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Evolution of Kevin Maina’s mind: Tiktok’s poet explores the many sides of love

What sides of love do you know?

Kevin Maina wants to take you on a journey to experience the good and toxic sides of love.

Kevin was inspired to do his third live performance with his ‘Mainders’ from life in general for Gen Z and also because his brand is about ‘loving love’. The show will also tell stories from different points in his life.

“The Love Bomb edition follows the journey of a guy who has experienced love from both extremes. The good, where it comes from; his mother, good relationships. And then becoming a typical Kevo; there’s even a poem called “Naitwa Kevo”; just loving from an extremely toxic situation. And then trying to figure out how people are the way they are, not because they’re bad people, but because they perceive love because of the experiences they’ve had,” says Kevin.

He explores finding love within yourself, taking it out to people and getting your heart broken, and falling in love with an older person; basically, things that people go through that are very relatable.

He says a lot of people try to justify their toxic traits with the classic “that’s how I roll”, but they know it’s not healthy because there’s already a bar set for what healthy love looks like.

If you listen to the plays on stage, they will portray love where you can be yourself, trust someone and feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be hard work to love someone. Even people-pleasers are toxic, he adds.

His sample sources include himself, experiences from people he has dated, his parents and some X banter about what it is like to be a ‘Kevo’ and put it together. The show on June 8th will have a director and a musical director, as it will be the first time the show has included lighting.

Some of Kenya’s biggest R&B artists will also be performing.

“Even today, I have to tell myself that I can be bold in asking for help because I have a track record and that’s my credibility. I have to keep reminding myself of that,” he said.

Kevin’s content is definitely compelling. From the words in his poems to the delivery, they always seem to have this magnetism about them. He decided to let people in on the process of how he does everything.

On March 22, he held a master class called “Words Can Explain” to help poets explain feelings; to put feelings into words.

He says that’s all he does.

“People I even write vows for know what they want to say, but they just don’t know how to say it.”

As well as exploring the fine line between sounding ordinary and sweet, they also explored grief; bringing someone or memories back to life with words that don’t hurt, but move you forward. At the end of the masterclass, which ran from 10 am to 1 pm, everyone was able to write and perform their pieces in front of an audience.

“There are certain tools I use, like music, visualisation, junk writing. And people were amazed by themselves because you can use different elements that you see around you to explain what you want to explain,” says Kevin.

Once dubbed the TikTok poet by someone, Kevin didn’t know what he had started when he tried to explain his feelings about a job rejection in a way that would be relatable to everyone – it was actually poetry. He has paid for and taken many free courses and workshops online just to study the art. He has also recently started going to poetry readings.

“The advantage is that I started focusing on rhyming much later. I just wanted to express myself in a way that you could understand and feel it, even though it was my experience”. In his exploration of love in all its facets, Maina decided to explore the steamier, more sensual side of love poetry every Thursday.

This is from a guy who has found a sweet way to give advice and then poems about love. “It could be about how to find and keep love because I feel like I’m on that journey as I’m also in a relationship. It’s going well and the audience is growing, I’m up to 110,000 followers now.

“Poetry has always been about what I believe in. It was a challenge to myself. I was very predictable about love at that point; it’s sweet, it’s affirming, it’s encouraging. Writing sensual poetry is a very thin line between sounding good and sounding disgusting. How do I write something that surprises you in the first line, but by the end I want you to feel safe when you’re around me,” he says.

And that has attracted newer audiences, especially more mature women. He’s found that it’s something people think about but don’t have a proper channel to explore their fantasies.

He has received many poems in his DMs from people asking him to rate them, while some of the comments under the videos are sometimes hilarious, but most are shockingly brazen and downright unprintable.

Maina Mind is the foundation and it has branches that include the live show, a podcast and merchandise.

Kevin is also about to film the third series of his ‘experiment’, ‘The Orange Connect’.

It brings people together in an environment where they can talk about things outside of what they do.

“There are things you’ve never talked about, like “Why have you been friends for 10 years but never dated?”

The idea is to bring people to a place where they can explore aspects of their relationships and connect. The first two seasons were celebrities who just wanted a chill vibe to still connect with the fans. Season three will bring people together and curate questions,” says Kevin

He adds that the secret to his exploration and relative success is simply being open to not knowing.

There is so much collaboration behind it and a team of people who have been in the game for a long time.

His character in “Single Kiasi” Richie is also growing. They explored porn addiction, heartbreak, therapy and a new catch, played by Helen Keli, as he tries to shed his “Ben 10” status.

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