 years on! Sylvia has been a singer, guitarist, (Well Known for her blind band the Mighty Sparrows in the 1980's),school teacher, actress (Nairobi and London - stage, film and T.V., trained at R,A.D.A. and in the company of Vanessa Redgrave and Sir Michael, Hermione Baddeley, Barbara Windsor, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Robert de Niro and many classical musicians).

She started a new Shakespeare theatre with Christopher Plummer, John Neville, Sean 

Coastweek - -  Swahili
children playing in front
of a traditional carved
wooden door.

Connery and Alan Bates), was a motorbike stunt rider and diver,
astrologer, writer, photographer, riding teacher, Arabian horse
 and poodle breeder, landscape exotic gardener ... and, since
Kayata, an artist.

For Sylvia, Lamu, where her mother once lived, is part of a spiritual pilgrimage Kayata, the "Bush", Malindi, convent, "Tyrringham", Sahara Desert, eight hour meditations in Cheops Great Pyramid, Findhorn, Madagascar, Memphis Tennessee, and her own Magic Garden in Malindi where she lives now, and hopes to write a book.

As Sylvia puts it: "The most inspiring thing in my life is my beautiful Kenya which I want to show in my art. I love the light!"

Sylvia Delap can be contacted at:

scdelap@yahoo.co.uk

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