songs of freedom


Dear (wa)kukhu na abakuka,

asante for your continued guidance and protection;

haki iwe ngao na mlinzi, natukae kwa undugu, amani na uhuru,

raha tupate na ustawi, not only sisi, lakini wengine.

nawashukuru wahenga najua kama Masinde wa Nameme okhwa Mwasame,

asante for your sacred leadership in the quest for peace, truth, justice,

and reclaiming the wealth of our people.

Visima vya kale havifunikwi,

Nashukuru the magic of your legacy  &  anniversary

inayoendelea ku-spread upendo, hope na positivity in abundance

ese

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 stories like these nourish we so, check how our Tdot is…

growing en sustaining wisdom circles with ancient rhythms at the Pikin Amani Theatre (aka. Peace Gardens).

Shango Thunder Drummers are having new workshops to practise for Solstice festivities on Thursday June 21st.

What’s IT About?

(Pan-) African Drumming workshops

Prepare to participate in the Summer Solstice drum circle with  FREE drumming workshops

Instruments are limited. Bring your drums & other percussion instruments if you have them.

No experience or prior knowledge required.

 When is IT?

Mondays June 11th & June 18th, 7-9pm

Where?

Children’s Peace Theatre at 305 Dawes Road

Contact info

To sign up for workshops, email alixa@childrenspeacetheatre.org

or please call 416-752-1550 for details

Hadithi ya emerging mashujaa wa mashinani [in diasporic sheng]

Kuna storymoja najua bout de dunia en how it floats in space on de mgongo wa kobe, na

kila mara hii hadithi husimuliwa inabadilika, sometimes it’s in de voice of de storyteller, saa zingine it’s in de details, lakini katika hadithi hizi zote, de dunia never leaves de kobe’s mgongo….

hadithi ya amani na upendo not only for ourselves na jamii wetu but for [wa] jirani na marafiki [ni kweli] huleta Baraka…..

au [in other werds], Ifa husema… Omi o! Ota o!…

Hadithi like these make me so happy to be a citizen [wa Nairobi] in Tdot [de diverse hub]

Check dis holistic renaissance movements…..

NOTICE: On the April 27th and 28th 2012 from 12pm to 6pm each day, The Permaculture Project (in partnership with Occupy Gardens) people will converge on Childrens Peace Theatre at 305 Dawes Road to participate in a weekend Convergence.

Activities of the permaculture living Convergence are: Planting food gardens in the City of Toronto in various locations, Holding panels, A picnic on the Lakeshore and on the steps of City Hall. We will go for a beautiful walk through Toronto expressing our thoughts and suggestions for Toronto and the GTA!

The public is invited and encouraged to join us! This notice is to alert all the necessary parties of our lawful and peaceful day of action.

 This exciting 3-day convergence weekend will include:

  • Mass Seeding of the city with Occupy Gardens leading the way!
  • Rallies and Marches throughout the city on topics such as: 1. Economy and Environment and why our current system is unprepared, 2. Leadership and Values diminished and concrete ways to move forward, 3. Marches across the city to show at-risk areas and what’s happening…*** Rallies: will be strategic panels and offer a large audience the ability to see and hear, by use of posters, signs, megaphones/mics and painting pictures and posing critical questions in an organized and respectful way.
  • Informal Critical Workshops for how to take action on topics such as: 1. Legal Literacy for a day of action, 2. Media Literacy – how to assess what the media will see, 3. Tactical and Strategic Mobilization.
  • Healthy, local food at our Food Market throughout the weekend – provided by citizens of Toronto and supported by serious local grassroots groups.   

Sunday, April 29 – The final day of the convergence will present

Market of the Diaspora

Music, Movement and Conversation – exploring the cycles of oppression in our communities of colour.

What does it sound like when the silenced speak?

What does it look like when the tribes reconvene?
What does it feel like when our roots find the river underneath?
When we share the fruit of our heritage and plant our elders’ seeds?

Throughout the day, experience live theatre, music performances and artwork from local artists, participate in storytelling, workshops and eat healthy, local food.

The Market of the Diaspora is an event to open conversations with respect to social, race and food justice, to illuminate our individual and collective strengths, to remember, reconnect and recreate our communities. This eclectic gathering reflects a way of life stemming from the roots of our traditional knowledge and brimming with the seeds for our shared future.

Reposted [na big upendo] from [en in solidarity with] www.thepermacultureprojectgta.com    

Pamoja Tutafika!

[kwa hivyo, what unique contribution can we we each make and what seeds might we plant this weekend that could make the most difference to de future of  zawadi exchange networks?]

