Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi? Hadithi?

Kuna hadithi najua kuhusu Re/presenting the Wild [is the moon] Woman Archetype

In (not only) my experience, lead performers teach improvisational possibilities, ways to think about improvising on the archetypal structure, but only after the neohphyte has reached a basic level of performative

competence; that is, only after the student understands the basic aural, visual, and gestural components of a given archetypal praise song, rhythm or movement. This notion of a constantly moving target calls  into question what one might call the body of material to be taught. What happens when that body does not remain constant?  The implication is that what is being taught (and learned) is not necessarily a fixed repertoire of songs, patterns, dances, and the like, but rather a way of hearing and performing and conveying the structures that inform these chants, rhythms, and gestures in a meaningful way. What is being taught, ultimately, after the student learns to imitate the teacher’s gestures, is how to perform differently from one’s mwalimu.

sacred space

This idea of imitation leading to (improvisatory) difference is directly connected to the notion of performative intent. One learns the basic rules of performance and engagement with the other performers in order to know how to interpret and bend those appropriately. If one does not have the initial feel for a rhythm, for example, how can one improvise successfully from it?……

Rogelio Martinez Fure, the asesor (artistic advisor) of the Conjunto Folklorico…..A gifted student of both Argeliers Leon and Fernando Ortiz, his artistic vision has guided de Conjunto Folklorico for most of its institutional life, from  through the mid-1960s, en then again throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In a July 1992 interview, Martinez Fure stated that he considered Ortiz to be the single greatest influence on his institutional and intellectual work.

Infact, Martinez Fure’s well-known book Dialogos imaginarios, written in the mid-1970s and published in 1979, is an “imaginary dialogue” with Fernando Ortiz about the ideology and uses of “folklore”. Even in the first chapter of his book, Martinez Fure promotes the idea of stimulating the transformation and development of folklore, by “cleaning up the folk”…[the bigger point is] One cannot escape the massive influence of Fernando Ortiz in Cuba….and this post is a tribute to legends of dis diaspora of righteousness and imaginary conversations with honourable elders like….

It is useful to compare Martinez Fure’s vision and critique of [the uses of] folklore (and Afro-Cuban, or what Alberto calls “black”) with that of the responsible (head) of the CFNC  percussion department, Alberto Villareal,

Katherine Hagedorn asked Alberto about his understanding of the term folklore as it related to the work of the Conjunto Folklorico during a September 1992 interview. Alberto’s vision of folklore, like that of Fernando Ortiz, refers specifically to the religious performance traditions of Cuba`s African-based population:

We [the members of Conjunto Folklorico] are looking for a way for folklore to be a principal source in Cuba, because really, from the point of view of art, the principal source for Cuba is the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional….So every time that Cuba`s folklore is to be represented in other countries, they send us……Ofcourse, folklore has always been a little bit off to the side, which can be understood as the attempt to eliminate it by people who don`t understand how the Conjunto Folklorico was founded. There have been people who have wanted to eliminate the Conjunto, too, because they said we are religious, we are black – but now they know they can`t eliminate the Conjunto. Because no country can eliminate its folklore [emphasis mine]. To represent a country`s folklore is like representing its flag. They have finally realised this. So, for this reason, there has been more of an effort to educate foreigners than Cubans on the part of the Conjunto……

But if, as Mercedes Cros Sandoval (1979) asserts, Santeria is a “mental health care system” for the shock of exile, what does it mean that sacred intent is confused and conflated with criminal intent? Is it simply the

collision of cultural values, or is there something theologically valid about seeing crimes and misdemeanors in diverse pan-Afrikan rituals?

The physicality of sympathetic magic, in which one sheds the blood of a bird instead of the blood of a human, works because the stand-in or metaphor can be disassociated from the primary source only in a limited way before it loses its ritual and symbolic powah: blood is blood and flesh is flesh; wine and bread won`t do.

It is precisely the blood sacrifice that riles up nonpractitioners. In Hialeah, Florida, in Miame-Dade County (home to hundreds of thousands of exiled Cubans), only in 1993, after years of litigation, did the Church of the Lukumi Babalu-Aye (an institution dedicated to the practice of Santeria, led by obba Ernesto Pichardo Pla) finally win its case: the Supreme Court ruled that the animal sacrifice practiced in Santeria was protected under the Constitution`s basic freedoms of religious expression. In Cuba, even until the early 1980s, religious practitioners of Santeria were routinely arrested on their way to initiations….An important subset of the prisoners of colour who were freed and subsequently directed toward the United States in the 1980 Marielito exodus from Cuba were practitioners of Santeria…..

