eid mubarak

Ramadan in Review

 

It’s the last day,

moon’s light has emptied out and

the crescent will be upon us soon

 

As I write, I reflect, on the past month

re/vise my understanding of current events.

this is hot off the press of reality.

an alternative, lone account of the stories of (many) people and their struggle for Afrikan liberation.

 

Personally, in the past couple of weeks I have experienced a major turnaround in commitments and decisions. I have been selfish and brutally (self) honest in choosing the focus of my time. Ultimately, after all the struggles of deciding whether to stay, here in Toronto, or go back home, as I wanted, yet couldn’t foresee ably  survive without enough money to pay my living expenses, I have to admit to myself that it’s nice (feeling like I’m back) at home…….

I had to acknowledge my fears when I got here, and my weariness….the truth is, just one year of (trying to engage in) grassroots activism in Kenya, had me yearning to get away…..the longest, most endurable marker of home, in my memory, had radically shifted (in the landscapes of my political consciousness) and I felt like I was involved in building a completely different home.

My decision to stay was only formalised, when my course fees were paid, on Friday September 11th.

I had made my most important decisions though, years before, and now I’m just paying dues to the consequences of my choices. Ultimately, I am glad that I am here, recuperating and collecting the necessary resources to sustain me when I return…

For you see, as much as it speaks volumes that I am here, in the First world, as opposed to, there, in East Afrika……I am (still) committed to the struggle for Afrikan liberation, and in an environment of (feigned)  ignorance and the (empty) pursuit of illusions, I choose armchair activism over the click of a mouse on the latest on TIFF,  and the push of a button on remote control North AmeriKKKa….I figure, to do something is better than pushing the fear of helplessness away….

Yes,  I am frustrated  by my (seeming) inability to readily accomplish the (big) dreams that I harbour for revolushunary possibilities….I been questioning my idealism on an almost daily basis for the past year. What is hope for, if not for the dreamers? And what is failure, if not for those working to change (for the betta).

In attempting to fast in solidarity with muslims worldwide, observing the tenets of the holy month, I have had to critically self examine my own mis-steps and injustices, all the betta to speak about the injustices of others, and attempt to give back to (my) community.

So here’s my list to-be-noted-and-accounted-for….