From Concrete. mud. cool wota. life.death.re/birth cycles to

*deep breaths. long stretches. hands on stomach….back. mi head*

I forget specific details even in long-groomed patterns nowadays en de bigger point of dis story is one I’ve not shared in public directly, yet living en working on fully from good health to crisis and intervention na la necesidad de resolver in these fundamentally linked ‘spheres’ that (so many of) we advocate and determine for ourselves en with our communities & governments.

Dis hadithi that we all share, our health, life en wealth, in such diverse – systemically [re]defined wid identity politics – ways, yangu already well archived by the ministry of health, emergency doctors, (goddess sent) healers, many bureaucrats, an Insurance company…a long list.

Imekuwa siku arubaini na moja (41 days) since an ‘accident’ of intersections, fruits & veggies, and de powah of metal en miracles variety. That day was quite significant, depending on where you look at it from. Was coming to the last hours of marking lifestrong celebrashuns of an honourable leader of emerging social justice movements in East Afrika –  Kato Kisuule en mi re-birth, with offerings [included as ‘extra’ indulgences] like apples, bananas, strawberries, sweet potatoes, a pumpkin, plums….which in turn literally saved mi life, but I getting ahead of dis story.

Hiyo siku was like a day out of time, one of those where from the moment I woke up early, everyting was moving slower in deep communion with mi biological, extended & spiritual family. In other words, that day was and forever will be real special.

Some mo’ context: was in de place of crossing over thresholds of grieving rituals not only for David Kato but other bredrin and sistren in solidarity, marking de spaces between de end of a year of ‘silence’ in honour of reclaiming indigenous Afrikan traditions en de beginning of another  epic year, when IT  happened.

As I was walking to (de rays of glorious sun on a path like the nile, from de crosswalk going directly to) mi destination, almost halfway across de final road, on mi right of way en all, an ‘accident’! turning to face it head on, mi bag of offerings were de sacrifice thrust to protect mi front, long seconds of divine song-movements, then a literal TIME OUT!  [wetin dey happen?]

Lying on de ground, [a womban pulling me to] sitting up, looking at where I was going/up, dazed en rooted, so close/resigned… [malaikas coming from de sight en sounds of IT] before everyting sped up to [on mi back for hours] radically slow down, en fundamentally transform not only de past moon but how I move in de world. [najua it could have been much worse lakini  it was a mo mysterious turn…]

*deep breaths. long stretches. hands on front. back. mi head*

magic of big upendo, chicken soup & cool wota.

pole pole ndio mwendo.

De next day was another miracle (mos def depending on where you look at it from), across oceans, in David Kato’s ancestral home – Uganda; the Minister of Ethics & Integrity, Simon Lokodo, raided a conference and closed down an LGBT capacity building workshop with comrades narrowly escaping. Good ting that truth don die, because one moon later Ugandan activists sued Scott Lively – infamous hate preacher [& one of the architects of the anti-homosexuality bill] .  Soon after, 4 warriors on de ground in Uganda also sued the Minister of Ethics & Integrity for infringing on their rights in breach of the constitution.

De spaces between those days to dis week, have been filled wid an intricately evolving relationship with mi body, pain, & healing, work.

Despite seeming to fall through de cracks of dis system en not having

photographed by Nicole for Nganga Mandaza

de go-to institutionalised centers of health as accessible as I have a right to, IT  gets ‘betta’.  I give thanks for all those who were sent to me, those around me whose nourishing gifts restore every siku, en infinitely grateful for de positive transformations en relationships that been growing with, in response to en despite of injustices of all kinds for they prepare me en we to harvest the cataclysms of yesterday with mo faith & hope.

[#Stop Hate #Anna Brown #Trayvon Martin #Alem Dechassa ]

Nashukuru wahenga wa hii ardhi, nashukuru wahenga wangu, wale najua, wale sijui, na wale wanaonijua deeper than ninayojijua … Naomba de continued guidance en protection of  nyinyi honoured wahenga

*deep breaths. long stretches. hands on back. to de heavens na ardhi.*  

Give thanks for getting another chance to walk pon dis earth and foh de potent reminder that I yam because we are, so what’s next?

[What makes West & Central Afrikan traditions so pan-Afreekan? feel moved to  repost hadithi like these kwasababu, there’s de immense value in harvesting our similarities as we acknowledge & honour those memories  in our ‘bones’]

….Dead chickens, dogs, en flowers serve as a reminder of an aspect of Cuban life that is inevitable even after death, one that has become even more necessary since de periodo especial  economico (special economic period): la necesidad de resolver, or the need to “resolve” tings. Although de dictionary definition of de word resolver is “to resolve”, in Cuba, survival means “resolving” tings in de broadest senseof de word. “Tengo que resolverme alimentos” means “I have to find a way to get myself some food,” to solve de omnipresent problem of food shortages…..

