Category: Commentary

Postcards on Dictatorship

The problem, I have come to realise, is that some bodies just refuse to be passive. You ascribe certain narratives. These narratives are meant to fully inform all decision. It is all the information they need. The problem continues to be that some bodies ask “but what about that other stuff?” Refuse: verb Indicate or show that one is not…

Taking Up Space

Bibi mgani huyo *3 (which wife is that) Anataka nipike chai (who wants me to make tea) Sufuria nimenunua (I’ve bought the pan) Kichungi nimenunua (I’ve bought the sieve) Ketepa nimenunua (I’ve bought ketepa) Anataka nipike chai (yet she wants me to make tea) The patriarchy actively teaches/recruits/persuades. This is something that we know to be true. The song above…

Give this Essay a Fighting Chance

Here, where the smell of charred flesh dances in the wind and lingers before ascending into forgotten dreams.   Here where fists of men meet fists of men and women and children are marked as battlefields.   Here where ideologies are nothing but reasons to die. No, excuses to kill.   Here where gutters have seen so much deoxygenated blood…

Are you Safe Now?

Silence is a form of poisonous knowledge. A paper I’m reading quotes Veena Das on this. It comes at a time when I’m thinking about the current state of the Somali people in Kenya. I’m thinking about the stories we’ve heard and seen. And, more particularly, I’m thinking, and frustrated over the large scale silence the dehumanisation has received. Even…

When We Fail

“Are you gay?” The question is spat out with a venom that I can’t dare imagine. The “no” finds its way out of my mouth way too quickly. My mind has accounted for the dynamic of this fully male testosterone filled environment faster than my leftist self could stage defiance. Even my net clause “and even if I was all…

Unique – Just Like Everybody Else

I’ve been watching a lot of aspirational poverty porn NGO type videos recently. It’s funny how these things work by giving people in the village westerly aspirations. For example, being a pilot, or a doctor. As if to say, they are human too, because they want to be like “us.” Let us give them a stamp of authority and accept…

How Round is A Circle?

Women and children should not be killed unless and until women and children are killed.  If women and children are killed then more women and children can be killed.  If women and children are killed then more women and children should be killed.  If women and children are killed then more women and children must be killed. –          Wambui Mwangi,…

Tell Me a Story

When Governor Kidero raised his hand and let it accelerate rapidly towards Women’s Representative Rachel Shebesh’s face he made a very public statement – a statement that has been made, and reiterated for generations:  when a woman gets in your face, it is advisable to remind her of where she belongs, and using physical force is the most convenient way…

Lights, Camera, Fire

And so when I finally decided to write I sat down at my computer and began to think. Steam from the cup of coffee on the side of my desk warming my fingers. Thoughts swirled around in my head. Egypt, Syria, The USA, South Africa, Kenya. Kenya. We burned the airport and the analysts came out. Everyone spoke, and with…