Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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

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.

My 2012 Highlights

January 4, 2013

…the unforgettable ones

  • A relevant quote: There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning-Author Loius L’Amour
  • Very early in the year, I started teaching Sunday school (5 & 6 year olds) at a Nairobi City church. One of my goals had been to get involved in kids activities. It is mighty fun, fulfilling and has really strengthened my faith.
  • The Karate classes I’d started at the end of 2011 had to come to a stop for various reasons. The discipline and skills I learnt have however proved useful in my artistic, fitness and defense activities.
  •  I hosted an Open Mic at Club City Space in Nairobi and acquired the stage name Emal.
  • I went to my first Open day at Green Park Estate, Athi River. A different lifestyle is what I’d say the estate offers. Managed by Superior Homes, the houses are selling really quick.
  • Got into two relationships that did not quite work for me. Now questioning the purpose of dating. Maybe I will ‘kiss dating goodbye.
  • My friend and I were man-handled by a bouncer at Club Tribeka opp. Nation Center. Justice is yet to be served though.
    • Went to Kampala, Uganda where I stayed at Le Bougainviller Hotel. I loved the French-style food and the serenity. One lesson though, always lock-up your valuables there. I also got to visit one of the museums, the theatre, malls, the L. Victoria beach and even experienced the famous Uganda night-life.
  • I got into online media consultancy work before I (re) joined Bingwa Magazine as Editor for this kids magazine I love so much. The highlights here were the prize-giving at schools in Eldoret & Kakamega and the Storymoja Hay Festival 2012.
    with Bingwa Magazine readers
  • …With my workmate and Bingwa Magazine readers
  • Went for a pool party somewhere in the hills of Machakos and discovered how green and productive the town really was. I also got to witness ‘Ngelani’ where there’s the mysterious flow of water and other stuff against the rule of gravity.
  • I interacted with Joseph Allan Green, an artist whose ‘Legerdemain II’ exhibition/paintings I got to see at the Green House in Adams Arcade. His work and ideas are simply intriguing-very well done and thought out.

    Joseph Allan Green art

    Joseph Allan Green art

  • I tried out some ‘smoking’ strawberry cocktails at Caribana Whiskey and Cocktail Bar. Heavenly was what it was!
  • I joined Pinterest and Instagram; both of which are super awesome ie. great inspiring ideas and experiences for personal and business use.
  • Books I loved: This child will be great (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf), the 50th Law (50 cent & Robert Greene), Diary of a wimpy Kid –Cabin Fever (Jeff Kinney), Lady in Waiting (Jackie Kendall, Debby Jones), Cybill Disobedience (Cybill Sheperd), Every poem tells a story (Raymond Wilson).
  • marshmallow

    marshmallow

    Loved this cute marshmallow from Chandarana Supermarket.

  • This time I did not venture too far and instead spent Christmas with my loved ones. Here’s the tree my friend decorated and lit up every night until yesterday.

    christmas tree 2012

    christmas tree 2012

 

Light another candle and you lose nothing

August 18, 2010

No wonder they say that a candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle.

Last evening, I had a meeting with my mentor. In this regard, a mentor (to me) is someone you can just talk and share with, ask questions or get his/her opinions on a certain or variety of topics.

One of my friends thinks that having a mentor is total BS! that she has never had to talk or share or ask anybody’s opinion and has so far been successful in life. Maybe its the title ‘mentor’ that doesn’t hit the right cord. Maybe a mentor (according to her) is someone who is above you. Hell NO! For me, a mentor is your equal.

He/she could have more experience in one area and you could have more in another area. It is therefore ‘an everybody gains’ situation.

A mentorship relationship doesn’t have to be as formal as people assume. It can be as informal as the way you advise your siblings or the way you can call that one person when you need their take on something you are working on. And it comes at no cost either because even the mentor is learning a hell of a lot through sharing.

Yesterday, we (my mentor and I) just shared a meal as we talked about journalism, kids, God, marriage, writing and being Africans among other issues. And it wasn’t just one person talking, it was all of us and it was hearty, inspiring and spiritual.

I must admit that I did not agree with one or two of the things that my mentor said.

Still, the few times we meet make a huge difference in my life and I thank God that I found (early in life) someone I could share almost all aspects of my life with.

Once you’ve been mentored as easily, you’ll find yourself doing the same for others.


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