Resolver also implies relying on an informal network of people, both living en deceased, from all parts of one’s life; de more people one knows, de more likely one’s needs will be resuelto, resolved, efficiently. In its earthly context, resolver  means surviving “on top” of de frequent wreckage en ruin of everyday life in Cuba. In its spiritual context, resolver  means helping those who have passed on to the next world to rest peacefully, en persuading de dead to treat de living with care en respect rather than malice en envy. Because the muertos “gave birth” to de santos (los muertos parieron al santo), de wahenga (ancestors) must be consulted first not only in Santeria but other pan-Afrikan ceremonies.

In de context of dis re/post, practitioners of Santeria believe that de dead can influence de living en must be treated with respect, awe en kindness. All people carry a number of dead spirits with them, en these spirits can be beneficent, malicious, or any combination thereof. Through divination (usually with coconut shells or cowrie shells), a Santero can determine de nature, number, en occasionally de specific identities of the dead spirits who accompany his godchildren.

These spirit guides can also be summoned up by misas espirituales (spiritual masses), which are led by practiced morteras (literally, “deaders”; often women, those who can communicate easily with the dead)…..Although de dead are not considered as powerful as de orichas, they allow de divine potential of de

2009 - Tdot

orichas (orishas/orisas) to manifest itself, en they are believed to be capable of intervening in de lives of humans to effect certain acts of good or evil…..

Talking with the dead takes time and practice, say de elders, but once you talk with them, you can see them, too. They always see you.

…..RELIGIOUS TOURISM: SANTERIA PAYS

…Since the beginning of the periodo especial economico in 1990, daily life in Cuba has become a constant struggle because of de increasing shortages in food, gas, electricity, transportation, en all sorts of material goods. The periodo especial economico is de official euphemism for de severe economic tailspin caused by de economic en political withdrawal of de former Soviet Union, which had for decades subsidized Cuba’s purchase of Soviet gas, oil, en machine parts, en had been paying roughly 3 times the world market price for Cuba’s sugar in an attempt to prop up de island’s failing economy. A chance to resolver one’s own personal oricha (orisha) becomes more attractive in this atmosphere of increasing hardship.

The chance to resolver  one’s material problems is directly related to de swelling ranks of Santeros and Santeras in Cuba: de chance to make some fula (Cuban/Kikongo slang for hard currency). Cubans aren’t the only ones who are becoming initiated into Santeria in

@godown arts centre

Cuba. Foreigners from Spain, Mexico, France, Canada, de United States, en other countries in Europe & South America arrive in Havana every moon for de seven-day initiation ceremony.

Cuba is fast becoming a primary destination for “religious tourism,” as it is considered an authentic source for de practice of Santeria, Palo Monte, Arara, en Abakwa…

  foh more of  dis check

[Chapter 7 – RESOLVER AND RELIGIOUS TOURISM IN CUBA Page 204 – 5…212….219 in

Divine Utterances      The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria by Katherine J. Hagedorn ]

on the quest for a resurgent Afrikan womyn’s activism in Tdot

[some] tings that inspire, restore & sustain me[=we]: kama picha za yesterday, leo na kesho

  1. Dis kinda soul/fullfood strengthens en positively transforms not only me so…..stories of bredrin and sistas gathering in love & solidarity, invoking the spirit of intimacy with each other and those who wished they were t/here but couldn’t make it, god/desse/s calling names of honourable wahenga en elders, sharing multi-layered journeys of big sistas,mamas, and others in our rainbow soup spectrum of identities. nights like watching Sistas in the Struggle with de Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity. re/learning from walimu kama Angela Robertson. Yolisa Dalamba. Wariri Muhungi. Kim Crosby.Dionne Brand.Leleti Tamu.Dionne Falconer.Sherona Hall…..

De question that brought me to dis ‘afrikan liberation moon’ gathering was how it took me this long to see this documentary? How did i miss it in all mi research for women’s & sexual diversity studies & feminist philosophy courses back when I was in ‘university’? true say naming IT started in mi belly, took a night of dreaming en a day to put words to, even as I listened to & reflected on versions of these questions in the audience, reminders to re/locate miself – en on the boundaries of this not-for- profit industrial complex within which so many comrades gather – what are the possibilities in sharing more meaningful resources in concrete continental-diasporic exchanges?  Jana, the spaces between, was dancing with de recognition & acknowledgment of big sistas that been teaching, taking care of, liming with & advocating for we in ‘ritualised’ community spaces through generations. Womben that I been listening to, learning from,sharing & building in extended villages with almost de entire decade that I been ‘immigrated’ to Tdot, some – mentors, others that I’d never met before, all warriors on the frontlines of social justice movements, harvesting litanies of survival en notes to belonging…I yam grateful for the builders who maintain positive, safe/r spaces to deepen our connection with the responsibilities of taking care of not only ourselves

network for pan-afrikan solidarity

but others and honouring our ancestors en those yet to come, within dis fundamental context called ubuntu.

