By Kafui Offori
This is a series of features on the panels, panelists and moderators for Adventures Live! X The Spread 2023. In case you missed the previous one, you can read about it right here.
Our last panel, as we build towards our Sexual Utopia 2023, is on an issue that can sometimes get lost in the sea of limbs, skin and sweat most of us think of when talking about sex – and that is the mental component. A significant portion of all sexual interaction is psychological, and it was very important for us to make sure we touched on that and explored it as extensively as we could this year. To give head right you’ve got to get your head right, right? Right!
The diversity of our identities and experiences also means that we could all be a little more attentive to realities that differ from our own. Considerations of neurodivergence, mental illness, and trauma cannot be swept under the rug when it comes to treating people sexually. Our different lived experiences also influence how we approach sexual situations, and so it is important that everyone – straight or gay, disabled or not, trans or cis, intersex, aspec or queer – feels seen and heard in different ways. such interactions. In other words, the mental aspect of sexuality cannot be ignored if we want to be kinder, more ethical partners who share enriching experiences with others.
In what is our very final panel, let’s have a look at our very able conductors:
Majic is an internationally-recognized multidisciplinary creative with expertise ranging from performance arts, podcasting, life coaching, and gender equity consulting. Their gender-bending drag, contagious energy and dynamic stage presence have made them an unforgettable force throughout local and digital audiences. Their aim in all the work they do is to inspire self liberation by empowering others to embrace their individuality and live a life of authenticity, and they do this with a softness and kindness that brings light to all who encounter them. There isn’t a more perfect moderator for a conversation as sensitive as this.
In this panel, Majic will seek to explore with the other panelists – and in as much as depth as possible – the various things that form the connection between sex and mental health. These include topics such as the impact of relationships on mental health, dealing with anxiety in the bedroom, and how to create a supportive and safe environment for discussing sex.
Panelist: Muthoni Njogu
Muthoni Njogu is a therapist who supports individuals and couples in their relationships, as well as with addiction, trauma and sexuality. She has a B.A in Psychology and Gender Studies from USIU-A and is currently pursuing an M.A in Marriage and Family Therapy from PAC University. Muthoni holds additional certifications in Addiction Treatment, Conflict Resolution and Mediation and Sex Therapy. Muthoni supports clients in disrupting limiting self-talk and behaviours and co-creating with them, a full exploration of self in order to enhance authenticity, acceptance and contentment.
Muthoni’s psychology background and real life interactions with couples and mental health issues means there will be no shortage of expertise to learn from, and wisdom to glean on this topic.
Panelist: Kui Mahihu
Kui is one of the most remarkable people you could ever meet. With her spiritual practice based in Nairobi, she has spent the past 9 years creating safe spaces for people to learn and practise going within to gain a deeper understanding of their inner truths, limiting beliefs and inherited patterns. Her work as a spiritual coach aims to strengthen one’s relationship with themselves and the ecosystem around them.
Kui brings the element of the unseen to our conversation on sex and mental health. The aim is to have her open us all up to possibilities we may not have thought of or have the ability to access that can improve our mental health, as well as provide us with additional perspectives that can make our overall sexual experiences much more wholesome.
Panelist: Siphumeze Khundayi
Siphumeze Khundayi is a healer, art – maker, photographer and facilitator interested in creative ways of bringing together dialogue and artistic practice in relation to African queer identity. This links to the work she does as artistic director of HOLAAfrica! a digital space that raises awareness on issues of African women’s sexuality. Using this platform, she has worked on TedXCapeTown Women: A History Of Coochie Conversations and Ted Talk: How to have a healthier, positive relationship to sex.
As a performer, she has featured various solo and collaborative performance works within theatre spaces. These include The Artscape, as well as a number of festivals including Artscape Women’s Festival, Drama 4 Life: Sex Actually festival, GIPCA Live Art, Cape Town Fringe, Infecting the City, Assitej Cradle of Creativity and Japanese international children’s festival Ricca Ricca. Most of her work however tends to use unconventional performance spaces.
Siphumeze has a background in arts therapy, being a part of Drama 4 Life Playback Theatre, Bonfire Theatre Company and having worked for Zakheni, a Drama Therapy organisation. Her unique skill set and experiences using art as therapy bode very well for our panel and the dimensions we would love for our conversations to go.
Onyango Otieno is a storyteller, writer, poet, mental health activist, trauma coach, podcaster, and a digital advocacy activist. He employs the power of storytelling for pleasure, healing and connection. His work centres on African masculinities and their role in ensuring gender equity, especially championing for African men’s involvement in sexual and reproductive health and rights. He is a facilitator of trauma healing circles, managing a safe space for African boys and men who have been raped or sexually abused. He also hosts, and produces the Afro-Masculinity Podcast where he interrogates the complexities of African Masculinities.
Onyango brings his perspective as a cis-man to this very delicate topic – one that, for obvious reasons, is not often present in conversations around mental health and the vulnerability that comes with it.
Ready for the 25th and 26th of November 2023? We are, and we have the most satisfying experience all laid out for you. Don’t waste any more time: get that ticket, spread the word, and let’s count down the days till we get to experience our Sexual Utopia!