CUBA AND THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE:

Only de relative recent en conscious emphasis on Cuba’s Afrikan origins has allowed its scholars to begin to come to terms with its history of annihilation and exploitation. Walterio Carbonell’s Critica: Como surgio la cultura nacional (1961) marks a turning point in the postrevolutionary Cuban understanding of de history of slavery. Carbonell suggests that de slave revolts, oral culture, en religious traditions of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Afro-Cubans were de real roots of the Cuban revolution, thus implying that the legitimate successors to de revolution were, in fact, Cuba’s long-oppressed black population. Carbonell’s work was immediately banned and its author imprisoned, so threatening did de young revolutionary government find his suggestions….[na bado]

It is useful to consider Cuba’s role in de Atlantic slave trade to gain a more nuanced understanding of how de prevailing attitudes about Cuba’s black population at the turn of the twentieth century might have been influenced by de events of de nineteenth century. Some of de first enslaved African peoples landed on Cuban shores in 1511, en under Spanish rule, Cuba continued to import slaves until the early 1870s. The indigenous Arawak and Taino peoples were annihilated by Spain’s invasion en colonization of de island during the first two centuries of de slave trade.

Spain then imported African, Asian and Yucatecan labourers to “replace” the indigenous peoples who were to have worked on Cuba’s sugar, tobacco, and coffee plantations….

RE/LOCATING AFRO-CUBAN FOLKLORE

Widely varying interpretations of Cuba’s racial composition have fueled both prerevolutionary and postrevolutionary constructions of twentieth (& 21st) century Cuban identity…..of immediate importance here is that the conditions of nineteenth- and early twentieth century Cuban blacks are evoked and carefully shaped first as a socioeconomic nadir from which to improve, and later as  de basis for de revolution’s preliminary ideas of a national Cuban culture, many of which were manifest in the Teatro Nacional and the Conjunto Folklorico, along the lines of the performative structures set up by Ortiz na wahenga wetu…..

pamoja tunafika from the diaspora of righteousness to de Afreekan shores, sharing mo resources in cracking these codes to freedom, kwasababu The most important thing is to give the people confidence, to help them understand that they can at last define their own happiness, to enable them to decide on their own aims and understand the price to be paid. [Thomas Sankara]

hadithi hii imetoka Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro Cuban Santeria  by Katherine Hagedorn

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.

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hapo zamani za kale, there was once a woman who had no husband, en she lived for many days in “trouble”. One day she said to herself, “Why do I always feel so troubled? It is because I have neither children nor husband. I shall go to de medicine man en get some pikin.”

She went to de medicine-man en told him she was unhappy owing to de fact that although she had now grown old, she had neither husband nor children. The medicine asked her which she wanted, husband or pikin, en she told him she wanted pikin.

She was instructed to take some cooking pots- three, or as many as she could carry-and to search for a fruit bearing sycamore, to fill de pots with fruit, to put them in her hut, and to go for a walk.

The womban followed these instructions carefully. She gathered the fruit, filled de pots, placed them in her hut, en went for a walk until de evening.

On arriving near de kraal, she heard de sound of voices en asked herself, “Why does one hear de voices of pikin in de kraal?” She went nearer, en found her hut filled with pikin, all her work finished, de boys herding de cattle, de huts swept clean by de girls, de warriors singing en dancing on de common, en de lil pikin waiting to greet her. She thus became a rich woman en lived happily with her pikin for many days.

One day, however, she scolded de pikin, en reproached them for being children of de tree.

They remained silent en did not speak to her, then, while she went to visit her friends in other kraals, de pikin returned to de sycamore tree, en became fruit again. On her return to her own kraal, de womban wept bitterly when she found it empty, en paid another visit to de medicine man, whom she taxed with having spirited away her pikin.

De medicine man told her that he did not know what she should do now, en when she proposed to go and look at de sycamore tree, he recommended her to try.

She took her cooking pots to de tree and climbed up into it. But when she reached de fruit they all put forth eyes en stared at her. This so startled her that she was unable to descend, en her friends had to come en help her down.

She did not go to the tree again to search for her children.

