Shannon & Kimani

Shannon and Kimani

An African Kitchen Table Conversation about


Smart Libraries


On this website, Shannon has explored many of the dimensions of the film ‘A Small Act’.

Click here for Shannon’s film review on African Kitchen Table of the film ‘A Small Act’.

Click here for Shannon’s interview with the film director of ‘A Small Act’, Jennifer Arnold.

Click here for Shannon’s interview with Sarah Njuru, director of Hilde Back Education Fund.


Shannon was so inspired by the examples of the ‘small acts’ that she even wrote an essay on it.

Click here for her essay ‘Small Acts: The Journey to the Fifth Anniversary of Pencils for Africa’.

Below are questions from Shannon to Kimani (aka Patrick) that will spark more conversations.


About Kimani


Kimani grew up in Ngenia a village in central Kenya. His house had no electricity or running water.

The people of Ngenia earn their living by picking coffee cherries in the huge coffee plantations that surround the villages. The two dollars a day made from picking coffee was almost never enough to feed his family, leave alone considering going to school.

As a boy from Ngenia, Kimani’s fate was already predetermined for him, by becoming a coffee-picker like everyone else.

Fortunately, a remarkable opportunity happened for Kimani in 2007: he was selected to become a contestant for a high school scholarship while he was a primary school student in Kenya.

Building on the opportunities offered to Kimani, he ended up where he is today.

Today, Kimani is pursuing a BA in Communication at Northwest University in Seattle, Washington.

Ngenia 3

Shannon’s first question to Kimani

(The start of an African Kitchen Table Conversation)


It is a privilege Kimani, for me to now speak with the young boy in the film, A Small Act!

Pencils for Africa (PFA) is now embarking upon a literacy project called Smart Libraries.

I have been working on the research phase of the Smart Libraries for almost a year now.

Smart Libraries relies upon a caring community, ‘a village’, to bring the project to fruition.

I realized how the film, ‘A Small Act’, and Hilde Back Education Fund, also took a village.

Kimani, can you please tell me about the village and community that led to ‘A Small Act’?

Specifically, I am thinking of all the people, such as human rights lawyer Chris Mburu, filmmaker Jennifer Arnold, education fund director Sarah Njuru, and all the other amazing people in your community that have pioneered such groundbreaking and needed work for education in Kenya.