Betwixt en between the lines are our true (true) stories, retold in (a video diary of) the ‘Q[/t]’ werd….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/22/football-south-africa-world-cup

we’ve said it before, in other places, and [most  symbolically] here….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3uvUU4roc&feature=related]

we’re doing the best we can with what we got to entertain, and re-educate not only ourselves but others, in the practice of freedom.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/16/mb-truth-reconciliation-event-winnipeg.html

 

http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/

(re)building coalitions

 and (re)building solidarity with our people…

hadithi? hadithi?

nipe mji…….

 

 

I give thanks for El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (aka. Malcolm X), for (t)his birth (to)day, en for tomorrow, for the fruits of the work that not only (baba) Malcolm but so many other of our ancestors have done in liberating themselves en ‘other’ (people)s…

 

I give thanks for African Liberation Day (on May 25th), which is (depending on one’s ‘politics’) the biggest holiday of the year for (all) Afrikans, or more like, should be…. afrika moja!

Dis’  litany of love (en survival)  is embodied in ‘our’ symbols of resistance and the struggle of ‘everyday’, it explores the ‘other’ pieces of (where we) coming OUT from and embraces those ‘intersections’ in our diversity that (should) remind us we are all (from) one (Mama Afrika)….

so I give thanks for the work that the warriors of Blackness Yes! & Blockorama do to maintain positive & safe spaces for queer & trans folk of Afrikan descent, and for the folks who continue to do what they can to transform  not only themselves, but our communities for betta….

Like (in) dis’ litany of  pan-Afrikan realities sent out a moon ago, from (some of) the ones we’ve been looking for…ase.

April 19, 2010,

Dear Pride Toronto,

Thank you all for attending the community meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 to discuss the proposed move of Blockorama. At this meeting you were able to see the passion our community feels for Blockorama. Our communities came out Tuesday to support Blockorama because it is created by and for community, with a deep sense of ownership by the community. We would also like to thank you for your letter, dated April 15, 2010.

Since 1998 Blockorama has been a party at Pride where black queer and trans folks, their allies, supporters and people who love them came together to say no to homophobia in black communities and no to racism in LGBTQ communities. To say Blackness Yes at Pride – loud and proud. Pride Toronto’s inability to lead on racism in the LGBTQ communities and homophobia in black communities sends a strong signal to black queer and trans communities and their allies everywhere.

We have built Blockorama out of love, through sweat and toiling. For 12 years, we have claimed space, resisted erasure, found community, shared memories, built bridges, embraced sexuality, and found home. Blockorama is not just a party or a stage at Pride. It is a meeting place for black queer and trans people across North America- Blockorama is the largest space of its kind at any Pride festival on the continent.

Black queer and trans communities have been central to the diversity of Pride. At the same time Pride Toronto as an organization has continually marginalized those communities. It is indeed those communities that enable Pride to be the celebration of sexual life and freedoms that we all cherish. Pride Toronto’s inability to recognize its own constituencies is not only sad and disappointing it is indeed politically naïve and damaging to the still necessary struggles around sexual freedom in our city, province and country.

It has been incredibly frustrating to have our concerns regarding the space for Blockorama at Pride be not taken seriously by the arts and entertainment manager at Pride. It is very unfortunate that communication seems to be an issue for Pride Toronto, and that so much institutional memory has been lost through the many transitions that Pride has gone through over the last 2 years. We are glad to have begun a conversation about how to rebuild our connections with Pride Toronto.

Based on the feedback we have received from our communities following Tuesday’s meeting and what was offered through your letter, we are prepared to accept the following:

1. A full stage and infrastructure in George Hislop Parkette on Sunday July 4, 2010. This infrastructure will include power, insurance, tents, tables/chairs, toilets,
garbage removal, insurance, permits and fees, security, tech costs and labour.

We assume that the other site requests previously made available to us (pizza and water for volunteers, barricades to which we secure our banners, etc) will, although not mentioned in your letter, still be made available to us.

2. A reciprocal commitment from Blackness Yes and Pride Toronto to respond to emails with 48 hours of receiving them and to check in with each other (by phone or email) at least twice per week from now until the end of the 2010 Pride Week Festival.

3. We agree to your request for programming information to be provided to Pride Toronto no later than April 21st. In fact, we had already submitted this programming information before receipt of your letter.

4. We agree to the request for information for the Pride Guide to be submitted no later than April 21st.

We will provide you with:

o A 100 word intro blurb;
o Two 50 word blurbs for artists’ spotlights;
o Any photos associated with those artists in high resolution (300 dpi);
o A 100 word blurb about Blackness Yes and a relevant photo.

5. We are committed to and have always adhered to Pride Toronto deadlines for
information on Site Logistics, Tech, Press etc. We request that any changes to deadlines be given to us in a timely fashion to avoid any delay in information sharing.

6. We are happy to re-join the coordinators committee for Pride. We will send 2 delegates from Blackness Yes to each programming committee meeting as often as is manageable. We recognize that although some other programmers may be paid for their time, we are a volunteer-based committee. We welcome the opportunity to become reengaged with pride committee activities!

We are not able to accept the following offers at this time:

1. It will not be necessary for you to provide us with a Stage Manager for the weekend. We have a Blackness Yes member who will advance the show with the artists and ensure that the stage operates in a timely fashion.

2. We accept your offer to fund the previously agreed upon budget of $5000 for the Sunday stage. We also request that as in previous years, Pride Toronto cover the travel and hospitality fees of artists from out of town who are appearing on the Blockorama stage.

We feel that it is unfortunate that Pride chose to cancel stage-based programming in George Hislop without any consultation with the programmers who program that space. We understand that this decision has resulted in the re-allocation of the funding for this stage to other parts of the festival, thus now requiring Pride to find an “additional” $20,000 to create the stage in George Hislop. With proper consultation and collaboration, we could have worked together to both keep the needed funds for Blocko in the budget, and helped to save costs overall.

Your offer to program 2 full days in George Hislop Parkette is unfortunately not possible. This is not a viable offer as you have specified that you do not plan to cover any artist’s fees for Saturday programming. Although we welcome the opportunity to develop 2 days of programming, we cannot do so without money to develop this programming, and the suggestion that we do so is surprising. We welcome the opportunity to discuss options for 2 days of programming with adequate budget in the future.

Pride Toronto should not consider running programming for which local artists are not paid for their time. One of the wonderful things about the festival is that it engages artists and helps support the development of artistic practice in Toronto by paying artists to perform. Blackness Yes cannot consider developing any programming that would result in artists not being paid for their time and efforts.


We would like to request the following:

1. We request funding to rent a temporary floor for in front of the stage – something that can be used on the grass to facilitate dancing, to provide a less slippery and muddy experience for participants, and to deal with the regular rain flooding and seeping that we experience each year in George Hislop Parkette.

2. We thank you for the opportunity to commit to the George Hislop space for both the 2010 and 2011 festivals. However we can only commit to 2010 at this time. We would like to set a date to begin working together shortly after Pride 2010 to find a more suitable long-term home for Blockorama.

3. We note that in 2002, Pride’s entertainment budget was $31,040; and the Blockorama stage received $2500 or 8% of overall entertainment budget. This year, Pride’s entertainment budget is has increased to $335,027, yet Blockorama is received only $5000 or roughly about 1.4%. We would like to know why the proportional allotment for our stage is shrinking despite increased money in the entertainment budget?

4. We support the use of the stage on Saturday by other community groups and we encourage one of the 4 paid programming staff at Pride to outreach to some of the communities currently not represented at Pride to help program the stage. We feel strongly that artists fees should be paid for any artists that play on Saturday’s stage.

We are concerned about the steady removal of community involvement from the structure of Pride Toronto over the past 2 years. As an independent committee programming a stage at Pride, we recognize how far Pride has to go to ensuring that it’s programming is reflective of the diversity of Toronto. We encourage and support all community groups currently marginalized by Pride Toronto, and/or the larger LGBTTI2QQ set of communities in Toronto.

There are many other communities that should also have Pride Toronto’s full commitment and engagement to develop relevant programming at the festival (First Nations and Indigenous people, LGBTTI2QQ people who are Deaf and those with Disabilities, and many many others) and we encourage Pride to connect with and engage these communities. We are disappointed that this year has seen communities pitted against each other – competing for stage space and funding at Pride.

It is also very unfortunate that Pride has distanced itself from so many of the communities that helped build the LGBTTI2QQ activist movement. Racialized queer and trans people, many of whom were street-involved, working class and poor started both the Stonewall and Compton Cafeteria riots that kick-started the “gay liberation movement” in North America. It is on the backs of racialized and working class queer and trans people that mainstream queer organizations like Pride Toronto have been built.

Yet for many of these same people, Pride is now an inaccessible space, one that is not representative of them in any way, shape or form. Many of these revolutionaries that began the riots would not be able to afford the beer gardens (or this year’s Prism main stage party) that have become the cornerstones of the Pride festival.

We wonder if they would be banned from the parade for carrying posters that make people uncomfortable- posters calling for an end to targeted policing of Trans people, calling to an end to systemic racism and homophobia, and demanding the right to sexual freedom and the right to self-identified gender expression. These words of resistance have consistently made certain people uncomfortable, but they have been crucial to the struggle for liberation and self determination of LGBTTI2QQ people.

Blackness Yes is committed to creating a space by and for Black/African Diasporic queer and trans people and all of their allies and supporters at Pride. Blockorama will always remain a political space for resistance and celebration, and we stand in solidarity with so many other groups that have been left out or forcibly excluded from Pride. We will also work to produce a Blockorama that returns to its roots. A Blocko organized by and for a supportive community that has been dancing, laughing, loving and eating at Blocko now for over more than a decade.

Thank you,

Blackness Yes!
Blockorama Coordinating Committee

Tessa C. Duplessis
Mykell Hall
Nigel Holbrook
Abdi Osman
Nik Redman
Syrus M. Ware
Kyisha Williams
Akhaji Zakiya

   Hii hadithi ni ya Agwambo Odera, Frederick Odhiambo, Gacheke Gachihi, George Nyongesa, Hilary Mulialia,  Onyango Oloo, Sam Ojiayo, Willy Mutunga, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Dedan Kimathi, Elijah Masinde, Ogun na Shango, this is a true confession, in the words of India Arie, of a live learned lesson I was sent here to share with y’all…

(excerpts from I)

introduction: reclaiming Afrika for Afrikans – Pan-Afrikanism: 1900 -1994 by Taju(deen Abdul-Raheem)

The 7th Pan-African Congress (7th PAC), held in Kampala, Uganda, from 3-8 April 1994 was organized to keep alive a tradition that has been around for about a century. The word ‘Pan-Africanism’ first entered the political lexicon in 1900, when the Trinidadian barrister, Henry Sylvester Williams, then based in London called a conference of black people to ‘…protest stealing of lands in the colonies, racial discrimination and deal with all other issues of interests to blacks’.1

It was however, in 1919 when the New Afrikan scholar and political activist, Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, convened what he called the first Pan African Congress in Paris that the Pan African Congress series, of which the 7th Pan African Congress was a continuation, came into being.

However, while the years 1900 and 1919 can be confidently cited as important reference points for the Pan African movement, the movement stretches much farther into the distant history of our people….the roots of the Pan Afrikan movement can be traced right back to the ravages of the first European slave ships to touch the Afrikan coast, some five hundred years back. In this connection, it’s not at all surprising that the founders of Pan-Afrikanism, as well as some of it’s leading warriors, have been Afrikans from the diaspora, who are descendants of the millions of Afrikans captured in the transatlantic slave trade.

