January 2011


[Hadithi hii ni ya the necessity of gratitude, prayer and slowing down to speed up…..]

I give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow, I give thanks for all the lessons and positive transformashun

I pray that the blessings of yesterday carry into tomorrow…

Bless my family, friends, comrades.

Bless all those who share their love with, and pray for me.

(Eshu, carry my prayers……)

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others….

I pray for long life and happiness, not only for myself but for others…

Ifa, bless me with marriage and children….


Bless the motherless and fatherless, bless those sick in hospital,

Bless the homeless…..

Bless our freedom fighters,

Bless the ancestors of dis’ land, in the diaspora of righteousness, Bless the ancestors on the Afrikan shores

Bless all those all who spread love and positivity in abundance

Bless our youth, coming into their right destinies, and our elders

 

Ifa, I ask you to forgive my sins, those that I do know, and don’t know about, and those I am yet to commit,

I pray for the healing of mama dunia…..

 

I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas

I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors,

 

I pray for continued guidance and protection, not only for myself but for others,

I pray for knowledge and wisdom, not only for myself but for others….

( so much tings to say, I pray for clarity, patience……)

 

Ifa, I pray to be humble, I pray to be loving, I pray to be strong….

Ase, Ase, ase…..

I’m sharing what connects me to others, stories that are close(st) to home –  the realities not only of bredrin and dadas on the continent, en in the diaspora, but all our living relatives…sharing moments of silence, deep breaths, cleansing tears, communion with loved ones and prayers for forgiveness for  those who saw David Kato as an enemy….forgive us (Great) Mother, for those sins we know and don’t know about, and those we are yet to commit…bless wale wanaospread upendo in abundance….ase….

 

From Gay Uganda – http://gayuganda.blogspot.com/2011/01/kato-david-kisule.html

I am in shock.

Literal shock. Just heard that one of our members, a prominent gay activist, an out and out man, who has been at the forefront of the gay rights movement in Uganda, David Kato Kisule was murdered. Dead, a blunt instrument to the skull.

Dead. In Lugazi Hospital at the moment.

What to do? Shock. Shock, shock.

So, I write, to try and express that which I feel. But, what can words express?

Kato. A disturbed friend. One of our very special brand of radical activists. He used to say that he was one of the very ‘out’ if not the first out gay man in Uganda.

And, yes, he was one of the people whose photo appeared in the Rolling Stone, one of the three plaintiffs who sued, and won the court case.

Yes, I am paranoid. I wonder whether it had any bearing. Whether that had bearing….!

Impossible, most likely, to prove cause and effect. We just don’t know. And, we are most likely to strike out in our grief at the nearest enemy.

But, is it a coincidence?

Gosh.

——-

Shock indeed.

Just settled down. Apart from trying to inform lots of other people who have already received the news. I have to settle down, get some rest, and then prepare for work tomorrow. Cannot just bounce off just like that.

But, I need to settle down. The shock, the realisation of all the things we fear, and brush off, and hope never ever to face. But, one of our own is gone.

Gone in a violent way. Gone, for reasons that I am as yet to know, or figure out… Oh gosh.

—-

More settled now, but no less shocked. That is what it does to you, a sudden death like this.

David was apparently killed in his home, by a person or persons unknown. Yes, there is a suspect, or suspects. Problem with investigations in Uganda is the fact that what is not verified will always remain in the realms of conjecture.

What remains is that we have lost one of our most prominent firebrands. Indeed, he was on the front page of the Rolling Stone with Bishop Ssenyonjo. Remember, the one with the caption to ‘Hang Them’.

And yes, he was one of the three who sued the Rolling Pebble, and won.

 

[I,s.i.s note: and for those us still living…..]

A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

– Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn

Ase, Ase, Ase…….


K is for….[revised excerpts from The Woman’s Encyclop(a)edia of Myths and Secrets]

The Shrine of the sacred stone in Mecca, dedicated to the pre-islamic Goddess Manat, Al-Lat (Allah), en Al-Uzza, the ‘Old Womban’ worshipped by Mohammed’s tribesfolk the Koreshites.

The stone was also called Kubaba, Kuba or Kube (not so randomly connected to Kobe), and has been linked with the name of Cybele (Kybela), the Great Mother of the God/desse/s.

The stone bear the emblem of the yoni, like the Black Stone worshipped by votaries of Artemis.

Now, through the syncretism of afreekan and arabic religions, it is regarded as the holy center of Islam, and it’s feminine symbol has been submerged within palimpsests of patriarchal histories, though priest/esse/s of the Kaaba are still known as Sons and Daughters of the Old Woman.

 

(revis/it/ed excerpts) from a Qadiri heart of Nigeria

Nana Asma’u (1793-1864) was a Qadiri Sufi woman who helped to guide entire communities in what is now (neo-colonially legislated as) Nigeria. Born in the small village of Degel in the dry plains of Hausaland at a time when the French revolution was at it’s height, she played an important part in an Islamic revolution that affected an area the size of Western Europe(and then some).