What do a film screening & panel discussion organised, in Tdot, by the Network for Pan-African solidarity, an African heritage celebration for Ibeji, have in common with a fundraising drive, organised on the continent, by Fahamu, and a Day to end violence against sex workers, other than, uses of the powah of coalition building or intersectionality?

These are precious tokens of de ‘hirstory-making’ postcards of yesterday that I will remember tomorrow.

2. Stories like these make me so happy….What do Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA have in common?

They are home to people who have joined the Friends of Pambazuka and made a donation in the past two weeks. To our new Friends, thank you for your support and welcome to community of Friends. You are the first of many.

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3. Hadithi like these make me smile so hard

The Water Bird

A water-bird once, in search of food, swallowed the King of the crabs, and the whole tribe of crabs were so enraged that they swore they would have their revenge.

‘We will find this horrible bird,’ they declared, ‘and nip off its legs. We shall not fail to find it, for its legs are bright pink in colour and its feathers are pink and white.’

But the water-rat overheard the crabs plotting and hastened to tell the water-bird.

‘Oh! Oh!’ cried the water-bird. ‘They will nip off my beautiful pink legs, and then waht will become of me? Whatever can I do?’

‘It is very simple,’ replied the water-rat. ‘If you stand on one leg, they will think you are some other creature.’

The bird thanked him and tucked up one leg. When the crabs came, they saw, as they thought, a very tall pink bird with one leg and a large beak.

‘Our enemy has two legs,’ they said. ‘This cannot be he.’ And they passed away.

Ahahahaha!

Reblogged from http://excentricyoruba.tumblr.com.

asante dada

Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi njoo……

Kima lived in a great mti (tree) on a riverbank. In de mto (river) there were many mamba.

A Crocodile watched de Kima for a long time en one day she said to her son: “My son, get one of those monkeys for me. I want de heart of a Kima to eat.”

“How am I to catch a Kima?” asked de lil Crocodile. “I do not travel on land, en de Kima does not go into de wota.”

“Put your wits to work, en you’ll find a way,” said the mother.

And de lil Crocodile thought en thought.

At last he said to himself: “I know what I’ll do. I’ll get that Kima that lives in a big tree on de riverbank. He wishes to go across de river to de island where de fruit is so ripe.”

So de Crocodile swam to de mti where de Kima lived. But he was a stupid Crocodile.

picha hii imechorwa na max dashu

“Oh, Kima,” he called, “come with me over to de island where de fruit is so ripe.”

“How can I go with you?” asked de Kima. “I do not swim.”

“No-but I do. I will take you over on mi back,” said de Crocodile.

The Kima was greedy, en wanted de ripe fruit, so he jumped down on de Mamba’s back.

“Off we go!” said de Crocodile.

“This is a fine ride you are giving me!” said de Kima.

“Do you think so? Well, how do you like this?” asked de Crocodile, diving.

“Oh, don’t!” cried de Kima, as he went under de wota. He was afraid to let go, en he did not know what to do under wota.

When de Crocodile came up, de Kima sputtered en choked.

“Why did you take me under wota, Mamba?” he asked.

“I am going to kill you by keeping you under wota,” answered de Crocodile. “My mother wants Kima heart to eat, en I’m going to take yours to her.”

“I wish you had told me you wanted mi heart,” said de Kima, “then I might have brought it with me.”

“How queer!” said de stupid Crocodile. “Do you mean to say that you left your heart back there in de tree?”

“That is what I mean,” said de Kima. “If you want mi heart, we must go back to de tree en get it. But we are so near de island where de ripe fruit is, please take me there first.”

asiyefunzwa na mamaye hufunzwa na ulimwengu

“No, Kima,” said de Crocodile, “I’ll take you straight back to your tree. Never mind de ripe fruit. Get your heart en bring it to me at once. Then we’ll see bout going to de island.”

“Very well,” said de Kima.

But no sooner had he jumped onto de bank of de river than-whisk! Up he ran into de tree.

From de topmost branches he called down to de Crocodile in de wota below:

“Mi moyo is way up here! If you want it, come for it, come for it!”

Dis hadithi, from India, is among the Best Loved Folktales of The World. I heard similar versions of it from mi papa, who had plenty Kima tradishuns to share. For not only those hadithi but all the time he took teaching, protecting, providing for en playing with me en de village in pikneyhood, I yam infinitely grateful.

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