remember this?

January 21, 2008


January 9, 2008

i heeded kenyan pundit’s call to write about what the growing pain of the young kenyan demoncracy means on a personal level. i decided to share this because i feel it is important to shed off any veils of silence, after all, silence never protects anyone.

I left Kenya when i was 24 years, 10 month and some days old. With me were two suitcases stuffed with books and unsuitable clothing for the upcoming winter and in the midst of the hot, tuesday afternoon, my heart was burdened by the choice I feel I had to take.
I was tired of living unnoticed.
I was afraid of my safety.
And most of I was tired of pretending I was anything that who I really was.
I am a lesbian.
A queer.
A shoga.
A dyke.
An ‘ abboration’ of nature.
Watching Kenya unravel causes me untold anguish. I am fatigued by the worry and anxiety I have shed tears for my friends, my family and the nation as a whole.
Yet, in the stillness of my heart, I am not surprised. I am not at all surprised that underneath the veil of calmness lies intolerance. We are as a nation and as individuals are not sentries of peace, we would like to believe that we have no strong affiliations to the groups that we belong to.However, I ask, take a moment to ask, who do you consider your friends, your crew, are they born from the same background, do they look like you, what are their professional and personal affiliations, are they in synch with yours?
I knew from an earlier age that I was different. Even though I ‘ belonged’ to a majority, I was still reeling from the overt forms of sexism, patriarchy and homophobia. What I saw around me was a need for group consensus and I knew that for me to thrive fully, I would either deny being an authentic human being, or negate the truths of my experience. And so I did the former and I left and now I am left with images of  the Kenya of my youth, nursing an untold nostalgia while basking in the sea of otherness.
For status quo to remain in place, there needs to be a level of group chaos. Kenya and indeed the world has tithered on this premise. Now that the pandora box has been opened and the shadow of our collective experiences has been unveiled, what choices do we have?
It is not the time to sweep this experience and return to ‘ normal.’ What is normal? Is it to pretend that this didn’t happen? Is normal to congregate amongst ourselves, our ‘ tribes’ our safe havens and drink into the well of our tribes and in stupor like mentality point fingers at others.
We have an opportunity as individuals in our enclaves of influence to become more mindful and compassionate to ourselves and others. This is an opportunity to pour balms of forgiveness onto the wounds of intolerance. We have a unique experience to thrive from this experience and be better human beings or engage in viscous cycles of hate.
We are after all, each other.


Genocide in the making?

January 4, 2008

Images courtesy of Joseph Karoki.

Cry, my beloved country

December 30, 2007

They have sworn him in the still of the darkness.  Reports show there are over 30 kenyans that have died so far and with rampant and chaotic demonstrations and lootings across the nation, who is to say what is in store. For many this has been an exercise of the democratic process, the marking of removing the last chains of one party rule and the draconian, menacing fear that permeated through out the land. Cries of ‘ haki yetu,’  that is, ‘ our right. ‘ Our right for a free and fair representation have fallen into the abys of state secrecy guarded by the sentries of chuku (hate). Under the disguise of fair and just government lies a wounded wolf, propelled by ego dreaming and blood thirst antics. Haki ni yetu, it is our right, our right for governance, for protection and justice ensured by the constitution and by all those whose blood has seeped through out the land for justice. No, it is our right, ni haki yetu.   And as the word spreads of this new happenings, the government has censored any live broadcasts of any unfolding events. Ni Haki yetu, it is our right. I’d rather die here than not vote.