This hadithi I heard not many times before, en read again in Best-Loved  Folktales of the Dunia,  from de Maasai of [what is nowadays called] Kenya. You can do anyting you want with these stories, share them with other pikney, laugh, cry, forget about it or fafanua…..

Press Statement: Reposted from Bredrin and Sistas in Solidarity

Uganda: Parliament Should Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill

16th February 2012

On Tuesday 7th February 2012, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) was reintroduced to the Parliament of Uganda. If passed, this draft legislation would violate the human rights of all Ugandans, and should immediately be dropped, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU), and Human Rights Network-Uganda (HURINET) said today.

Hon. David Bahati’s widely condemned private member’s bill is one of ten bills saved and reintroduced from the previous Parliament. The bill had its first reading on 7th February 2012 and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. It is understood that the bill was re-tabled in its original form but that amendments recommended by the Committee last year will be incorporated.

Although Hon. Bahati is reported in the media to have said that the death penalty for ‘serial’ acts of homosexuality will be dropped, this is not yet confirmed.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET express their concern at the lack of clarity surrounding the parliamentary process and contents of the bill, and call on Parliament to clarify on this matter.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET recall the submission by the Uganda Human Rights Commission in its 2010 annual report that “some of the provisions in the bill are unnecessary, and that most of them violate international human rights standards.” The rejection of certain international standards envisaged in the 2009 bill sets a dangerous precedent regarding Uganda’s respect for the human rights commitments it has made.

The bill contains harsh provisions which would seriously restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and would threaten the ability of some human rights organisations to continue operating. Already, on 14th February the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity,

Hon. Rev. Fr. Lokodo Simon, ordered the unconstitutional shutdown of a capacity-building workshop organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights defenders in Entebbe. The bill and such actions by government representatives reinforce the more general threats to civil society space in Uganda, such as the onerous regulation of public meetings and discussions sought to be introduced with the Public Order Management Bill.

As well as threatening the safety of LGBTI people generally, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill also jeopardizes the security of human rights defenders working on these issues. The re-tabling of the bill just days after the first anniversary of the murder of LGBTI activist and EHAHRDP founding member, David Kato, is a stark reminder of the insecurity this bill has already caused in Uganda.

More generally, the bill would have a wide-reaching and disturbing effect on the freedoms of the majority of Ugandans. If health professionals, spiritual leaders, teachers, business people, landlords, and many others in positions built upon trust and confidentiality fail to disclose to the authorities persons they suspect of being homosexual, under the provisions of this bill would also be targeted for prosecution themselves.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET welcome the statement issued by the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity on Wednesday 8th February that the bill “does not enjoy the support of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.” We call on the authorities to ensure the physical safety of LGBTI community members and human rights activists and fulfill the commitment made by Uganda during the Universal Periodic Review in October 2011 to “take immediate concrete steps to stop discrimination and assaults against LGBT persons.”

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET call on the Members of Parliament, and all Ugandans, to reject this discriminatory and divisive bill and refuse to be distracted from the real pressing issues facing the country at this time, such as the debate over the exploitation of Uganda’s oil resources.

For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire, Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, on

executive@defenddefenders.org or

+256 772 753 753

Livingstone Sewanyana, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, on

fhri@dmail.ug or

+256 414 510 263/498

Margaret Sekaggya, Executive Director, The Human Rights Centre Uganda, on

hrcug@hrcug.org or

+256 414 266 186

Mohammed Ndifuna, Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights Network-Uganda, on

executive@hurinet.or.ug or

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.

Pamoja Tutafika!

RESIST, REJECT, OPPOSE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 2009 CURRENTLY TABLED IN THE UGANDA PARLIAMENT

 (Please circulate to all your Afrikan contacts)

 The COALITION OF AFRICAN LESBIANS (CAL), a pan African network of lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming people, organizations and individuals, calls upon every person who believes in the dignity, equality and freedom of every human being, to take note of and act urgently to halt the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which has just been re – tabled in Uganda.  We look to African human rights activists and defenders, politicians, religious leaders, cultural leaders, scholars, lawyers, medical professionals, educators, parents and all human rights respecting and promoting individuals and institutions, to take such urgent action.

The draconian Bill was re-tabled in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, on February 7, 2012. The Bill had its first reading and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. The Committee is expected to examine it and conduct public hearings, and then it will report back to the House for a formal debate on the Bill.

