2 East Afrikan ‘back then’ & ‘now’ love hadithi

[This post is inspired by de Coalition of African Lesbians, Spectra speaks, Kampala, gauteng & tdot renaissance womyn, en mi ‘wives’. I’m deeply grateful to you dadas for speaking truth to powah! with y/our diasporic & native journeys, we are all Afrikans in such diverse ways. In dis spirit of ubuntu, like other idealist warrior womben, I reserve the right to display pride and passion about my cultural roots……]

Nothing helps the Bukusu to recognize the rhythm of words, the silence, and the aroma of the night, and elements like rocks, water and its weight of pebbles more than the oral literature that is composed every day around him, hir or her…..

I still remember 3 years ago, was living with a dada en daughta I love, respekt en admire so, working for Minority Women in Action [& de

Kenya Chapter of Moyo Wa Africa] from the hirstorical Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya [GALCK] centre wid mi ‘co-wife’, Pouline Kimani en an ever growing collective of volunteers for a hub of CBO’s & NGO’s focused on sexual minority & gender rights in mi home town no.1 (or 2 depending on where you look at it from)…….

Mi intention was to root mi community organising in the spaces between de catalyst of a regional QLGBT movement & healing work, while finishing school on de continent. Many tings changed, much that was expected, like state criminalization, backlash & security interventions, homo&transphobic assaults, rapes & murders & hate propaganda in ‘dominant’ religions again, campaigning against ‘witchhunts’, all in a day job with boundaries of service provider, consumer, comrade & funder blurred…but this story is not bout that, check #To David With Love: Call To Action…..

I hold de hope, inspirashun & positive transformations witnessing en working with mo Bredrin and sistas in solidarity close to mi moyo, across oceans and rivers in transformative social justice movements….memories of intimate food days & nights of music wid family….

The dominating physical presence in Bukusu oral literature include the Red Sea, the Sahara Desert, Lake Turkana, Mwiala wa Mango or Tororo Hills, Mount Elgon, Cherengany and Sang’alo hils, and Sirikwa, Lake Victoria and Nzoia River and its tributaries. The sacred palms which the Bukusu carried on their way from Misri, their colobus monkey skins, their ear rings, necklaces and skirts that they wore around their waists etc., speak volumes about their material culture items. The pastoral quality of their literature, their gentle love for the fields and the land they tilled for their food, with all its groves and hills, characterized the terrain that informs that literature.

Will this deep embracing love of the land and all that covers it, continue to be a distinctive feature of the Bukusu cultural expression in days to come?

still remember 2 years ago, holding on to curriculums for pan-afrikan arts & civic educashun & wellness programs. Holding to proposals and dreams of returning home, split between what had evolved into the most complex polygamous engagements I had experienced yet. Mi primary relationship with Kenya & Uganda for all its lifetime, is still long-distance, had grown to include other country codes, West Afrika & de Carribean are so much mo accessible from Kobe Island and Tdot was evolving into a sweeter kinda lova. Plans changed agin, I stayed, have stayed, growing deeper in love with Tdot, yet inevitably counting down, because if home is where the heart is, then it’s only a matter of how many years? before we back again, or, what is the betta way to get there?…….

Who are the Bukusu anyway? Why is the elephant such an important animal in their folklore? They joke and say: “The hyena follows the testicles of the elephant!

“The elephants sing songs and say they were once human beings” Khwaba abandu hilili.”

Babukusu respect their proverbs which oftentimes are pregnant with meaning. They respect the artist, the “the saint ” who uses his/her words effectively to teach and entertain. They recreate the past.

How can we use their vision to create the future?

still remember 1 year ago, observing weeks of reflection & cleansing. Deep in grieving rituals with comrades, spiritual & extended fam around de dunia for David Kato. observing moments of silence en secrecy…remembering we were never meant to survive en still speaking….

ultimately t/here, in the crux of cataclysms & houses being dismantled, wid revolushunary vijiji growing & independent consultancies being laboured on, was fundamentally brought agin to finding mi soul with the potent reminders of all the honourable walimu & warriors not only I’m blessed to be surrounded with, the wealth not only I’m privileged to be immersed in, en the core of malaikas who came into mi life over de years that have my cup overflowing with love & nourishment.

For this and so many mo positive transformashuns, I’m infinitely grateful, as we walk with the legacies of warriors on de infinite possibilities in speaking truth to powah! en spreading love, hope & positivity in abundance……

[<object width=”400″ height=”225″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=33166619&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0&#8243; /><embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=33166619&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”225″></embed></object><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/33166619″>Call Me Kuchu Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3684126″>Greg OToole</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>]

The Bukusu of East Africa are said to have travelled from Egypt and settled in what used to be called North Nyanza and Trans Nzoia Districts. They call themselves LIRANGO LIE NJOFU because of the battles they have weathered against Bamia, Barwa Bakinisu, and Babangereza’. These battles spread their settlement in Eyembe and Masindi Port and culminated in their last stand against the Imperial British Company in 1895.

They enjoy a virile cultural and political history which needs to be urgently recorded and stored in print and electronic vessels…

In the spirit of honouring our roots & de diversity in our unity, you cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen &women of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those mad folks. We must dare to invent the future.

[Thomas Sankara]

….I still remember the trees alongside River Sosio, the woodland around Mount Elgon caves,the forest that my father and I invaded ever so often to get the suitable sticks for weaving granaries when the harvest season was around the corner, How many sounds have I been separated from since….I moved home for the first time to come and study in Nairobi?

[excerpts in bold from Prof Chris L Wanjala, Director, Nakhatama Research and Literary Agency.]

for mo on de Grand Bukusu Oral Literature Public Discussion, check

http://ar-ar.facebook.com/WesternKenyaFiesta2012/posts/312025355515159 ]

give thanks for today, yesterday & tomorrow, for intimate/sacred spaces. For those among us who carry the sage secrets of loving that challenge & inspire me with their words & actions, en remind we to go back ever so often for what I/we forget that is necessary…. A certain amount of madness, en the roots of our tribes in conversation with each other.

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