Explaining the diasporan origin of Pan Africanism as a movement, W.E.B Du Bois has noted, Africans in the Diaspora tend to look to Africa as one united continent, one unit, mainly because they cannot trace their particular roots. 2

Moreover, the desire to cease being slaves was necessarily accompanied by the desire to go back home – to Africa. The precursors of Pan Afrikanism as we know it today are all the Back to Africa movements that sprung up in Ayiti, Brazil, Cuba, the US, and the rest of the Carribean during the early nineteenth century.

It was the ‘Back to Africa’ movement that for the ‘first’ time conceived of Africa as a ‘nation having socioeconomic and political problems that needed to be confronted on the basis of a Pan African strategy. At the same time, the Back to Africa movement made it imperative for the diasporan Afrikans to focus their attention on the problems of the continent. Apart from protesting the conditions of slavery under which they were living, the Back to Africa movement also called for the abolition of colonialism in Afrika.

The legendary Marcus Garvey is the most famous of the pioneers of the return to Afrika movement.3

Pan Africanism can thus be said to have its origin in the struggles of the Afrikan people against the enslavement and colonization of their people by extra Afrikan forces. Under the relenting onslaught of Pan Afrikanism, especially since the (1945) 5th Pan African Congress of Manchester, most countries on the Afrikan continent ultimately regained their independence. However, the regaining of independence did not end colonialism but only transformed it into neo-colonialism: political independence without economic independence……….

The (road to and from the) 7th Pan African Congress….if one must summarize in a few words what was significant about the 7th PAC and state what makes it distinct from all previous congresses, they must be: African women participated fully in the Congress but more than participating they formed PAWLO. From now onwards it will no longer be possible to write women out of the history of Pan Africanism. Attendance lists of previous congresses read too much like a register of an old boys’ school….but the 7th PAC (was supposed to have) changed this. We can(?) now talk of a movement that is reflective of all sectors of our society. To ensure this is permanent the women formed PAWLO, not as a rival to the global movement but as an equal partner, fighting together, striking separately, in our joint struggle.

 

Notes

1W.E.B Du Bois in ‘Origins of the Pan African movement’

2 Du Bois, ‘Origins of the Pan African movement’

3 For a summary of Marcus Garvey’s writings and his role in the Pan Afrikan movement see Amy Jacques Garvey with E.V Essienudom, Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey Vol.2, London: Frank Cass, 1977

from Pan Africanism Politics, Economy and Social Change in the Twenty-first century

[II] A People’s History of East Afrika:

Impersonating the People’s voices and the Rise of the Praetorian regime by Hilary Mulialia

Let’s start with a reality check. The Kenyan public has never been aware of itself as a people. They have never been a nation and have never acted as one.

A nation is a group of people who have common values, customs, language, origins and history. The claim to nationality stems from their possession of one or more of these aspects as “unique” to themselves.

Apart from their definition as a colonial unit of administration, “Kenyans” have nothing that is common and unique to them.

Nations are built by visionaries. Visionaries in positions of leadership who present a value so appealing that it is adopted into the hearts of the people and changes their every aspect of life, creating a new sense of identity.

It is from this identity that a “nation” speaks. It is values and principles that are the true Principals of a nation. It is these values and principles that speak for the nation.

 All the things that are now happening in the name of “Kenyans” are the machinations of a few individuals or small groups of individuals acting in the name of the people. These people have expropriated the self-determination and expression of the people unto themselves. They have conjured up ideas that work in their interests and have then used the media and the state machinery of administration to plant these ideas into the masses who then go repeating these mantras without internalizing the true meanings of the words they speak.

The individual and selfish interests of this small group are protected within a system of authoritarianism, where those who are above in the chain of command have complete authority over those below them. They work to create a strong Neo-colonial state (under the global Imperial State) where they play the role of the Praetorian Guard.

The Praetorian Guard

The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Roman army whose primary responsibility was to protect the emperor and his family. They quickly became a force unto themselves, began to determine who was to become emperor and severally eliminated emperors who refused to abide by their ever growing greed for power and privilege.

Today in Kenya (and Africa in general), there has risen a class of intellectuals, lawyers, writers, editors and charismatic individuals (in the name of politicians and some pastors) who have occupied the position of the Praetorian Guard.

Their main task is to defend the ideals of Eurocentric Imperialism (European centered control) and also to create the environment it needs to thrive. They are rewarded with powerful positions in the local socio-political arena.

Even though they all work through different lines of command, they are all obligated to a central power, a center that funds all their operations and to whom they are all loyal to. As they say “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.

The top of these classes have come together to form a consortium that has full control over the masses. They regulate and direct the governance, economics, socialization and the people’s way of thinking towards the ideals of Neo-liberalism and into the clutches of Western Imperialism.

This is the true local power.

We are now under a Praetorian Regime!

 

Quick Background

There has always been a struggle, by a few conscious individuals and sometimes groups in this country, to liberate the African people from the ever evolving systems of suppression they have been under.

There is a lie going round that “Kenyans” have been fighting for reforms for the last 20 years. This ignorance is being perpetuated by those who want us to deny our sovereignty and self-efficacy (ability to effect). They want us to believe that we only started to fight for reforms when the Americans decided that we should. This is a lie.

Before we go around falsely accusing the masses of having made this or that decision, or that they want this or that article or kind of change, let’s go back to the beginning of our statehood to understand the Kenyan public and its involvement in change.

Less than a couple of years after independence, it was clear that;

  1. There were beasts inside the house. The ruling regime was a beastly ensemble of thieves and murderers who went all out to silence the likes of Pio Gama Pinto and J M Kariuki along with the remnants of the Mau Mau for trying to speak out to Kenyans and letting them know that this is not the independence that they fought for. The entire Executive had gone on a looting spree and accumulated for themselves vast resources that rightfully belonged to the masses. Other principled individuals, like Joseph Murumbi (the then vice-president), opted out of the game and engaged in his own creative aspirations.
  2. The System was fundamentally flawed. The constitution that we had adopted was an imperialist document which simply continued the colonial system of governance, the whole kit and caboodle, with the only changes being the color of the people manning the seats. In fact before independence, the main issue among the Africans was on the number of Africans being included in parliament. It was when the wave of independence from West and Franco Africa finally hit our borders that a hastily prepared Jomo Kenyatta was returned from seclusion and instated to the position of Prime Minister, a renamed Governor- under a queen, in the same mansion and all. It was only after one year of questioning that we dropped the Royal link and declared ourselves a republic with a president, even though the system of administration and the relations of power between the people and the government had remained the same.

Of course, the masses did not understand what was going on and apart from a few expressions of public anger during moments of extreme and explicit violence against their heroes; the masses went on with their lives, oblivious of their own pain.

At this point we need to ask ourselves certain important questions and answer them as we enter the next phase of our national development.

  • Where was the international community when Kenyans and other Africans were traumatized under the dictatorship of greedy brutes like Jomo Kenyatta and Mobutu Sese Seko?
  • How come there was no popular uprising in these and other African countries that would have lead to overthrows of dictatorships or at least led to the redrafting of imperial constitutions?
  • How come there is so much energy and resources available today to do these activities at a time when the urgency to do so is less than it was in “the dark days” of our advent?

Kenyatta was a feared man, and when he passed away in 1978, there was a silent sigh of relieve mixed with state orchestrated mourning in a ceremony which was overseen by Daniel Arap Moi, the Vice president who was to rise to the position of the second president of this country.

Moi was more of the same. In a short while, he had managed to consolidate power so well that the only way to remove him from power was to overthrow him.

Now, when there was a military uprising in 1982, not only were the masses not included in what many today agree was a necessary evil (to relieve us from the Draconian rule of Daniel Arap Moi), but these same masses were, of the view that the people responsible were some devil-possessed individuals who were out to destroy our “heaven of peace, love and unity”. Several individuals were held responsible and executed as the masses cheered.

The mid-eighties saw another mass-less strive for relief from totalitarianism. A group of Marxist Lecturers, under the label of “December Twelfth Movement” (DTM), started sensitizing their students on the tenets of communism. The students went ahead and organized themselves into the “Mwakenya movement” and as shouts of “people power” and greetings of “Comrade” started ringing out along the campus halls and periodically spilling out on the Nairobi streets during demos (sometimes for chapati and meatballs), the state knew exactly where to aim their clamps.

There followed a purge of all leftist leaning or speaking intellectuals along with their mind poisoning books and other literatures.

It was also during this time that the Nyayo House Torture Chambers became fully functional. Of its visitors, those who were lucky left with serious physical and psychological scars while the unlucky never even got the chance to re-emerge as corpses as the acid treatments they received completely pulverized their bodies. (You know, Kibaki was the vice-president during this time and as the second senior most executive in the regime, he owes Kenyans either an explanation or a prosecution of those whom he got intelligence of their involvement.)

Still no masses! Still no intervention by the international community! (They were too busy injecting neo-liberalism into our national veins in the name of Structural Adjustment Programs.)

External Dynamics

The fall of the 80s came with a global change that was to affect our internal governance for the second time in our history. At this point we need to illuminate on the relation between external causes and internal effects on the history of Kenya. We shall call this “geopolitics”. For this, we shall take a quick step back, just for clarity, before we resume.

The first geopolitical cause that resulted in a beneficial effect for the Kenyan people was the African revolution.

Now, let’s face the truth! The Mau Mau struggle had been fully contained in 1956 with the capture of Dedan Kimathi and their fate was eventually sealed by his execution in February 1957. Our destiny was on the same path as the South Africans and the Zimbabweans (and judging by the level and number of collaborators and others willing to sell their kin for profit, Kenya could have still been under colonial rule even today).

Luckily for us and many other countries, there had been an ideological battle between a collection of African minds (who included Nkrumah, Toure, Cabral) and the existing imperial ideologies which had conquered African minds. These revolutionaries united as Africans, managed to liberate the minds of their populations whose masses engaged their occupiers at the highest level of thought and this proved to the dominators that they were indeed dealing with intelligent beings capable of strategizing and ejecting them from this land.

Things then started moving very fast, though most of this movement was away from the sight and knowledge of the Kenyan masses. The Ghanaians won their right to self determination and Nkrumah immediately declared that “the independence of Ghana means nothing without the liberation of the rest of Africa”. In 1958, at the African Independent States Conference (at the time only 8 (mostly Maghreb) African countries were liberated), it was vowed by those present that Africa will not rest until all foreign occupiers leave.

It is through this actions and the resultant wave that independence landed on the Kenyan masses. This was after another 25 countries had been granted their independence in this 5 year period. The only hiccup for us is that the British selected Jomo Kenyatta, a man whose character they understood well and whom they knew was going to protect their interests at our expense. They were right!

The Second Geopolitical Cause. The end of the Cold War brought about a second shift in dynamics.

Before the dawn of the 90s, the west was strategically placing and maintaining despotic leaders over third world countries. Two main reasons;

  1. Greedy despotic leaders would be easy to compromise with kickbacks and they would readily allow for the rape of their natural and national resources by foreigners because (and we can’t over emphasize this) even though they had the intellectual capacity to understand the true value of their resources, they did not have the moral capacity to understand the damage they were doing to their people.
  2. Most importantly, in their war against communism which came with the promise of people power, the Liberal West needed to plant individuals with extreme totalitarian tendencies who would viciously crash any form of popular uprising. Communism (liberalism’s antithesis) was the biggest threat to their dominance and everything else (including the then almost half-a-century old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was being violated by their key African partners) was secondary. Corruption or murder, nothing could stand in the way of the political goodwill and financial support that these leaders regularly received.