 

Background:

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 was first introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by Member of Parliament, David Bahati, as a Private Member’s Bill in October, 2009. The Bill proposes severe prison sentences, and in some cases the death penalty. It states that anyone who commits the offence of homosexuality will be liable to life imprisonment as the provisions, according to the Bill, are meant to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.” The Bill further states that “aggravated homosexuality” will be punished by death as it aims to ban all forms of expression advocating for homosexuality. It would also be an offence for a person who is aware of any violations of the Bill’s provisions not to report them to the authorities within 24 hours. Furthermore, the Bill proposes to criminalize the “promotion of homosexuality” which is a provision targeting civil society and human rights defenders. These and other provisions of the Bill go beyond targeting homosexuals, to affect families, human rights defenders, teachers, neighbors, friends, spiritual leaders, medical professionals, shop owners, to mention but a few.

 

Stand out and up against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 NOW. We have limited time. Resist this unconstitutional bill and take on one, some or all of the following actions;

1.       Pass on this Call to Action to as many concerned Africans as you can and urge them to take action.

 

2.       Write emails to and or call Ugandan Members of Parliament (MPs) urging them to resist and reject the Bill in its entirety because it is anti-human rights and affects every Ugandan in different ways. The full list of all 386 MPs can be found athttp://www.parliament.go.ug/mpdata/mps.hei Click on the MP’s name and you will get their email address and phone number.  The MPs can also be contacted through social media such as Facebook. Just search for their name on Facebook and or Twitter.

 

3.       Write to the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and urge him to reject this draconian proposed Bill in its entirety. Urge him to discourage further debate and consideration of the Bill by Parliament and to decline to sign this unconstitutional Bils into law. (Contacts below)

 

4.       Write, call or fax the Inspector General of Police in Uganda, Major General Kale Kaihura, and urge him to ensure the protection of the human rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda and those who defend LGBT people. This includes protection from both state and non-state actors who have started to take the law in their hands by harassing and violating LGBT Ugandans. (Contacts below)

 

5.       Write, fax and or call the Minister of Justice in Uganda, Hon. Major General Kahinda Otafire,   and the State Minister of Justice Hon. Fred Ruhindi and urge them to speak out against the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 and to discourage any further debate on the Bill. (Contacts below)

6.       Write to the Minister of Health in Uganda, Hon. Dr. Christine Ondoa and bring to her attention the implications of this Bill on the fight against HIV/AIDS and on access to medical services by LGBT citizens. (Contacts below)

 

7.       Write to the Cardinal of Uganda, His Eminence Emmanuel Wamala, and the Arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda , The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi and urge them to stand out and up and oppose the Bill in its entirety. Tell them that homosexuals need their protection. Point out, to the Cardinal of the Catholic Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says in Article 6, 2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. They are called to protect and not to remain silent amidst injustice and discrimination. (Contacts below)

 

8. Write, call, fax your Minister of Foreign Affairs and urge him/her to put pressure on the Government of Uganda against the further debating of the unconstitutional Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

 

For more information, please contact;

Victor Mukasa

Advocacy Advisor for East Africa

Coalition of African Lesbians

Tel: +27 11 918 2182

Mobile: +27 78 436 3635

Email: victor@cal.org.za

 

Fikile Vilakazi

Programs Director

Coalition of African Lesbians

Tel: +27 11 918 2182

Email: fikile@cal.org.za

 

===============================================================================================================================

 

ACTION CONTACTS:

 

The President of the Republic of Uganda

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Email: aak@statehouse.go.ug, cc: pps@statehouse.go.ug

 

The Inspector General of Police

Major-General Kale Kaihura

Tel: +256 414 258 114

Fax : +256 414 270 502

 

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Hon Maj.Gen Kahinda Otafire

Email: mojca@africaonline.co.ug

Tel: +256-414- 230538

Fax: +256-414- 254829

 

State Minister of Justice

Hon. Fred Ruhindi

Email: fruhindi@parliament.go.ug

 

Minister of Health

Hon. Christine Ondoa

Tel: +256-414-340872

Mobile: +256772428346+256701428346

Fax: 256-41-4231584

Email: info@health.go.ug

 

The Cardinal of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala

Tel: +256 414 510389/510570/510544/510571

Fax: +256 41 510545

 

Archbishop of Uganda & and Bishop of Kampala

The Most Revd Henry Orombi

Email: abpcou@gmail.com

Tel: +256 414 270 218 / 9

Fax: +256 414 251 925

=============================================================================================