Nana was raised under the careful eye of her father, who was the spiritual and tribal leader of the Shehu people, as well as her mother and a number of other scholarly women….At an early age Nana had memorised the entire Qur’an, and she soon spoke and wrote in the local languages of Hausa, Fufulde, and Tamachek, as well as Arabic.

When she was quite young, her family and their expanding community of Qadiri muslims began their journey of emigration to settle in a place where their community might be free to practice with appropriate care the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (salaam en blessings be upon him). As they moved from one place to another during a time of intense civil war (1804-1830) when strong efforts were being made to reform and purify the practice of Islam in the region, one of the few things they carried with them was the family library consisting of hundreds of carefully copied loose-leaf manuscripts. These books were continually passing through a process of renewal, as in that climate, even though the tomes were enclosed in sturdy goatskin bags, it was not long before the parchment pages would begin to disintegrate. Books were of such importance that wherever the family journeyed, a room was always set aside for the copying of texts so that the library of important Islamic and Sufi texts might be preserved.

Nana Asma’u became an enthusiastic teacher of men, women en pikney and one who was well loved by her students and her whole community. At the same time she was both a wife and a mother, devoted daughter en sista , she was also an educator, an author, and a “respected scholar of international repute who was in communication with scholars throughout the Subsaharan Afrikan Muslim world,” as Beverly Mack and Jean Boyd report  [in One Woman’s Jihad].

Her efforts to promote reconciliation education and justice helped change forever the Muslim culture in which she lived. This was her personal ‘jihad’ (meaning struggle or effort) and it took three aspects:

 First was the preservation and propagation of all that the Shehu stood for (the right-full following of the sunnah of the Prophet and justice for all).

Second was the education of women, who were the primary mentors of future generations…..

Thirdly, she devoted her life to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, using her wit, her imagination, and her immense prestige to find pragmatic solutions to the problems that faced her…..

She was not only famous among the Muslim scholars in her community and beyond, but she was also loved by ordinary unschooled villagers……Asma’u’s teachings songs in Hausa are still well known today and continue to be learned by both young girls and boys. Her people speak of her as if she were still alive and recite the injunctions she taught their great grand mothers….

 She herself spoke and wrote about the women of her father’s generation who had been ‘teachers of women, teachers of exegesis of the Qur’an, and women of great presence.’ They in turn had been taught by earlier generations of women who included her grandmother and great-grandmother. In her own generation there were six other women writers whose poetry survived: they were her sisters Hadiza, Fatima, Habsatu, Safiya and Mariam – the sixth was her cousin Aisha. [as reported in One woman’s Jihad]

 (Preface…)….We will look forward to witnessing the continued reflecting of the Divine light in all the ways and being through which it may be granted by our most gracious Sustainer. May the stars of this universe shine ever more and more brightly!

[source: Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure]

God/dess is the light of the heavens and the earth

The parable of Her/his/hir light

Is as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp;

The lamp is enclosed in glass, the glass like a radiant star;

Lit from a blessed tree – an olive tree

That is neither of the east or the west –

The oil of which would almost give light

Even though fiya had not touched it: light upon light!

God/dess guides to Her (/His/Hir) light the one who wills to be guided;  

And God/dess offers parables to human beings,

Since God/dess has full knowledge of all things.

(Ase….)

Surah an-Nur 24:35

[I,S.I.S prayer:

I give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow…..

give thanks for all the love and resources shared not only here in

[dis’ (almost) world wide matrix of the] internet, but in ‘real’ time,

with rebuilding sustainable villages in diverse communities and spaces.

Bless my family, friends, and enemies, and I pray not to have enemies… Bless all our living relatives…

I give thanks for the positive resistance, transformation, and renewal in 2010, and the exciting (not-so) new possibilities of 2011…

Nashukuru Mama Afreeka na dunia, nashukuru orisha…..

[I give thanks for the guidance of our ancestors, give thanks to the orishas… ]

Bless the motherless and fatherless, bless those sick in hospital, Bless those who spread positivity in abundance… Bless our youth, elders, en those who are yet to come, and I pray that we continue to come into our right destinies. I pray for forgiveness…for health, long life, happiness and prosperity not only for myself, but others….. Bless dis earth o…..ase, ase……. ]

As years of (pan) Afreekan renaissance go, werd on the ground, and the love spreading in abundance are clear signs that big tings’ been going on in the past years, en the fiya dis time is in our quest to share resources with folks we love, respekt and admire so, for our cherished collectives….these are the contexts and storyboards of the q_t werd….

(Is) Kenya’s new port the end of lamu’s cultural heritage? http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69659

Indigenus encounters diaspora hadithi

Pan-afrikan postcards

Of living legends

Na nia yetu