The events that were happening in Eastern Europe, even though totally unknown to the Kenyan masses, were about to have a serious effect on Africa and the other third world countries.

As the USSR, a key supporter of socialist and communist movements worldwide, started disintegrating, the world knew that time for change had come. The fall of the Berlin wall signaled the start of the next phase of the new world order.

Now that the immobilizing threat of communism was out of the way, the purpose of the despotic and totalitarian goons (in the names of presidents) was now over. The question that was eating at the West was now; how to rid these resource filled territories, of the old guards (literally) and bring in a new kind of supervisor who would be able to run the more advanced system of expropriation and exploitation.

Suddenly, the lonely and oppressed voices of dissidents living in foreign lands started to be heard very loudly. This was echoed within the country by a few disillusioned and now fully co-opted (read corrupted) former Marxists from the Mwakenya movement (or at least those knowledgeable in revolutionary ideology) still living in the country.

Then one morning, Kenyans woke up to a group of seven “liberators” riding on top of an old rusty “Toyota Stout” pick-up into the now famous Kamkunji grounds waving two fingers in the air and screaming something like “we must repeal section 2A of the Constitution”. The Kenyan masses had no idea what the constitution was let alone what section 2A read like.

Under the Generalship of one “rogue Ambassador” called Smith Hempstone, (a former correspondent whose views were so right- wing that he had been kicked out of several Conservative newspapers)  the Imperial powers (we can stop calling them the International Community) managed to marshal all the Kenyan dissidents to sing in chorus “multi-party now!”.

With the assistance of Hempstone’s fat pockets, the dissidents managed to marshal enough media to convince Kenyans that the repeal of Section 2A and the introduction of many parties were good for them. Soon the whole republic was chanting and waving the two-finger salute without having ever seen the document or understanding its contents. Nobody told them that parties were just cohorts of grabbers teaming up to outdo each other.

All was good and the (Imperial Powers) IPs were about to rid themselves of this unnecessary “cold war” baggage called Moi.

Now Moi, the self-made professor of politics, read into this scheme very quickly. He quickly analyzed the game and realized that the person who being prepared to replace him was none other than his own minister for foreign affairs, the eloquent speaking Robert Ouko. He had been anointed as the next leader of this country and if nothing was done about it, he was indeed going to be the next president of Kenya. This could not be allowed to happen!

His elimination created a huge vacuum in the leadership of the new rebellion, but for the right wing ambassador, there was just one emergence that he could not stand. When it became clear that the soviet trained communist called Jaramogi Odinga was now leading the line-up to replace the old despot, he quickly moved for an alternative that would prove his undoing. Remember, communism is a greater enemy to the IPs than any other form of extremism.

As they quickly settled on the first Capitalist they could think of, they hastily organized a contingent to visit and convince Kenneth Matiba, the hotel magnate who was exiled in London, to come back and replace his former torturer, Daniel Arap Moi. They soon realized that, during his detention by Moi, the man had been damaged beyond repair. Besides, he was spreading dangerous and unacceptable ideas like; ‘the Indians are over-running our economy and need to be expelled’. Unfortunately, the ball was already rolling and the now schizophrenic man was running around believing he was a messiah who had come to save the country. He was unstoppable.

Understanding the game, Mwai Kibaki, a former vice-president and close cohort of Moi, realized that he was not a target of the purge, but was actually an asset in the neo-liberal dispensation that was being advocated for. With his economic credentials at hand, he broke ranks with his former master and positioned himself as an alternative propagator of the Liberal Agenda and a recipient of funding and support from the west.

With the field of presidential candidates growing by the day, the field getting murkier and the opposition unity now a dream, Moi managed to breeze through the 1992 election with a clear lead over the divided opposition.

The masses went back to their businesses and quickly accepted their “now” reality of President Moi.

This was one strand in the string of many Imperial Powers’ failures to remove planted dictators. The other notable attempts to remove out-of-favor incumbents included Desert Storm (to remove Saddam Hussein) a couple of years earlier, and the seriously bungled Battle of Mogadishu (1993) which had them running back to their drawing boards to come up with a new strategy.

Despite losing the battle, they had won critical ground which would ease their work in the future; they had managed to insert a two-term limit on the Kenyan presidency which meant that Moi had to leave in ten years time.

Now, all they needed was patience… and planning.

The Agenda of Reforms and the Building of an Elite Guard!

There was a new game to be played and it required new players- with new skills. Soon, there was a bevy of students and “activists” flying north-west to America. Destination- Havard!

New programs were started in this and other Ivy-league schools to train a new variety of guards, this time not political despots, but as a new guard of imperial interests and ideals. They joined groups of first-draft picks from other third world countries who were being trained to be a part of the new elite. An elite who were to acquire a great hunger for everything American and would serve their Anglo-American masters unquestioningly.

These were to be the Praetorian Guards of their dominions (countries) whose main task was to plant Imperialism at the centre of our governance system, defend it as the principal governor and to implement its policies despite local interests and governments.

They were to serve as checks the local heads of state and give regular reports to the central powers. On their recommendation, presidents, judges, heads of state and leaders of other institutions were to be appointed.

They are the feelers, informers and actors of the Imperial powers in the third world countries. They run big Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations which act as channels for funding the neo-liberal agenda on the ground. These organizations as a network command a lot of power since they receive a lot of intelligence from the grassroots organizations in the name of project proposals and reports.

Members of the Praetorian Guard were also to serve as heads of donor institutions such as the Ford Foundation, Action Aid, USAID and even United Nations programs. By directing the billions of shillings which go through these institutions, they have managed to muster unbelievable clout.

They were later to serve as heads of permanent commissions set up inside neo-colonial governments as part of the “conditionalities” of foreign funding, and it is through these in-government foreign controlled institutions that the Imperial Powers have managed to wrestle local governments to sub-mission. Not only do they have massive intelligence from the grassroots organizations, they also have relatively good access to government intelligence. This considered, they have more intelligence about this (or any other third world) country than the official government does. As we know, intelligence is key to governance and is the most protected institution within any state.

They were also to manifest as writers and editors. Their opinion articles are guaranteed publishing in the commercial print as all media houses are guaranteed fat cheques if they run their (press) statements as headline news.

They were also to co-opt other highly skilled members of the public, including corrupted intellectuals, into their regime. One of these intellectuals was to later rise to the position of Prefect, the Head of the Praetorian Guard.

New Strategy: Control/Create public opinion, control the state.

As the fresh guards started streaming back into the country in the mid-nineties, the cries of reform started getting louder and reached a crescendo in 1997 when the American trained choir was leading the country in the chorus of “No Reform, No Election”.

One of the tools they had learnt to use was that of propaganda.

The eyes see, the ears hear… the mind believes!

They started engaging their campaign through the media. The consuming masses did not have the platform to interrogate these new forces and verify the truth or substance of their statements. The guards grew as a virtual force, without ever really touching the ground.

Used well, propaganda plants ideas into the masses’ minds. With time and persistence, these ideas gain familiarity and soon enough, the receiver becomes the idea and the receiver becomes the transmitter. (There have been great advancements in mass control from the days of Edward Bernays “Propaganda” to more sophisticated discoveries such as Pavlovian Conditioning and Memetics . Not to forget other techniques used in modern day advertising which creates irrational impulses and compulsive behaviors.)

They then create a force among the public which is what is known as “public pressure”.

On getting this cue, the so called international community then acts as if to respond to the cries of the people, though they know very well that they are the initiators of the sentiments through their local propaganda machinery. (What about you… what informs your opinions?)

Bowing to international pressure (the usual threats of stopped donor funding) and the hail of fire coming in from the new public relations strategy, the incumbent agreed to the reform package that had been put together by the Inter-Parties Parliamentary group which had been convened the previous year. Gauging by some of the demands presented in the package, which included “fast-tracking the registration of more political parties”, Moi knew that these guys were not ready to unite. He called for the elections… and won!

The next five years were to see major realignments as parties shifted in and out of the government and individuals in and out of the parties, as it became clear that there were no principles, values or morals involved and that the game was a “no holds barred” scramble for executive seats.

Moi was ready to bow out, but not before securing his property rights by preparing to install as president, his protégé and son of the first president; one Uhuru Kenyatta. There was a breakout in the ruling party camp and an exodus of disgruntled “handover hopefuls”, led by a suspected socialist, Raila Odinga.

Uniting the Opposition

Intervention was required. In came the prefect of the Praetorian Guard (He is currently the head of one of the American donor agencies. His movements are strictly behind the scenes where he is known by all those who seek power in this country. In public, he rears his head as an opinion columnist in the Saturday Standard under the pseudonym “Cabral Pinto”, a play on the names of two Africa revolutionaries- Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau and Pio Gama Pinto of Kenya. Will the real Cabral Pinto please stand up!)

With the weight of the Imperial Powers behind his back, he had managed to bring together the three main opposition candidates at that time. The first MOU, which was never publicized, divided power between Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party (DP), Charity Ngilu of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)and Michael “Kijana” Wamalwa. This agreement created the National Alliance of Kenya (NAK) party and was witnessed by the PG prefect on behalf of the Anglo-Americans. A united opposition was an almost guaranteed win (and change of regime).

When Raila entered the opposition scene, he threatened to split the opposition vote and somehow he had to be reeled in. Another MOU was quickly drawn up to accommodate the new members that he had managed to drag out of the KANU regime. They drew up a new constitution between themselves, a power sharing agreement that saw the creation of new positions in government.

The reserved positions were President and Vice-President, Prime-Minister and two Deputy Prime-Ministers. These are the positions that were to be “constitutionalized”. The Prefect was again present to guarantee the backing of the Imperial powers, who would ensure that the MOU would be adhered to the letter. All the members present, who represented the eight provinces of this country, were to form the central and advisory committee to be known as the “Summit”.

As this outfit was presented to the world as the “Second Liberation”, it escaped everyone’s attention that apart from one of them, the rest of the members were once a core part of the oppressive KANU regime and that they were in fact using money stolen from the public to start off their campaigns.

They were also mortgaging the nation’s assets to foreigners whom they would have to pay back by giving them undue advantage over local players in the name of “foreign Investors”. They were after all comprador bourgeoisies (local interest holders of the International Capitalists) who were already partnering with finance capital holders from the Imperial centre on their exploitation ventures.

This group had no common values or interests. They were only brought together by their common greed and “Moi Must Go” was their only common objective. Sure enough with this self-hypnotic mantra, they swept through the country in a euphoric wave that admittedly caught every one off guard.

They had made numerous promises of which the most outstanding was “a new constitution in 100 days”.

Here we will make a note which Kenyan History has been dying to forget. A very principled man called Joe Donde, submitted himself as a presidential candidate. This was a man who, slightly more than a year earlier, had single handedly taken on the banks and financial institutions in this country. Under the liberalized markets, the banks had loosed themselves of any kind of regulation and were raising interest rates arbitrarily. People who had borrowed (mostly by mortgaging their homes) at 8% found themselves facing 40% interest rates, with the principles literally doubling every two years.

Homes were lost, businesses closed down, marriages and families broken, hopes killed. Those in government were not willing to act since they were the same ones who owned these banks or were political patrons of the same. Only a brave man could dare stand up to these financial ogres.

Even as Donde stood up for the people and presented what came to be known as the Donde bill, he faced massive resistance from a combination of banking industry lobbyists and bank share-holder who were members of the house. He fought bravely but was no match for the billions of shillings which were openly exchanged in the parliament corridors to shoot down the bill.