I give thanks for today, yesterday en tomorrow, for doors closing balanced with others opening, blue-skying en cool wotas, nashukuru upendo na imani tunayo… nashukuru the continued guidance and protection of de ancestors of dis land, wale wahenga wangu ninaowajua, wale sijui, na wale wanaonijua deeper than ninayojijua….inifinitely grateful for de blessings of dis week, for dis counting down to de first anniversary of #To David With

Love, coming into an ‘epic’ year of mi twenties, and celebrations of Afrikan Heritage (or Black History) Moon, like Dinner, Performances & de first tambor for Ibeji at de Children’s Peace Theatre. Big tings’ a gwaan wid dis ting called ubuntu….

So, in the spirit of intimacy and de spaces between recovering from rituals en preparing for mo ceremonies, this hadithi kuhusu Toque de Santo is transcribed from Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria, written by Katherine J. Hagedorn.

Dear Katherine, asante sana for sharing your re/learning. And deeply grateful to mi Tdot teachers for offering the kind of priceless educational programs not only I’ve been looking for, in grassroots universities, across borders. Asante Baba Gee & Baba Falo, Sista Leopard & Mama (wa) Amani Theatre, Prof Ausar & Papa John.  Na asante for (re)birthing dis post mi goddess mama No.3 –  Beth, who not only gifted me dis book we’re sharing with you, but co-creates en maintains sacred spaces with other honourable elders to remember the sage secrets of loving en continue fulfilling our highest destinies.

Asante akina baba, mama na watoto wa Afreeka. Nashukuru bredrin and sistren in solidarity….

[pamoja tukifafanua ukweli wa Anaa na]  TOQUE DE SANTO: Evoking the Orishas

A toque de santo (or tambor) is de main public religious performance of Santeria [en other traditions], de popular name of de [looked pon as] polytheistic religious tradishun that grew from Afrikan and European roots during the four long centuries of de slave trade in Cuba. Toque refers to de verb tocar (to play) en to de specific noun toque (rhythm), as well as to de general noun toque, meaning de event itself; santo refers to de deities
called santos (orichas or orisas) who are evoked by de toques. Although de performance of Santeria includes other ceremonies involving music en dance (such as festive bembes en guiro ensembles), toques de santo require the use of de sacred bata drums, en are thus considered de most divinely powerful of all de religious ceremonies of Santeria.

the warriors

The origins of de toque de santo lie in de Atlantic slave trade. Cuba imported de bulk of its slaves during the nineteenth century. Most of de Africans captured en sold into slavery who were landed in Cuba came from a curved corridor of present-day West Afrika stretching from Guinea down to Angola, en a significant plurality of these came from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Togo, en Cameroon. These Afrikan regions share some formal characteristics in their monotheistic religious traditions, which, under, de chaotic en brutal conditions of slavery in Cuba, gradually developed by de end of de nineteenth century into what became known as Santeria.

One of de most powerful similarities among de many West Afrikan mono & polytheistic traditions thrown together in Cuba during de nineteenth century was the evocation of deities through de performance of specific praise songs, drum rhythms, en gestures. Toques de santo can be interpreted as a distillation of more than a century of diverse, divine per formative intent.

In present-day Cuban Santeria, toques de santo are ritual drummings, typically held as offerings to appease orichas or santos. These drumming ceremonies may also be offered to de santos to change de objective circumstances of one’s life…..

Although de deities of Santeria may communicate with humans through divination, prayers, en dreams, they relish de communicative powah afforded them through music en dance. Each santo or oricha “owns” certain melodic gestures, rhythms, dance movements, en praise songs, as well as specific colours, numbers, animals, foods, en natural phenomena. They respond readily to songs en dances that incorporate these associative representations-such as, in de case of de salt-wota deity Yemaya (whose name is said to mean “Mother of Fishes” in Cuban Lucumi), a dance that imitates de undulation of de waves, or a song that evokes de powah of de sea en its creatures. De main goal of these rhythms, songs, en dances is to summon (or goad) de santos to earth, so that de deities may soothe those who are grieving, heal those who are sick, rebuke those who have acted unwisely, bless those who appear to be deserving, en set de tone for de next few weeks or moons in de community.

For a toque de santo to be successful, however, each participant must know how to behave, how to engage correctly de divine potential of de ceremony. What are de “rules of engagement” at a toque de santo or tambor? How does one know when to dance (or sing, or become possessed) en how? Are there different ways of participating in Afro-Cuban religious en folkloric events, and, if so, how does one discriminate between them?….

