Archive for the ‘Art Matters’ Category

Women’s day poem

March 9, 2017

Inspired by the International Women’s Day, here’s the 2017 piece. #beboldforchange

eudiah kamonjo by Lusi Mbira

We see you, sisters

By Eudiah Kamonjo

 

We see you everyday mama

Juggling nanny jobs, hard-core chores and all kinds of biasharas

To put all of us through school-alone

Coz he walked out on you, walked out on all of us

And you refused to be inherited or to remarry or be number two

Talking in monologues and sprinkling paradoxes

You thought we’d never understand, but we did

And we salute you, mama!

Coz U R rock steady, steady rocking all life long

You did it mama, for us.

 

We used see you quite often Sister

Quiet sobs, black eye, bruised ego

Coz he’d come home drunk and irritable and rough-you up seriously

Silently you’d limp your way to the market;

Feigning accidents or juju to anyone who would dare ask

Until your art, squeezed out the truth about the abuse

And you bolded-up and packed-up your stuff, mtoto kwa mgongo

Waved goodbye to this fella, though you had no mulla

You knew you’d pick up the pieces, Sister!

You said: Hit the road Jerk, and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more.

 

 

We see you everyday Grandma

Back-bent dangerously, endlessly toiling in the unforgiving heat of this harsh African savanna

So your dear Grandkids can get at least that one ngwace, that one meal a day

One with the dawn to ensure they were ready and on time for the school

That you and yours (long gone by now)

Weren’t privileged to attend.

 

We saw you everynight, Dada

Talking those dark hideous streets by the horn, deep in the night

Flaunting, teasing, insulting, inviting with your moonlight-kissed, thousand-ways spanked thighs, scarred yet mellow breasts and luscious African bum ready to satisfy today’s Mafisi, these ridiculously entitled hyeanes

Just to get yourself through university

You could do better, but it’s the easiest way you knew how.

But you knew this won’t last forever, nothing ever does.

 

We see you every month Auntie

Mountain climbing, boxing, running

Then tossing and turning, wondering

How much more Zumba and Rhumba and Jaba-chewing

You’d have to do to get your body back to the way

It used to be before the babies

Just coz of all that crap you are reading online

Telling you that’s why he ain’t interested no more

But you know what Auntie, relax!

Your big booty in all its black glory is just FINE!

Love it and be confident in who you are

Coz wewe uko sawa, uko sawa

 

We see you brothers

Those concerned with the success of our African sisters

Those doing everything in their Alpha-giving, heart-stopping, women-loving power

To kill all of these madness skirting around our African Queens,

Our very own core.

 

We see you, all of humanity

Getting together in colour, shield and armour

Pen and paper, Music and Dance, Schools and Homes

Kitchens and Bedrooms, Offices and parties

Guiding our children, all of us

In thoughts, action , in words

To a world that’s fair for all

A world where we all stand a chance

At dignity, equality, honesty, joy and pleasure.

 

 

Grim research

February 24, 2017

bomb

The morning after the bombings,

I realized that my bag held three books,

All on the lives of serial killers, grim research for a writing project.

Sure, but I admit I nearly laughed out loud thinking about rescuers who would find me,

How they’d look in my bag and think,’Whoa, maybe this one was for the best!’

-#WordWarrior Cristin O’Keefe in ‘All I’d leave behind’

a-writers-bag

My hottest poem

August 3, 2016

My hottest poem

Check out the link above to watch a video we did for one of the poetry pieces from my upcoming collection. Enjoy and please share.

 

 

Reading in unusual spaces-June 2016 edition

June 13, 2016

jevanjeeWe shall find all precious substance,

We shall fill our houses with spoilProverbs of Solomon.

Perhaps the above Proverbs explains my own expectations for the June 2016 edition of the Goethe Institut facilitated event ‘Reading In Unusual Spaces’. But just like anything unusual, you just have to prepare for anything.

Curated by writer Tony Mochama aka Smitta Smitten of The Standard Media, writers and other literature enthusiasts met at the Goethe Institut on Satuarday morning 10 a.m. on June 11 2016.

We then walked over to Jevanjee Gardens where we were divided into groups of three. In these groups, we approached random people at Jevanjee inorder to share our love for literature. Since Jevanjee is synonymous with preachers, the organisers felt that some Proverbs of Solomon would be appropriate. I think we could have used other forms of literature too.

The first duo we approached said they were actually in a meeting so we moved on to another guy who was seated solo under a tree. He said his (Kibera) hood name was Wailer and boy! was he a sport. He even read some of the Proverbs out loud for us and explained their applications in life today. Wailer pointed out that he too was a reader. He also had friends who wrote but do not publish since they do not know where to go. He was at Jevanjee because he was waiting for his colleague so they could go for a children’s face-painting job just across the road.

Thereafter, we shared experiences, observations and lessons and one of the craziest ones I remember was from Tony’s group. They had found two men carrying suitcases and looking confused. Upon further enquiry, they discovered that these men were just about to be conned. They had been promised jobs in Kakuma, Northern Kenya in exchange for Kshs. 3,000. They did not doubt the job advert because ‘it was in the newspaper’. The person they were dealing with was still unreachable but they had been waiting there for him for a while already-ready to start their jobs in Kakuma immediately.

Some of the people we found at Jevanjee have smartphones too but none of them was reading as they waited, passed time in readiness for something else or smoked cigarettes. Why not read meanwhile?

Our next stop was the Imax Theatre where we read some poetry printed out by the organiser. ‘Priest accused of not wearing a condom’ by Paul Durcan was quite a discussion starter.