He lost the motion. Believing that he had proved his heart and capacity, he declared his interest for the presidency. When he looked around, he realized that he was alone. Other than James Orengo, his tribes-mate, there was no one within sight of their campaign. No NGOs supporting his righteousness and his move to help the poor masses improve their lives substantially. No foundations donating towards his campaign. No churches saying that here stands a man with the “spirit of good” who has laid down his life so that you may sleep in a stone house. No media support… nothing.

His crimes…? He did not submit himself to the praetorian command and had threatened the interest and stability of the financial institutions.

They do not care about good, only about complete control on behalf of their imperial masters.

A New Executive Officer

2002

Moi’s protégé lost and the world joined Kenya in celebrating the victory over oppression. It wasn’t long before the Objective Reality started sinking in; Mwai Kibaki was an opportunistic exploiter who had no drop of honor in him. He had no sense of “national good”.

He violated all agreements between himself and the summit, himself and the constitution, and even between himself and morality. All agreements were thrown to the wolves as some members of his “Kitchen Cabinet” (made up of his drinking buddies and which had replaced the summit) went on record in public gatherings saying that; they never meant to change anything, it was all a ploy to get Moi out of power.

Nothing changed. Even the masses who had started acting out change on the streets by resisting corruption soon found themselves alone in the venture. Corruption was still rife, all the way to the top, and soon the masses found themselves back where they began.

The constitution making process, which had until now been a low profile event (with the departure of the tyrant), was once again brought to the fore as Raila Odinga picked it as a battering ram to force his way to his promised position of Prime-Minister.

As Yash Pal Ghai, the head of the Constitutional making process, once admitted, the process was yanked off its tracks and out of his control as the two powerful forces mobilized their troops and ripped it apart as the battle for the control of the state shifted to this platform.

The bone of contention was the “non-executive prime-minister”. Raila felt he was being denied his promised position of “Executive prime-minister” as per the MOU. He showed his might by splitting the country into two. He declared it was 41 tribes against 1 tribe.

First Referendum

2005

 In came the masses! People who could not figure out, which is the right side of the road to walk on while going to look for a non-mental job at the farm or in the in un-dignifying Indian-run factories suddenly had very strong opinions on whether this country needs a Prime-Minister with executive powers, a Ceremonial head of state or a parliamentary system with a separate calendar and the powers to impeach the president.

What came out very clearly was that the Kenyan people have at their core, tribal identities which overcome all their other identities including spiritual or educational. Their opinions were- almost to the last man- based on their tribal affinities. It didn’t matter, fish-monger or professor, those from the western part of Kenya thought that the constitution was bad and needed to be done away with. Around the mountain, it was the opposite, priest or pauper, they all supported the proposed constitution.

The Praetorian Guard, which was duty bound to support the MOU it had facilitated, had been instrumental in ensuring it was captured in the first draft, which had been known as the “Bomas Draft”. They supported the “No” campaign which had become synonymous with supporting the “Bomas” position of an “Executive prime-minister”.

Despite having all the state machinery at its disposal, the sitting government of Kibaki and his Mount Kenya cronies were no match for the praetorian led Imperial forces who managed to twist the public in Railas favor.

Well, the referendum failed to pass the proposed constitution and it was soon forgotten about as the groups that had been formed around the two campaigns became “movements”, with one even adopting its campaign name for a party name. Since these movements had no ideals but the grabbing of power, the greed and mistrust in their midst caused the key players to take off in different routes.

Important note!

The Praetorian Guard and the Imperial powers don’t really care who takes power between Kibaki, Raila, Musyoka or any other politician who holds a substantial interest in the current economic dispensation. They know that these individuals would not jeopardize their interests by changing the foundations of the system. For as long as the ‘Title Deed’ is held sacred, then their land holdings shall remain protected. For as long as long as the person in power has retained some wealth in the stock markets, no law shall interfere with Bonds and Stocks. Once one has tasted the easy money of being a local partner (protector) of a foreign investment, they will always be open to new opportunities of commodifying critical aspects of the people’s lives and selling them to these foreigners for a minimal profit.

Once one has been corrupted, they always stand to be corrupted some more. To survive and rise in this corrupted system, one has to be corrupt. The Praetorian Guards are masters at corruption. It is their primary weapon of control.

What is important for them is that they identify those with power, or with potential for power, induct them into the principles of liberalism, bind them with material trappings (easy money to change their lifestyles irreversibly) and give them a stake in the capitalist system. Once they are in, fund their activities (and eventually their campaigns), create strong strings of control, then shove them into the political playing field.

Today, almost all the faces that make it to the public’s attention especially through the mass media, have been made by the Praetorian Guard. Those who have tried to make their way through other channels e.g. media personalities, have found the political field tough and have either agreed to fall under the praetorian’s command or have found themselves in the cold. Even their previous ventures have been destroyed.

This is the nature of the Praetorian Regime.

2007

 As the masses were driven into a frenzy over the elections, the Imperial Powers strategically placed themselves behind all campaigns. The three paramount chiefs Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, were seen criss-crossing Europe and North America pledging their loyalty to whoever will fund their campaigns. Upon their every return they were greeted as “descending gods” by their fully supplicated tribal followers.

Through the direction of the local guard, the Global powers channeled their support for the different campaigns through the different corporations and foundations which exist for such purposes. A lot of the financing and support also went to the media who besides running campaigns for these three horses, also ran separate campaigns for the election process itself. Anyone refusing to be caught up in this madness was labeled an “unpatriotic idiot”.

There was pressure from every angle. Expectations were unrealistic. Turn-outs were impressive. There was only one way to go…

2008

What we will never know for sure is who won the 2007 Kenya Presidential elections.

What we now know for sure is the greed for power that all our leaders possess. They engaged the highest level of brinkmanship that saw all players hold their positions at the expense of the rising death toll and displacement of the naïve masses.

With Kibaki unleashing uniformed and armed thugs on the masses and Raila pushing the same masses to go out to the streets to fight for him, Kenya exploded into a thousand social pieces with community turning on community in blind anger.

Even though in the beginning it was chaotic with every man and woman for hirself, it quickly transformed itself into a tribal (as was now being reported in the international media) conflict but just as quickly, it became a struggle about “Haki yetu!”

Soon Haki Yetu wasn’t about Raila, it was about land and resources as the disenfranchised grabbed at whatever they felt was rightfully theirs. The land wars were especially ugly in the Rift Valley where Kikuyus who had been perceived as encroachers were now being rounded up and expelled or killed.

It then started turning revolutionary.

As a diplomat from Latin America, experienced in revolutions, pointed out; “the objective conditions (the ground) are ideal for a revolution but the subjective conditions (ideals and capacities) are lacking”.

Two things led to the quick response from the Imperial Powers (remember that these are the same guys who sat back and watched over a million Rwandese die before even their media bothered to point a camera).

  1. The revolutionary nature of the conflict. There are a number of Kenyan youth who are “conscious” and educated in ideology and were soon organizing and emphasizing on the class nature of their problems. Remember that the battles were being fought in the poor and lumpen-ised parts of the country.
  2. The Americans had lost a major strategic battle in 2007 over the location of the US AFRICOM. All African countries, apart from their puppet government of Liberia, had refused to allow the Military Command to be built on their land. The Americans had beaten a tactical retreat by stationing it in Stuttgart, Germany, while waiting for an opportune time to land it in Africa.

(US African Command is to be the US foreign policy implementer as they shift their imperial approach from manipulation and coercion to explicit militaristic force as they are already doing in the Middle East. The objectives of the command are clearly stated as securing and coordinating American interests in Africa… read more on US AFRICOM).

They need to plant a stooge in Kenya to allow them access to Kenya, which is a major port into Africa, not just for Ships (like the slave ship which is currently being loaded with dehumanized Africans), but also for ideas such as liberalism and capitalism.

Kenya is central to the expansionist interest of the Anglo-American Imperial Powers. Even without the military command, there are already major installations located in this country especially the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) not to mention the military bases and Multi National Corporation’s (MNC) region offices.

The Takeover

The Praetorian Guards quickly pulled themselves together. Fed with the experiences of guards from other countries, they saw an opportunity to entrench themselves in the system and to take over control from the lack of leadership that was immediately experienced.

Under the banner of Kenyans for Peace, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation (KPTJ), they created an information network which temporarily expanded the guard by bringing in new cadets, even though on a temporary basis. Those outside the information network but under the command of the guards now started being referred to as “Human Rights Defenders” (HRD).

(A lot of the lower rank HRDs don’t understand the game and most are driven by good intentions. The influential ones are identified through their activities and quickly co-opted into the paid ranks. Co-option usually means compromising your agency of Utu and agreeing to become an agent of Imperialism. They also introduce money as the motive behind your actions and a sense of immobility in the absence of money.)

The senior guards were soon flying around the world consulting with their Imperial heads on the seriousness of the situation, its threat to their interests and more importantly, the tactics to be assumed in cementing their control over the political class.

First… to contain the chaos.

There was a flurry of events as the Imperial Powers brought out there key diplomats to restore the situation to its previous state (what they called a state of “Normalcy”).  While former UN Sectretary-General and now Africa Chief, Kofi Annan was in the country as mediator, the US Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice was seen dropping in during moments of stalled negotiations as the US president George Bush was turning neighboring Tanzania into a podium for issuing threats and ultimatums to the two Kenyan principals.

With a stern reminder of how the popular Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was declared an abomination by the Media Machine before being executed in public, the leaders were forced to sign a document they knew was impractical, lest the same happens to them. They shook hands in front of the cameras as a signal for their troops to withdraw. They did!

The IP had usurped Kenya’s sovereignty and placed it in the hands of the Praetorian Guard. Their control was now public as they became the overseers of the pact. Any problems were reported to them. Where they were unable to address the situation, a simple call to Kofi Annan saw our two principals running around trying to placate the African chief.

The new hook of control was the International Criminal Court. Known for its ability to prosecute sitting presidents, it cast a shadow of death over the political landscape in the forms of; the UN rights violations investigator, Phillip Alston and the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who were regularly reported to be flying in and out of the country.

Then there was a list. Anyone’s name could have been in that list. Everyone behaved.

The leadership was now fully under the control of the Imperial Powers.

Silencing the Cries

Now, to silence the noise of change that was coming from a few conscious elements…

The resistance on the ground was organizing itself into a people’s movement. The masses were being educated on their interests. The “people” were becoming political. This needed to be stopped.

The machine that they had created to remove dictator Moi was now starting to work against them. It needed to be decommissioned. The “Reform” agenda had to be put to rest.

A committee of experts was quickly engineered with a make up that was fully donor-dependent almost to the last man and woman. Comprising some of their best international legal “mercenaries” as foreign experts, the Imperial Powers created a committee from their list of “consultants” and NGO heads that was itself fully donor supported.

The draft they came up introduced nothing new. It wasn’t meant to!

It simply converted to legal jargon the existing governance framework and changed the name of a few institutions and positions just for confusion purposes.

It had also attempted to constitutionalise the Imperial controlled commissions but this was checked by a few MPs who didn’t understand the game.

The cosmetic changes in the so-called Bill of Rights means nothing if power is not devolved to the grassroots and people allowed to organize their own democratic government at the village level. Central power MUST be totally contained. Focus must be shifted. (This decentralization will be addressed in subsequent articles.)

The Americans (at the centre of imperialism) don’t want change. They have fought to maintain the same structure of government which they understand very well is anti-people and regressive. This is a new document but not a new constitution.

Despite this, they have directed their guards to shut down any dissenting voices.