De rules of engagement in religious and folkloric performances seem to shift in accordance with de goal or intent of de event, en with de expectations of de religious practitioners. In a toque de santo, for example, de aim of de ceremony is to summon one or more orichas to earth, so that de deities may address de needs of de community through specific blessings, healings, en advice. In this case, de “rules of engagement” for each participant in a religious event are determined by socioreligious desire en necessity.

In the events presented by de Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, by contrast, de goal of a performance is primarily aesthetic excellence-de perfect (or near perfect) execution of dance steps, percussive rhythms, song phrases, en gestures of a toque de santo in accordance with norms established by “folkloric” schools of performance. In de CFNC, then, the “rules” of participating are determined by one’s ability to maintain a uniform standard of performance of specific rehearsed musical en physical gestures.

Yet the genres of “religious Afro-Cuban performance” en “’folkloric’ Afro-Cuban performance” inform each other, “use” each other, en at times even inhabit de same sphere of sacred intent (see de page on ‘a is for….’ de architecture of syncretism in santeria: remixed).

This sphere of sacred intent is most often constructed by resurrecting de memory of de sacred in both folkloric en religious performances. And in both types of performance, de memory of de sacred is translated through de body. De body is where “sacred” en

“secular” meet, where de boundaries are blurred, en it is this liminal space that is both powahful en disruptive because it calls into question de per formative categories implied by de terms “sacred” and “secular” en forces de participants to renegotiate their respective “rules of engagement.”….

SACRED KNOWLEDGE AND COMPETENT ENGAGEMENT

Protectors of (not only) Cuba’s Afrikan heritage and representatives of its future, ritual musicians hold de key to an analysis of the toque or tambor, and control de first stage of engagement….

TOQUE ETIQUETTE AND SACRED INTENT

Engaging appropriately in a toque de santo, then, requires de competent use of sacred knowledge…Toque etiquette varies widely from casa templo (house of worship) to casa templo, but what is much less variable is de philosophy that informs de rules of etiquette for each particular “house.” “Tradition” might vary from house to house on de same block, from city to city, en from country to country, but what keeps religious practice unified is de overriding theology that invents it, en de santo families that are cocreated en enlarged each time a new creyente is initiated into de religion…….

PERFORMING THE REGLA DE OCHA

In order to be a good drummer in the Conjunto Folklorico, according to Alberto, one must not only have de religion, one must respect its rules. When de author of the excerpts of dis book asked Alberto who decided de content of de Conjunto Folklorico’s performances, he responded that there were different departments that could influence de decision, such as research, management, percussion, chorus, dance, the board of directors—but that ultimately Rogelio Martinez Fure, the asesor or artistic advisor to de group, made de final decision. Immediately afterward, however, Alberto began talking about de new dancers (thos who had attended the aficionado schools) who did not appreciate the religious basis of the folkloric toques, and how these young people considered the Conjunto Folklorico’s performances to be art, without any religious aspect…..

Alberto sees his religion not only as someting beyond compromise, but also as a source of powah en authority in de aesthetic skirmishes that he en his colleagues may face on a daily basis. His religions informs en is inseparable from his work [as it is with not only me, but many others]. When Katherine Hagedorn asked Alberto about de connection between his religion en his work, however, he said there was none. “My job is over here [right hand], and mi religion is over here [left hand]. This [his job] has nothing to do with this [his religion]. We don’t tell de secrets of our religion in the Folklorico. That would be impossible-because then it wouldn’t be my job, it would be mi religion.”

Alberto sees himself, en creyente drummers in general, as true representatives of de religion. In this sense, he acts as a preserver of his religious tradition, although he claims that his work and religion are totally separate. He is an absentee guardian of the authenticity of de folkloric renditions of his religions, which is to say that he does not allow his religious persona to participate actively in de folkloric performances but de passive knowledge of what that religious persona would require during a religious ceremony is allowed to remain, and it safeguards de remnants of the performance’s spiritual dignity…..

The drummers in de Conjunto Folklorico are de main actors in de negotiation process between the sacred and secular aspects of performance…How  religion is “brought” to art seems to revolve around the paradoxical and elusive (yet not rhetorical) questions regarding the differences and separations between the two……

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi Njoo….

Sahani ya?