From here, we proceeded to Sabina Joy, a den where sex workers are available around the clock. Along the way, PEN-Kenya current president Khainga O’okwemba tried to derail us into International Life House for what he called an impromptu reading at some airline office. But Tony intervened before this happened.

On reaching the much-anticipated Sabina Joy, we were obviously so many that the bouncer became suspicious> She called the manager who intervened and we were finally let in.

But we were informed that they wouldn’t be switching-off the music since at 12 noon, they were already house-full. The camera people who had been following us were also not allowed in for obvious reasons. As soon as we were settled into one corner of the dimly-lit club, some guy grabbed one of the writer’s phones accusing him of taking photos. But Tony’s prescence was all it took for him to return it.

Over a drink, we continued to read in groups (inspite of the drama and the noise). To suit this special occasion, Potentash read an excerpt from her story ‘Confessions of a high class call girl’. Though I hadn’t come prepared to perform, I was asked to perform ‘my hottest poem’ http://bit.ly/1OkLGyK which I did, really having to raise my voice. This was quite a great voice exercise as one of the attendees cared to point out.

A walk towards the ladies washrooms and wow! The women lined up in wait was unexpected. They were all up and ready for business before lunchtime. I was informed that during the ‘washroom break’, I had missed some drama; a woman had gotten into a fight with a guy –even tearing up his shirt before security could intervene.

I have always been an avid reader, reading everywhere and anywhere I can so I did not have to be converted. I was happy that what we did generated the desired curiousity, which was part of the plan. I also met some really wonderful inspiring literature-loving men and women and had some incredible moments of inspiration and experiences for sure. Not what I had pictured/expected, but definitely worth my time.

The next Reading in Unusual Spaces will be held in Ole Polos.

What writing means to me

March 8, 2016

(Some free writing)

writing

Writing has always been a part of my life

Allowing me to dig deeper into my thoughts, soul and body

Allowing me to dream and to create

First my world, the way I’d like it

And then the world, the way I dream it.

 

Writing is an act of courage to me

Allowing me to talk about things or issues

In a way I wouldn’t speak them

Allowing me to listen

To the world around me, and in me

 

By writing, I go to places that

I ‘ve never been

Taste things I never have

Sing songs I’ve never heard

 

My writing allows me to seduce

To conjure up fantasies

To speak from the depths of the silent

To silence the uncalled for

And sooooo much more….

My 2015 highlights

January 11, 2016
baby Nanu

with the most amazing daughter

-Watching the most amazing daughter in the world transform before my eyes. She is already such a character; with every rising sun, she is always bringing a smile and awe to my life.

-Being named one of the top 10 female writers in Nairobi by UP Nairobi Magazine.

-This was the year I finally learnt how to ride a motorcycle and drive a car. Have to live with a few (motorbike) scars though ;(

-My sister’s graduation (law) and her birthday party at Kempinski.

kempinski

The Galz at Shiro’s birthday

-Attending the Storymoja Festival 2015. Though the turnout was not as good as was expected, we hope it continues to help Kenya (and Africa) evolve into a reading (And writing) nation.

storymoja festival 2015

chicks dig guys who read #storymojafest2015 #reading

-Here, I got my auto’d own copy of some three poetry collections published in Uganda, my best being ‘Bodaboda anthem.’ The meeting new people, catching up with old friends and learning is always A++. So lets keep attending, supporting and buying books.

It seems to be a creative writer, possession of truth is less important than emotional sincerity… A writer needs more than knowledge. a writer also needs talent. But talent is apparently a matter of being able to care, of really believing in your beliefs….TRUE OR FALSE?-shared by Raymond Antrobus during the StorymojaFest 2015

-Performing at the UBUNTU Bob Marley Tribute Concert at Kuona Trust in Nairobi. That was exceptional!

Performing at Bob Marley's Tribute Concert

Eudiah performing at Bob Marley’s Tribute Concert in May 2015

-My trip to Tanzania where I got to visit the Nafasi Art Space, the breathtaking Bagamoyo beach, meet reggae artist Jiko Man and experience the difference in night life, culture and Swahili language.

-Trying to get back on track on (ghost) co-writing that adventure memoir-in the night, as is my style!.

baby shower things

baby shower things

-My cousin’s TUZO’s baby shower was fabulous. (‘though I completely forgot about the dress code).

-I bet that ’First Draft ‘ book launch at Goethe Institut was eye-opening for my lil sister. Most interesting piece so far from this collection was ‘Forgive me father for I have seen’.

-As a journalist, I loved covering the Day of the African Child celebrations in Migori, the music festivals in TharakaNithi County, the Global Handwashing Day in Juja, interviewing the young Dandora Music group and attending a book launch of thirteen-year-old fantasy fiction writer Joseph Bokea. Children (and artists) are always such a breathe of fresh air 😉

young musicians

I am a fan of Dandora Music

-One of the poems I liked this year was ‘Someone in Africa loves you’ by Kenyan writer Alexander Nderitu.

someone in africa loves youThis piece was even selected by the BBC for their Poetry PostCards.

-The Bodies Unbound Art Exhibition & Auction (for ITGNC people) was interesting and as always Kawira’s work is as off the hook as her Les colouring book.

bodies unbound art

Kawira’s art

-And when was the last time you saw a peacock in Nairobi? In all its majesty, it was quite a sight!!!

A peacock in Nairobi

A peacock in all its majesty

What were your 2015 highlights?

 


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