Using the same tactic of shutting down communications during times of possible rebellion, they have created a state of emergency which has seen them gazette a draconian act which threatens to lock anyone whose “free expression” on the electronic is contrary to their position.

They have further shut down Mombasa for 100 days under the guise of a drug crack down.

The NGO and CSO have been excessively funded to campaign for this document in the name of “civic education” which in truth is a process of herding the masses to accept this deception.

The media have become so partisan in the ongoing debate that one can’t help see that they are acting out of interest instead of Media objectivity. Here too, dissenting voices are not given any space.

The politicians are fully checked… what with the hovering ghost of the post-election violence threatening to imprison their principals. To boot, Luis Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor jets in just to remind agenda resistors what lays ahead for them if they refuse to toe the line.

And the people… the people have been quiet… until now.

(Can the Argentine Lawyer, Luis Moreno Ocampo, also look north from his home to the US and in the same spirit with which he investigated Omar Bashir [a sitting president of a non-signatory country of the Rome Statute] to also investigate George Bush and his partners in the Military Industrial Complex for starting a war on a false premise and being responsible for the deaths of over 1.2 million (and counting) Iraqis to date. It should be easier to arrest him since he is no longer the sitting president.

UN Special Investigator, Phillip Alston, Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, can you first investigate your nation-mate on the same said atrocities? Or will being a beneficiary of the Iraqi oil-output that the US now controls tint the view on your spectacles of justice. We as Africans will have more faith in what you are doing if we see that you are truly objective. As our fathers told us “kill the snake in your house before you call yourself a snake-hunter!”)

Why Do They Want Us To Accept This Document?

The infamous Berlin Conference treaty included what is called the Principle of Effectivity.

The Principle of Effectivity stated that powers could hold colonies only if they actually possessed them: in other words, if they had treaties with local chiefs, if they flew their flag there, and if they established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order (Uti Possidetis- Latin for “as you possess”, is a principle in international law that territory and other property remains with its possessor at the end of a conflict, unless provided for by treaty). The colonial power also had to make use of the colony economically. If the colonial power did not do these things, another power could do so and take over the territory. It therefore became important to get chiefs to sign a protectorate treaty and to have a presence sufficient to police the area.

As the Americans move in to control our state, they have satisfied almost all the conditions of this principle. Their flag (the logo of USAID with their flag) is present in almost all government departments and parastatals that they already control (also in NGOs and CBOs). They have established an administration in the name of “Civil Society Organisations”. A covert police force (and informers) so powerful, that our highest political officer dares not offend lest he is taken to the International courts (this is besides the terrorist police who are already operating despite the failure of the Anti-terrorism bill that was supposed to usher them in officially).

And now for the clincher- They want the masses (who are the sovereign in the country) to sign a document that binds them to a system of governance where a small group of people preside over a disempowered public. A document the people will be unable to change or replace. A document that goes against the principle of bottoms-up approach to power that is a true people government.

A document that creates an Imperial structure (with a throne), where the Praetorian Guard will determine who the puppet-king shall be. A puppet who like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (of Liberia), will say yes to the re-occupation of Africa by foreign forces (and values).

The same trinkets given in the 19th century to planted African “chiefs” to sell their people and heritage are today being given in the form of aid and project funding.

Are we more conscious than we were back then? Or is it true that Africans are indeed gullible apes?

You decide!

What is to be done?

We must reject this foreign backed process and document.

We speak not out of hate for anyone, but from Utu, the Spirit and Sense of unity, within which there is true love for humanity and for the equality and dignity of all.

We must be very clear that we are not siding with the likes of Ruto and Moi (who are defending their ill-gotten wealth) but that we are acting out of consciousness, understanding (of our history) and most of all, a deep love for our motherland.

We must then immediately start organizing ourselves.

We must organize in every village and neighborhood.

We must bring the people together in forums and peoples parliaments, where each and every person will have the space to express themselves.

We must express our most urgent needs as a people. We must listen to each others greatest fears, passions and inspirations.

We must solve our most immediate problems- First!

Let us contend on how will use all our land to feed our starving selves and not on how long we will lease it to foreigners.

Let us contend on how we will house each and every young couple in a permanent abode and not on how we will kill their babies cause they have nowhere to take them.

Let us discuss how will build a new nation on new values and identities and not let foreign religious ideologies that separate brother from brother.

Let us build families and communities; communities where your neighbor is your brother/sista regardless of which background they come from.

Then out of the communities, let us build a new nation. A nation of people, bound by the spirit of Utu!

Let the nation form the state. A state run by a people’s government!

A government of the people, for the people and by the People!

A nation of love!

blogger’s note: I know (many) stories of super/s/heroes that are changing tings on the ground in their communities….

The Q werd is starting with the ones that we’re familiar with, because if we don’t cherish en honour our own, then who will (do it better)?

Until we listen to the lionesses, the tales of hunting will be weak,

These are some of the (many) stars of the Q werd. The people are real. Na hadithi ni kweli pia….leo ni ya Millicent Gaika, Anelisa Mfo na Ndumie Funda of LulekiSizwe LBT

check out http://www.lulekisizwe.com 

 

A lesbian was allegedly beaten and raped repeatedly for five hours by a man who told her he wanted to “turn her into a woman”.

With both eyes swollen and bruised, stitches above her left eye and open wounds on her neck, Millicent Gaika, 30, of Gugulethu, haltingly told how a man she had known for years attacked and raped her repeatedly on Friday night. Her voice was husky from screaming.

Gaika alleged her attacker “acted like an animal who wanted to kill”.

He has been arrested and will appear in the Philippi Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

On Friday just after 10pm Gaika and her friends were walking home after spending the evening at a friend’s house in NY1. As they approached their home, a man, one of many tenants on the site, apparently asked Gaika for a cigarette.

She stayed to smoke with him while her friends walked on. A few minutes later, the man refused to pass the cigarette to Gaika and walked into his room.

When she followed him he allegedly locked the door. “He started hitting me and I fought back. Then he started doing what he did to me. He pulled off my clothes and pushed me down on the bed. He did it more than once. He was holding me down, strangling me and pushing his hands hard on to my neck.

“I thought he was going to kill me; he was like an animal. And he kept saying: ‘I know you are a lesbian. You are not a man, you think you are, but I am going to show you, you are a woman. I am going to make you pregnant. I am going to kill you.'”

Gaika said the man had never openly objected to her sexuality before. “He was very nice to me – I’d known him for years. I hate him now. I am just angry. I was swearing at him while he was doing this to me. I just wished I could die. I hate what he has done, he makes me sick.”

About 4am, after five hours of Gaika being raped, a neighbour knocked on the man’s door and demanded to know who was in the room with him.

A friend of Gaika’s who asked not to be named said: “The neighbour heard something and he insisted that the man open the door. Then he broke the window and the two men started fighting. Other neighbours came and eventually broke down the door and saw what was happening. The rapist wanted to run away, but we kept him there until the police came. Millicent was on the bed. She was only wearing her sweater and it was full of blood.”

The attack was not the first one. After she was raped by four men in 2002, Gaika told herself that it would never happen again and got her life back on track.

 Gaika said the four men had been convicted and were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years. “But after a few years, they got out and that was too little time… I saw them walking around here in Gugulethu again. I was angry but I got through it and I wasn’t scared. But this time it was worse, much worse. Now I am scared, I don’t trust men. I don’t know if I am ever going to be okay after this because I thought I was going to die.”

Ndumi Funda, the founder and director of Lulekisiswe Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women’s Project in Nyanga, was at Gaika’s house (yesterday) and said she was “deeply hurt and traumatised” by the news.

“This needs to be stopped. We know of so many that this happens to and nothing is done about it. How many more young lesbian women must die?”

The project was formed more than two years ago and has various awareness programmes. It also has a centre to help women like Gaika.

It was started after Funda’s fiancee and other lesbians they knew died of Aids-related illnesses; they had contracted HIV in homophobic attacks.

Last month, Weekend Argus reported that the rape and murder of gays and lesbians had taken on “crisis proportions” and was not restricted to townships.

According to a report by international group ActionAid, there were reports of 10 new cases of lesbians being raped every week in Cape Town alone.

Gugulethu police spokesman Captain Elliot Sinyangana confirmed the incident and said a 40-year-old man had been arrested.

He will remain in custody until his court appearance.

Written by melanie Nathan in San Francisco

http://lezgetreal.com/?p=31434

 

blogger’s note: corrective rape, out here in the West, is usually associated with South Africa, and conjures talk on the discrimination & fear that African lesbians face in their lives, couched in human rights frameworks en (not-so) critical analysis …..there are very few I’ve talked with who’ve  associated the term with say, Pride Toronto, but I think what they’re doing to queers of Afrikan descent is, depending on one’s subjective perspective ofcourse, is worse.

bredrin (one of the warriors who’s featured in the Q werd) posted on facebook recently….. Pride Toronto doesn’t give a fuck about black people. And I say, amen! to that. 

See when (the devil in) the man was ‘allegedly’ assaulting Millicent Gaika, he ripped her apart like he said he wanted to, he told her exactly what he thought, that he wanted to turn her into a woman, that she was a slut, he fucking RAPED her, en it’s ‘signified’ as corrective. At least we know him for the devil that he is….and we can agree, without a doubt, that shit ain’t kosher.

Now Pride Toronto, that’s a much more sinister story, a case of  devils we know masque(e)rading as leaders of the community, hardly even bothering with camouflage, a corporate-ized story of class divides and white supremacist ideologies  that are couched in token nominations [read: as necessary as Victor Mukasa’s nomination last year was its rendered superfluous by all the ways that the Committee HASN’T  come through for the queer/trans Afrikan communities in Tdot…….like, look at the ongoing dispute over Blockorama, and we’ll definitely be talking back about  OUR experiences at Pride last year]

The truth is, most of the organising for queer/trans rights in Afrika is being done by people of Afrikan descent, and there are still many gaps to be filled, and conscious allies to be recruited.

For many in the movement on the continent, the issues are simpler and  more direct, than the fragmented post-modern queer theorising dykes en fags who will systematically get paid way more (en creatively) to sustain their professional queer-ism.

For many of us on the continent,  it’s a matter of being able to survive while doing this work, as in concretely (as necessary as it is for more afrikans to take up space in discourse on gender & sexuality), no lengthy dissertations on the wear en tear on the soul or preferred acronyms in our rainbow soup of identities.  We need food to eat, money to travel from Point A to C (en back again), safe spaces, allies who are willing to do hard work themselves, we need to be decriminalised and protected by the State, and our issues need to be framed in our own words.  And as necessary as all the talk is, to make it plain, we need more than empathy, encouragement, tolerance or worse yet, charity & sympathy.

And we are not JUST advocating for queer/trans rights, many (more) of us are struggling for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples, and it’s been critically analysed to heaven and back….we need to work on our OWN  unity first. Fafanua.

Drawing attention to oneself is an act of courage and one that cannot be emphasized enough, especially if the victim is one whose rape is termed   “corrective rape” where the odds are, that the victim could be re-victimized again and again.  Years ago, Lesbians would never have come forward to tell their stories, but now with the unrelenting support and loving assistance from an extraordinary human being, Ndumie Funda, a lesbian woman living in a South African Township, near Cape Town, women and lesbians are telling their stories, willing to be named, photographed and to stand up on our pages to say:- “This is what happened to me!”