  1. I started Ramadan, bleeding…I took this is a divine sign to postpone my fast, and my decision of whether to stay or return to Kenya this year….I’m going to end Ramadan, bleeding…and I take this as a sign to give thanks for coming to terms with my decision to stay. There has been alot of upheaval and there is lot more necessary coalition building to be done here in Toronto before I can safely return back home.
  2. I have radically shifted my position on many ideological issues. I no longer believe that it is necessary to work within ‘the system’ to achieve change, or wait for general consensus to experiment in alternatives, but…I know there will be no (real) revolution without (a) ‘peoples movement’.
  3. I am a hypocrite.  I have not worked as hard as I know I could to help others who don’t  have the fortune/privilege to enjoy the resources I have. I am guilty of denial and selfishness. I am redeemed in my eyes though, by the (self) knowledge that I have remained true to my politics and promises. At the end of the day, I gave what I could to help (advance the) movement, and I held back what I needed to grow and give more in the future……I am humbled by the (past years) turn of events.
  4. I believe that if all indigenous peoples of the world unite, there’ll be some radical changes. …for whether it’s Caster Semenya being brutally and poignantly singled out for sex tests or Samson Ojiayo being abducted by pigs in plainclothes uniform and released a day later without charges, the world will listen and respond. For Godwin Kamau’s fate is the terror of Guantanamo bay,  the poor wo/man in a Kenyan jail,  the escalating fear of the state (neo-colonialism) and the tunnels going to Palestine….it is the dubious deaths of  many (extra) ordinary mwananchi. I believe that (the Left) we need to work on our (own)unity first.
  5. I am a story teller. Technically, you shouldn’t believe a word I say, these words are not my own….they are the collected accounts of people I’ve encountered along my travel(s) around the world. These are the stories of comrades, sistas en brothas….en they are also my confessions. The mis-steps I’ve made along the way. I don’t know much, more than, my community. So I know more than many…because you see I am of different worlds…..fluent in the language of the under (world/classes) and our ancestors…..I am a spirit child. So you see I am probably best qualified to tell you (any afrikan) hadithi.
  6. I have failed in several projects that I’ve embarked on the in the past year. Not because I lacked the truth or belief in what we were trying to accomplish, but because we/I couldn’t transcend the (petty) politics of conflicting ideologies.
  7. I have succeeded in the one mission that I did come with to Kenya….and have come back again to Toronto as I promised (though I didn’t mean to keep the promise, I didn’t want to come back, I just didn’t have enough money to go on, en my familiar radical politics and revolutionary living practices weren’t sustainable in Nairobi, or anywhere else that I travelled to……my biggest fear….that the post election violence that broke out almost 2 years ago now….it’s just a harbinger…..it feels like we’re on the brink…….and there are (not-so) many possibilities…
  8. I’m not a muslim (not anymore). I’m not a Christian or Rasta (though I was raised in a fundamentally Christian environment and was baptised as an Orthodox..later I tried to reclaim what proselytised to be an afrikan liberatory religion en I couldn’t shake the fundamentalist abrahamic  version of partriarchy).
  9.  I try to fast in solidarity with muslims as part of my own process of reclaiming spirituality. I, use my intuition and logic in selecting teachings from disaparate religions to piece back a semblance of what I feel is indigenous (afrikan). Why do I have to explain myself? Because, especially in the month of September, I’ll get alot more questions about my religion, usually directly in response to disclosure that I(‘m trying to) fast. You’re muslim? I didn’t know you were muslim? It doesn’t matter anyhow, my religious belief is private….but my resistance to all forms of imperialism is public and holds through to the incorporation of spiritual matters into the decolonizing framework. So I fast, because, it’s a ritual derived from lunar calendars, and I am on the path of reclaiming (Great) God/dess.
  10. I am weary. But I’m not broken. The main issue that I’ve grappled with in the past month/year is sustaining activism. It seems I have chosen (what is a contradictory en) a formidable line-of-work, and as much as I profess revolutionary tendencies. I have (also) made major compromises in my life to be able to survive while rebuilding community. The biggest was coming back here…. when I came back to Toronto a few moons ago, I was scared that I was running away. I had discovered the depths of the work to be done and it was too much for me to handle. I couldn’t sacrifice my politics to engage in arm chair or career activism en because the biggest resource I had was myself. I gave my labour, and got alot in return. Just not money. That forced me to reflect on all the privileges that did sustain my activism in all the previous years. (middle) class. North American (big/foreign) university educated. Light skin. It all saved me in pernicious and (not-so) startling ways. Like when I was taking pictures of pigs trying to (illegally) arrest activists, and because they didn’t know who I was, this in-your-face, bystander….they let them go. But i wasn’t the only one taking pictures…en they mistook me for someone ‘other than’ who I was….en the way I was able to survive on 8,000 bob a month because I didn’t have to pay rent for that month, or the other month…….but as with all privileges and oppressions we experience….they are all subject to a statute of limitations (and change)……I was lucky I survived, worse could have happened, and I wouldn’t have had the money or the family to chip in. And I was privileged to be able to leave….and stay here, where I revise my strategies, and make the most of what I got….because I have to prepare myself…I’m still going back (soon).
  11. I’ve been experiencing (guilty) pleasure in the safety and nurture of folks who don’t think I’m crazy, idealistic and over ambitious maybe…and are able to give the time to working and finding solutions together. I’ve also been frustrated by where I seem to have placed myself, betwixt and between, movements…but where there is friction, there will always be more…..
  12. I have many dreams, and I’m putting them all out there, en why not? I (theoretically) want a functional/loving harem….en now that I’ve found (my) baby daddy, I want to have a child in the next 5 years…I want to grow old in a revolushunary village, with good food and clean wota, close access to the ocean, the savanna and the mountains. I want to be able to farm, en teach, without having to travel far. I wanna grow my own herbs. (and as I write some of my dreams out, I see too why I could be mistaken for a hippie…which I’m not). I want ‘the’ revolution to come soon. I’m preparing for it.
  13. Yes. I’m recruiting! Yes. We can!
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