In 2007, Anelisa Mfo then a 23 year old lesbian mother from Emkonto, an informal settlement in South Africa, was walking in along a street in Nyanga when she was attacked by a man who pointed a gun at her yelling “slut ,bitch” –while he brutally raped her with a gun to her head.  Anelisa is agreeable to her name being published and story being told. There are many heroes in this story…

Anelisa together with two friends courageously identified and pursued charges and the perpetrator was caught and sent to prison for ten years.  After her HIV test proved negative in a country where HIV/AIDS is epidemic, Anelisa felt much relief even though still suffering from the cruelty of the crime.   While Anelisa was dealing with this trauma she had no idea that her five year old daughter was also raped in the Eastern Cape, by her sister’s boyfriend.

At the time Anelisa had no shelter, no employment, no money, no job, was disowned by her family because of her sexuality and a child who suffered so unimaginably.

In September, 2008, on the anniversary of her attack, Anelisa tried to kill herself. She poured paraffin over her entire whole body and set herself alight.

When LulekiSizwe LBT, Womyns Project, which had recently formed to help lesbian victims of rape, heard about her story the small unfunded group ran to the hospital in JOOSTER, where Anelisa lay clinging to life in an ICU, with no friends and no family to help.

“Because we don’t have resources yet we went to Triangle Project , they help us with counseling for Anelisa and her daughter pay for transport for Ndumie and Anelisa to travel to hospital and food parcel,” Ndumie Funda, founding Director of LulekiSizwe, informed Lezgetreal.  “We then approached IAM for a shelter and they were also a good help. Now the tough part comes who can look after her? There was no one, but I have looked her since that day,” said Ndumie the director of LulekiSizwe LBT volunteered herself to look after Anelisa.    “Like a nurse doing everything for her, feeding, cooking, washing Anelisa and her laundry- not to forget the good team of us that we have at LulekiSizwe LBT every day to relieve me.”

We received donations from the straight community at the time and so we could hire a nurse who was also helping with the dressings.

“Now,” says Ndumie, “Through prayers and care, Anelisa has recovered from her burns and has her daughter with her. We are currently trying to get some funding to get Anelisa and her daughter a home.”

Anelisa is breathing through a pipe – she cannot use her nose anymore – this is the very sad story of ANELISA.

Donations for LulekeSizwe to –

c/o Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com
Private Courts, Inc
P.O. Box  1108
Woodacre, CA 94973

to be continued……kesho, on resistance from the margins

Blogger’s note: hadithi? hadithi? Nipe mji? Nilirudi nyumbani, coz home is where the heart is, en I was blessed to learn (more) from babas (of Afrika) that spoke (big) love en truth, like Amilcar Cabral, Baba Tajudeen, Cheikh Anta Diop, Dedan Kimathi, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Elijah Masinde, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, Ngugi wa Thiong’o,…there are many kings (in the Q werd)….this post is from one of them……..

a non-fictional short story by Onyango Oloo

http://demokrasia-kenya.blogspot.com/2010/04/yes-from-apathetic-facebook-20.html 

 Claire M is a beautiful, ebony complexioned, twenty-something petit-bourgeois British accented Kenyan employee of a certain tech firm who commutes daily between her middle class neighbourhood in Nairobi’s east end and her posh upscale office in the capital city’s west end.

She is also a very good friend of mine.

Vivacious should be her middle name, so effervescent is Claire’s good natured spirit.

We met purely by happenstance about two and a half fortnights ago.

There she was, slightly after ten in the pm, sitting next to me on the Number 33 matatu on a Furahiday, Embakasi bound.

A spontaneous conversation sprung up in a matter of minutes and within days we were certified Facebook friends who turned out to be residing within mere hectares and baby wails of each other.

A few days ago, I hooked up with her and one of her girl friends for an evening after work beer sip upstairs at the Verandah, across the street from the Stanley-the old Cameo cinema for old Nairobi hands.

In the course of our random chat, she casually mentioned that she had seen my status update on Facebook urging Kenyans to vote Yes come the Referendum on the proposed new constitution.

“I am NOT voting and YOU can’t make ME!” she declared with an air of finality which startled me, being totally unexpected.

I didn’t even know she had seen my earnest online constitutional exhortation in the first place.

“Remember the last time in 2007, I woke up very early in the morning and voted for Raila and look what happened! We Kenyans started killing each other! Over WHAT? I am NOT voting for ANYONE! And you can’t FORCE me!”

Yawa Maembe”, I tried to butt in, gently pointing out that this time around Kenyans were not voting for anyone, just for the long sought after constitution, twenty years in the making and stained with our blood, sweat and tears.

“Well, the only person I will be voting for is the Man Upstairs. And in case you didn’t know, the world is COMING TO AN END. All the signs are there.

Have you looked at

Jay-Z’s latest CD?

Or wondered why Beyoncé Giselle Knowles calls herself

Sasha Fierce these days?

How about that thing with Kanye West and Taylor Swift?

or Rihanna’s new outfit?

There you go.”

Let me hasten to add that Claire M is perfectly SANE and quite intelligent, in case you were wondering.

At this point she reached deep deep into one of those humungous mobile ward robes that women call handbags these days

and fished out a slim volume with a silky, smooth, soft, shiny glossy black cover featuring a smiling handsome African man on the cover.

The booklet was captioned He is Coming.

I think the author was referring to the world famous dreadlocked Holy Nazarene nicknamed JC, but the image was more reminiscent of one of those Nollywood hunks that litter our television screens and have taken over our DVDs these days.

“You see this?” she said, thumping mercilessly on the poor innocent book.

“It is all in HERE. Tell him Sheila!” she said, turning to her bemused best friend who had been staring, wide mouthed, as this delirious conversation unfolded amid quaffs of this or that variety of Kenyan malt product among the trio of us.

“I am not particularly religious”, I offered, meekly.

“The last time I stepped into an actual Church to formally worship was waaay back in May or June 1982”, I explained, shocking Claire M, who was not even conceived back then when

Shalamar,Ray Parker Jr, Odyssey, The Whispers, Kool and the Gang, Lakeside,

and the Gibson Brothers ruled the world’s disco floors with their curly kits, afros, box tops, bomber jackets and tight jeans-the future Retro/Old Skool gear and wear of decades to come.

Earth, Wind and Fire

“You mean you DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD???!!!”

Reluctant to start another raging, never ending Kenyan sectarian edition of the Crusades right there at the Verandah-a veritable den of iniquity if I ever saw one- I carefully skirted the religious inquisition, side-stepping a possible urban, nocturnal lynching at the hands of an irate, determined and capable potential Kenyan female executioner by reverting back to the need for a Yes vote among all Kenyans with a functioning brain.

“Well, like I said, WE are NOT voting, are WE, Sheila?” Claire M hissed defiantly, turning to her hapless bosom buddy for solidarity and assurance.

“And you can write that on that BLOG of yours! And tell the WORLD that Claire M said SO! It is NO for ME and THAT is THAT!”

“Are you SURE????!!”

I tried to verify, knowing how far around the world the Kenya Democracy Project blog travels these days.

This morning I got an update from my Neo website counter which informed me that the blog had reached 11,950 cities in 186 countries around this

Blue Marble.

“Yes! And I am waiting to read it!”

So Claire M, in sunny Nairobi, here you go.

You did insist and demand that I put your views on this blog of mine.

And I am sending you a link via my Facebook wall so you can read this on your mobile phone my Kenyan digital sister. I will also email you the URL so that you can carefully jot down the put downs and rebuttals for our next Verandah soiree.

My generation and this Twittered, Digged, RSS Word Pressed Facebooked Twenty First Century Viral Marketed Kenyan Generation of Claire, Sheila and Co. Ltd are Worlds Apart I tell you.

It is like Mercury and Uranus.

Back in the 1980s-Yes, when David Onyango Oloo was still a deceptively innocent looking, fresh faced, slim, twenty something student cum political prisoner and not this bloated twenty first century Kenyan Rip Van Freaking Winkle with sprinkles of salt on my head and chin- it was a badge of honour among the Kenyan youth to be political, to be conscious, to be democratic, to be patriotic, to be militant, to be vigilant, to be a voter.

These were the days of Daniel arap Moi and his side kicks like Okiki Amayo, Kariuki Chotara, Mulu Mutisya, Jackson Angaine, Ezekiel Bargentuny, Sharrif Nassir, Philip Leakey, Stanley Oloitiptip, Krishan Gautama and John Joseph Kamotho.

The days of one party rule.

The days of detention without trial.

The days of the one finger salute.

Not that finger you are thinking of.

The KANU one finger is what I am talking about.

The days of silence, the days of terror and the days of fear.

The days of Fuata Nyayo.

The days of KANU Tawala, Tawala.

The days of fake peace, counterfeit love and non-existent unity.

And also the days of defiant university student demonstrations and courageous lecturers’ symposia.

Not to forget fearless editorials.

The era of George Anyona and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

The hey days of Willy Mutunga, Al-Amin Mazrui, Micere Mugo, James Orengo and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

The political coming age of the Njeri Kabeberis and Mwandawiro Mghangas.

Some university students declared in public kamkunjis that it was time for Kenya to be ruled by Marxist-Leninists.

Others were abducted off trains to be charged with sedition because they had dared to draft in their hand written chicken scrawl, earnest essays about the role of youth in fighting for democracy and justice in this country.

Still others were thrown down flights of stairs by angry secret police torturers for celebrating the attempted overthrow of the Moi dictatorship.

Back in those seemingly long forgotten days, Kenyan youth, Kenyan students, Kenyan post-independence patriots yearned passionately to kick the status quo’s hind quarters swiftly, repeatedly and viciously.

Back in those yesteryears, Kenyan students and youth spoke out loudly in protest when spooky sycophantic fascist neo-colonial comprador politicians led by our current septuagenarian head of state wanted to declare Kenya a de jure one party dictatorship.

And back then, there were no cell phones, leave alone the internet, forget email accounts, scratch Messenger, ICQ, online forums, chat rooms, Facebook or Twitter.

Back in that recent technological Stone Age, when you spoke of a telephone you was either referring to an old gloomy looking black contraption which had a PADLOCK firmly attached to it or a relative of the same intimidating device trapped in an outdoor cage, looking like a forlorn statue which required you to feed it with numerous coins if you wanted to talk to anyone for a few hurried minutes- at the top of your lungs, obliviously unaware that science and technology had already carefully considered your vocally needs to communicate clearly and therefore taken care of the volume and modulation functions in that teleinstrument.

But we were MORE networked and pumped up those days-politically speaking that is.

If there had been a proposed draft constitution waiting to be passed as the country’s supreme document, Kenya’s militant and patriotic youth would have already formed kilometre long queues, snaking around entire villages-urban and rural- to vote YES, YES, YES! months before the actual referendum!

What a contrast that generation of mine is to the apathetic, blasé, cynical, bored out of their skulls, hip hopping techno Kenyan chini kwa chini ohangla wiggling genge kapukaring smoked out dazed raggamuffins of the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Ten who have more passion for Arsenal and Man U than for freedom or socialism; Kenyan youth who know more about the subliminal Satanic sub texts in Rihanna’s latest dress than which reproductive rights side to take on the raging debate about where life begins; Kenyan youth who can recite the last 98 minutes of the last episode of Lord Of The Rings or the 23rd Season of Sex in the City verbatim from their photographic memories while being totally clueless about the actual contents of the Bill of Rights in our new constitution; Kenyan youth who can tell you the exact alcohol percentage in a bottle of Kingfisher or Smirnoff Red, but totally blank out when you ask them about what percentage women of seats have been allocated in the projected Senate chamber.

Do I sound harsh, bitter, angry, judgmental?

You tell me.

Forgive me for this Cardinal Sin of having seen Better Scenes for Kenyan Youth in this very country, in this, my very own pays natal.

But frankly some of us, aging grey beards, the Kenyan youth of yesteryears, expect more, much, much more, from our younger siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, and for some of us now delving into our fifth decade of existence, our own sons and daughters.

We expect them to reap the harvest of our blood stained youthful endeavours for a more democratic dispensation.

We expect them to be more emboldened about defending our social justice gains.

We expect them to be more conscious than us, their prehistoric predecessors.

And yes, Claire M, that is why I expect YOU to VOTE YES for the new constitution come the referendum.

And I am talking to you too, Sheila.

But first, you have to register as voters my two Kenyan sisters.

And you can do it electronically these days you know.

So Claire M, there you have it.

You did ask me to write this, didn’t you?

Onyango Oloo

Nairobi, Kenya

 blogger’s note: braap! and those are the confessions of an angry afrikan baba, I hear where he’s coming from, those are my peers he’s talking about, apathy seems to be/coming a hall mark of our generation, but if you know where to look, then you will find those youth fulfilling the mission of their times…

blogger’s note: you probably already know this story, references to ancient Afrikan cultures are all over the net en the world….so here’s another one of them…of the gran (primeval) mama of us all  (emphasis on ‘the capital’ in the Q werd)

Adapted from http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/hathor.html

Hathor is one of the most ancient Egyptian goddesses. She was known as “the Great One of Many Names” and her titles and attributes are so numerous that she was important in every area of the life and death of the ancient Egyptians. It is thought that her worship was widespread even in the Predynastic period because she appears on the Narmer palette. However, some scholars suggest that the cow-headed goddess depicted on the palette is in fact Bast (an ancient cow goddess who was largely absorbed by Hathor) or even Narmer himself. However, she was certainly popular by the Old Kingdom as she appears with Bast in the valley temple of Khafre at Giza. Hathor represents Upper Egypt and Bast represents Lower Egypt

She was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was considered to be the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow (linking her with Nut, Bat and Mehet-Weret). As time passed she absorbed the attributes of many other goddesses but also became more closely associated with Isis, who to some degree usurped her position as the most popular and powerful goddess. Yet she remained popular throughout Egyptian history. More festivals were dedicated to her and more children were named after her than any other god or goddess. Her worship was not confined to Egypt and Nubia. She was worshipped throughout Semitic West Asia, Ethiopian, Somlia and Libya, but was particularly venerated in the city of Byblos.

She was a sky goddess, known as “Lady of Stars” and “Sovereign of Stars” and linked to Sirius (and so the goddesses Sopdet and Isis). Her birthday was celebrated on the day that Sirius first rose in the sky (heralding the coming innundation). By the Ptolemaic period, she was known as the goddess of Hethara, the third month of the Egyptian calendar.

Hathor was also the goddess of beauty and patron of the cosmetic arts. Her traditional votive offering was two mirrors and she was often depicted on mirrors and cosmetic palettes. Yet she was not considered to be vain or shallow, rather she was assured of her own beauty and goodness and loved beautiful and good things. She was known as “the mistress of life” and was seen as the embodiment of joy, love, romance, perfume, dance, music and alcohol.

Hathor was especially connected with the fragrance of myrrh incense, which was considered to be very precious and to embody all of the finer qualities of the female sex. Hathor was associated with turquoise, malachite, gold and copper. As “the Mistress of Turquoise” and the “lady of Malachite” she was the patron of miners and the goddess of the Sinai Peninsula (the location of the famous mines). The Egyptians used eye makeup made from ground malachite which had a protective function (in fighting eye infections) which was attributed to Hathor.

As the “lady of the west” and the “lady of the southern sycamore” she protected and assisted the dead on their final journey. Trees were not commonplace in ancient Egypt, and their shade was welcomed by the living and the dead alike. She was sometimes depicted as handing out water to the deceased from a sycamore tree (a role formerly associated with Amentet who was often described as the daughter of Hathor) and according to myth, she (or Isis) used the milk from the Sycamore tree to restore sight to Horus who had been blinded by Set. Because of her role in helping the dead, she often appears on sarcophagi with Nut (the former on top of the lid, the later under the lid).

She occasionally took the form of the “Seven Hathors” who were associated with fate and fortune telling. It was thought that the “Seven Hathors” knew the length of every childs life from the day it was born and questioned the dead souls as they travelled to the land of the dead. Her priests could read the fortune of a newborn child, and act as oracles to explain the dreams of the people. People would travel for miles to beseech the goddess for protection, assistance and inspiration. The “Seven Hathors” were worshiped in seven cities: Waset (Thebes), Iunu (On, Heliopolis), Aphroditopolis, Sinai, Momemphis, Herakleopolis, and Keset. They may have been linked to the constellations Pleiades.

However, she was also a goddess of destruction in her role as the Eye of Ra – defender of the sun god. According to legend, people started to criticise Ra when he ruled as Pharaoh. Ra decided to send his “eye” against them (in the form of Sekhmet). She began to slaughter people by the hundred. When Ra relented and asked her to stop she refused as she was in a blood lust. The only way to stop the slaughter was to colour beer red (to resemble blood) and pour the mixture over the killing fields. When she drank the beer, she became drunk and drowsy, and slept for three days. When she awoke with a hangover she had no taste for human flesh and mankind was saved. Ra renamed her Hathor and she became a goddess of love and happiness. As a result, soldiers also prayed to Hathor/Sekhmet to give them her strength and focus in battle.

Of course, Thoth already had a wife, Seshat (the goddess of reading, writing, architecture and arithmetic), so Hathor absorbed her role including acting as a witness at the judgement of the dead. Her role in welcoming the dead gained her a further husband – Nehebkau (the guardian of the entrance of the underworld). Then when Ra and Amun merged, Hathor became seen as the wife of Sobek who was considered to be an aspect of Amen-Ra. Yet Sobek was also associated with Seth, the enemy of Horus!

She took the form of a woman, goose, cat, lion, malachite, sycamore fig, to name but a few. However, Hathor’s most famous manifestation is as a cow and even when she appears as a woman she has either the ears of a cow, or a pair of elegant horns. When she is depicted as entirely a cow, she always has beautifully painted eyes. She was often depicted in red (the color of passion) though her sacred color is turquoise.

It is also interesting to note that only she and the dwarf god Bes (who also had a role in childbirth) were ever depicted in portrait (rather than in profile). Isis borrowed many of her functions and adapted her iconography to the extent that it is often difficult to be sure which of the two goddesses is depicted. However, the two deities were not the same. Isis was in many ways a more complex deity who suffered the death of her husband and had to fight to protect her infant son, so she understood the trials and tribulations of the people and could relate to them. Hathor, on the other hand, was the embodiment of power and success and did not experience doubts.

While Isis was merciful, Hathor was single minded in pursuit of her goals.

When she took the form of Sekhmet, she did not take pity on the people and even refused to stop killing when ordered to do so.

to be continued……

 Blogger’s Notes: On big love, black skin (masque/e/rading under) white masks, and dadas in solidarity

 The good(s): (on) The Q werd

The stories aren’t jus’ about queens & queers & trannies of Afrika(n./ descent)… if we used (jus’) ONE  word to describe The Q werd, it would be LOVE [for  (mama) Afrika, our ancestors, bredrin en sistren, our children, and those yet to be born].

These dedications are (personal, spiritual AND political) intended to question and raise awareness of our Afrikan stories, and invoke knowledge/able responses that will help fill the gaps

[coz as little as we may claim we re/member of our true true stories, we know otherwise…

that if it’s true, it’s not new.

To make it plain….

there are no blanks at this time of our ( very-long ) existence on earth: every space has already been re/filled, history revised en stamped with the blood of many of our people.

dis’ earth mapped out en recalibrated according to the powers that be……

so, then what about the rest of US….are we not living proof of the brilliance of truth ?

Many questions (still) will be explored as the Q werd unfolds…..how do we build solidarity not only within our communities, but with conscious allies? In what ways is our freedom tied to the liberation of all oppressed peoples? Knowing that there is so much that we have lost already, how many more compromises are we willing to make to go on trying to survive off borrowed currencies?

En if it’s up to the people to liberate themselves, then how can you (en I) make (y)our contribution to society more meaningful?

A dada, who I was blessed to meet en work with years ago now, (one of the many goddess womyn that I love, respekt en admire, that has taught me through their critical analysis en practice of big love), posted a message on her face book profile (not-so) recently, that has  been reverberating for moons going on years now….

I’m sick and fucking tired of surviving!

En as I’m getting the shit I need together, to go on to THRIVing, as I’m taking care of my own responsibilities, (en)visioning the United States of Afrika, in our lifetime, en trying to atone for MY own negligence and sins, I dream better every night, knowing that (at the very least) I’m trying, en I’m (slowly) changing, en I’m becoming the woman I want to be, en using my strength in the service of my vision (quotes from another goddess…..Audre Lorde)

so I may not be on the continent, may not be a politician, teacher, filmmaker, I may not be an activist (no more), may not be working (for money) for any N.G.O, but I still have a role to play in working for MY  communities en MY  families, en in re/educating not only myself, but others….

en talk is cheap, but it’s also necessary…all the betta for us to get an over/standing of our journeys and needs…… Like on this blog, we’re looking for super(s)heroes [read/ers: artivists, fundraisers, program volunteers & afrikan stars]….for this epic (series) of ‘The Q werd’ in the pipeline (read: grassroots mobilisation en guerrilla style shooting all through the summer moons)

Take a minute. Think about it…listen to/read some of the hadithi we’re  retelling, en remember the stories we’ve told are the ones we haven’t made up to try to set the world straight. Take any one of these stories, do with them as you will. Re/post it. Forget it. But don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you heard this story. You’ve heard it now.,,,,

We warn you, we have not just begun, we are using the arts for revolushunary change, planning on putting our actions where our preach-talk is – (steeped) in (pan) Afrika (n. landscapes….holla back en let us know how we can share resources.  Afrika moja! Afrika huru!

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Nilienda Bungoma, Kaimosi, Kimilili, Webuye, kweli nilitembea, nanilistaajabu ya musa,  nipe mji! nitakupatia hadithi…..

The bad is when we are alien to ourselves, and nowhere is it more apparent en (seemingly) entrenched than in our religions…..it is no coincidence that Kenya officially has the most Christian sects in the world, or that many indigenous afrikan religions survived the onslaught of slavery, Christianity & colonialism through syncretism with the ‘big boys’….jesus doesn’t have a copyright on being ‘the Christ’, and devils have been known to masquerade as ‘men of God’

There’s a saying at home, Mkono usioweza kuukata, ubusu……kiss the hand you cannot cut…know what I mean? The truth is I, like many others have been afraid en distracted for so long, procrastinating, backing down, compromising, breaking promises, breaking down….. en I have also been changing. The beauty en hope in losing one’s way is that you know the ‘right’ path when you find it….it’s simple really. Like the bible states somewhere in the palimpsest of our stories….. to I & I be true. So,

This post ain’t about proselytizing, the truth is, it shouldn’t really matter what religion one practises, the bigger point is what we practice en work (at) every day that makes things better for not only ourselves, but for others……

en if we spent more time figuring out how to harness our (people) power and share our resources equitably, then we wouldn’t have to be concerned about the ‘devils’ among us…..why waste any more time with bad symbolisms? Let’s jus’ move forward with the angels en super s/heroes, no?

These words are not my own, the sentiment is in the irony of the second story….

For those readers in Africa, a word of advice from the get-go: enjoy your beer now and wear your mini-skirts often because such joys – if that is what they are to you – might not last long.

Let me explain by introducing my new favourite pastor, Rev. Dr David Githii, head of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). He argues that Kenyan government buildings harbour many satanic symbols and that Kenya is a country reeling under ‘the great influence of devil worship’.

Four years ago, he was quoted in the East African Standard saying that “the two snakes at the entrance to the Kenyan House of Parliament, the huge Masonic star at the entrance to the High Court, the frogs and tortoise signs in the High Court must be demolished.” Presumably because they are signs of the devil. Nor did his investigations into the insidious nature of Lucifer stop there.

It turns out that Kenya’s national rallying call, Harambee, which means pulling together, is actually a religious invocation: Haree means hail, while Ambe is a Hindu Goddess (ahem, a mere 2 years ago, when in high school, we used to call parties harees, as in ‘we are off to haree at carni’. Little did we suspect that we were deep in the Gujarati). It came into usage in Kenya courtesy of the Indians who built the Kenya-Uganda railway and would chant the phrase as they toiled under the gaze of man-eating lions.

Some of the symbols that have come under suspicion for promoting devilry and general evil include ‘a compass and square on the grilles at the entrance to St. Andrews Church, Masonic coffins on the church’s 30 windows and celestial globes on stairs leading to the main sanctuary.’ (See more here) Other symbols on the chopping board are the old church’s spiral which is a spear on top of a hut.

Rev. Githii’s faction has been opposed by one made up of some of the more prominent business leaders in the congregation who according to the press contend that “the targeted symbols and designs have been in the PCEA churches for more than a century and were simple Scottish internal decor engravings and patterns on stained glass windows with links to Freemasonry but not necessarily satanic.”

This faction, perhaps unknowingly, is clutching to the legacy of the Overseas Presbytery of the Church of Scotland which for almost half a century (until 1956) run the affairs of the church and only relinquished direct control in 1975 when the first African senior minister was installed. The glass stained windows that are the subject of Rev. Githii’s righteous wrath are a tangible connection to the colonial ‘history’ of the church. The faction that supports their maintenance shall eventually lose because it is unknowingly in the path of a historical tsunami.

In the past, I have argued that African Christianity is approaching an epochal break with its European roots. The separation of the moral domain of the Kenyan and of the European is the fundamental moment in decolonisation. It should not be a surprise that it is taking place within the church; an institution built on the possibility of transcendence much more so than any secular decolonisation idea. You are more than the sum of your parts in the church. In a moment you can be made whole: transformed from sinner to believer, from sickness to health and witness the dead brought to life. Whether this is true or not matters less than the extent to which it is believed.

During the brief encounter between the peoples in Kenya with European colonialism, there were periodic attempts to spurn the ‘white man’s ways’. Whether it is the Mau Mau or Lukas Pkech, a young Pokot man who was a follower of Elijah Masinde’s Dini of Msambwa and launched an armed rebellion against the British, religious belief has been ground zero in taking on the European yoke which crucially has been based far more on notions of moral superiority than on the Maxim gun.

The Rev. Githii’s of the world are going much further than Pkech who said ‘don’t listen to this man, he is our enemy. Haven’t we a god? We pray to you Jehovah. Who is Jesus? The wazungu say he is god but how could he be if he died?’ (quoted in Bethwell Ogot’s amazing essay in Mau Mau and Nationhood) Today’s rebels are not merely dissenting against colonialism, which is history anyway, they are remaking a moral house from the foundation up. This necessitates that they strive against the latest notion of European moral superiority: secular humanism. And they are taking this fight to the heart of the enemy.

In May 2005, while in the United States, Reverend Githii severed his denomination’s relationship with the National Capitol Presbytery and the Presbytery of Detroit over their ordaining of practicing homosexuals. He spurned the $300,000 in funding that his church receives from the PCUSA writing, “We find it unfortunate for you to question the inspiration of the Bible as the Word of God. This contradicts the message that the Western missionaries gave to us when our people first heard the gospel from them.”

In 2003, his counterpart in the Anglican Church, Bishop Simon Oketch, was almost beaten up by two Church of England colleagues on a London street. He had infuriated them over his uncompromising opposition to the appointment of the gay American pastor, Rev. Gene Kelly, as Bishop of New Hampshire. The Nigerian Anglicans, the largest congregation in that church followed suit by breaking longstanding links with the mother church in a rejection of its prerogative over them. Homosexuality is only the lightening rod. All manner of progressive civil freedoms will come under attack, most focusing on gender roles and sexuality.

There is irony in this. The western church has allowed the mores of secular society not because of reaching an enlightened understanding but by trying to stay relevant to a largely apathetic western public. Only in those areas where it retains a conservative ‘reactionary’ character has it thrived. The African church, rather than rebelling, seems to be saying: “You the progressives are the ones who are rebels who must be cast out of the house of God.”

This is a message that is gaining resonance in Africa where the church is growing faster than almost any other part of the world outside Mongolia. The explosions of sectarian violence worldwide leaving people in need of belonging and security; the march of democracy, which will reduce the power of the authorities to call the tune; and the proliferation of the means of communication will all combine to shrink the secular space and enlarge that of the believer. The nation, throughout all the countries in Christendom, has been erected on the foundations of the church. It will be no different in Kenya.

That Rev. Githii is willing to take aim at a national symbol such as Harambee is proof that his campaign shall not be limited to dissing the western church. Rather than participate in direct politics, the Kenyan church shall eventually absorb politics into the moral space that it is busy carving. Its strictures on the private will be so much stronger than the ideas that maintain the public sphere, creating an immense pressure – and possibly even violence aimed at unbelievers or the immoral etc. What now only seems to be a campaign for souls will eventually colonise increasingly larger parts of the public sphere.

The fact that the ‘centre’ – the collection of individuals and institutions that define national power – is so ideologically feeble and so dependent on western aid and political ideas will only hasten this process. Like Archbishop Rowan Williams who could only look on in helplessness and surrender as the Nigerians and Kenyans threatened to tear the Anglican Church to pieces over the issue of homosexuality, the Kenyan ruling classes will come to mime the moral positions advocated by the most popular of the churches.

I say enjoy your beers and mini skirts for the moment because they may not be with you in similar form for very long. Already, sectors of the government are taking a harsher line on drinking and other ’sin’ products all in the name of public safety and health. But it will soon become noticeable that as bars begin to close ever earlier, churches will stay open later.

In time, this trend will probably make for an intolerant and constricted social space, but one that will for the first time create the basis of a politics connected to the moral lives of a majority. Through fire and brimstone, laws and regulations that reduce all manner of secular freedoms – that I for one enjoy – a nation shall begin to take shape. Or at least that is what I hope.

 

Blogger’s note: That’s bad enough, but THIS is (an even sadder version of) the bad & ugly.

Another case of us denying kind/dred, eating our own, and desecrating the bones of our ancestors.

Taken from http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5478

Americans Got it All Wrong (read: (this) Afrikan got the crux of IT wrong)

Francis Ayieko. Dec 29, 2003.

Recently, the US State Department released the “2003 Annual report on International Religious Freedom” in which it accused the Kenya Government of “harassing” the Mungiki sect.

Although the report says that the people of East African countries enjoy enormous religious freedom, it criticises Kenya for “frequently harassing and periodically arresting and detaining” members of Mungiki.

[blogger’s note: read – the government also systematically targets activists, community workers, poor people, and freedom fighters under the guise of anti- Mungiki /terror/ism]

While the State Department may have every right to criticize any government that has no respect for the religious freedom of its people, its criticism of Kenya for allegedly harassing members of the outlawed sect is obviously misplaced.

That the report turns a blind eye to the many violent incidents members of the sect have been implicated in reeks of betrayal. Should the Government just watch as Mungiki kill and maim innocent Kenyans?

Since its activities came to light in the 1980s, the sect has been blamed for killing scores of people in Nairobi, Murang’a, Nyeri and Laikipia. In Nakuru, relatives of at least 20 people killed in Nakuru by the sect members are still struggling to come to terms with the loss. Is that what religion advocates?

The State Department’s assessment of religious freedom, especially with regard to its handling of Mungiki, may be weird but it has a precedent in Kenya itself.

Only four months after the Government banned the sect along with 17 other organisations in March last year (after Mungiki members were implicated in the massacre of 28 people in Nairobi’s Kariobangi Estate), the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), released a report which praised some of the Mungiki practices and beliefs as “progressive”.

Titled “Mungiki Movement in Kenya: Religion-Political Analyses”, the report hailed the sect for preaching self-reliance, hard work and independence.

It was very unfortunate that the NCCK, the largest and oldest umbrella body for Kenyan protestants, considered female genital mutilation and tobacco-sniffing as the sect’s only “retrogressive practices”.

Claims by the NCCK official during the launch of the report that Mungiki members had been dismissed and dealt with violently was a very unfortunate move by a religious leader.

But the fact that the US State Department regards Mungiki as one of the religious groups in Kenya is proof of the muddle that religion has turned into. While religion may have played a role in the formation of the sect, observers believe that it is no longer a key characteristic of the group.

It claimed to espouse a return to Kikuyu traditional religion and cultural practices, much like the Tent of the Living God of Ngonya wa Gakonya. But today, its members are free to join any religion.

With its national co-ordinator Ndura Waruinge’s conversion into Christianity a few weeks ago, it should dawn on most sect members that it is time for soul-searching. It appears there is an inner cry in most Mungiki sect members for a religious attachment. This was seen last year when they decided to woo Muslims to become their allies. It failed.

Had it stuck to its initial mission of being a religious group that does not espouse the Western culture without being violent, no one would have bothered the sect. This is because cults and sects are hardly a new idea in Kenya.

The Nomiya group founded by “messiah” Elisha Adet in the 1920s is probably the oldest. But the largest was Dini ya Musambwa of Elijah Masinde. Though Masinde was known for violent brushes with the law between the 1940s and the 1960s, his followers never engaged in the kind of atrocities associated with Mungiki.

The only ugly legacy Masinde, who died in 1987, left for his followers was a deadly religious concoction on which he himself lived.

In Kenya, which is said to have more than 600 registered denominations and several hundred more that are unregistered, cults and sects seem to be a permanent feature. But Mungiki, which is now a group of ruffians, should never be regarded as one of them.

Mr Ayieko is the editor of EndTime News, a monthly Christian newspaper…….

 

en the crux (of the matter) is our solidarity. dadas in solidarity is the ‘dream’ of the Q werd, a coalition group seeded in response to the anti homosexuality bill tabled in Uganda last year…….if we can stop the bill, then we can deliver (more) services to our community, starting with using what we (already) got, the bigger point is we, dear readers, are the ones we’re looking for…..it’s not yet uhuru, but there WILL  be peace for those willing to fight for it……

to be continued…..

 Discography – (some) soundtrack (adaptations) of the Q werd

  1. Asa – 360 degrees, Fire on the Mountain
  2. Ayo – is this supposed to be love
  3. Bob Marley – Buffalo Soldier/Kaya/Zimbabwe
  4. Brenda Fassie – Nakupenda/Vulundlelas/Wedding Song
  5. Hanifah Walidah – Do you mind?
  6. K’naan –Somalia/Take a Minute/ Waving Flag
  7. Lamya – Empires/Lady Borderline
  8. Me’shell Ndegeocello – Beautiful
  9. Nneka – Africans, Beautiful, Changes, Gypsy, Warrior, Love: No longer at Ease trailer
  10. Sade – Soldier of Love/Sweetest Taboo/
  11. Shi Wisdom – just one of those nights
  12. Stella Chiweshe – mbira classics
  13. Weird MC – Riranwo