Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….

Kuna hadithi najua bout vile dis dunia inafloat in space on de mgongo wa kobe, na kila mara mtu husimulia hii hadithi inabadilika, sometime’s de change is in de voice of de storyteller, but in all the tellings, dis dunia neva leaves de kobe’s back.

Paukwa! Pakawa!

I remember so many stories starting wid one of de sacred orders of pan-africanism, Kenyan style!

Sometings were jus’ like dat, (whether ulikuwa ocha, mjini, pwani au mlima za Elgon na Kilimanjaro), sometings we understood, were indigenus to de land, en stayed on de continent, within our tribes en clans, slums en bourgeoise hubs, the spaces between our ‘school’ & ‘holy’ days, tribes of neo-colonial patterns.

Hii hadithi is about growing up in de arteries of Nairobi – (Matatu) Route 44 & 45; surrounded by de hoods of Baba Dogo, Kariobangi, Zimmerman, Githurai, Mathare, en de lavishness of Garden Estate, Kiambu, Muthaiga,Runda, the army barracks…..

Na bado moyo wa Afreeka ni shambani kama mwezi wapasua wingu, wachimbuka, waleta anga……

bunge la mwananchi

kama ni ukweli, what is the right way nyumbani?

I give thanks for Tdot en dis renaissance groove we (been) in, nashukuru wahenga wa Kobe Island, for allowing me/we to walk pon dis land, nashukuru their guidance en protecshun. Nashukuru wahenga wangu ninaowajua, wale sijui, na wale wanaonijua deeper than I know myself, I give thanks munavyotubeba.  Wa Mungu uwazi na wewe, ubarikiwe.

….De concepts presented here are by no means inclusive. They are merely de ones that [I, and] Tobe Melora Correal, as a student of [dis Bukusu, Swahili en] Yoruba tradishun making her [our] own journeys toward deeper understanding, feel are some of de most important. They are also among de fundamental metaphysical ideas that inform de core practices en daily experiences of practitioners around de world.

In de Yoruba (Bukusu en kiSwahili) cosmos, there is one Supreme Being – the source, the Almighty Owner of de entire universe, God – whose work on dis galaxy is carried out  by one Creator, whose work on Earth is aided by 401 gods en goddesses. Both Source (Olorun/Were) en Creator (Olodumare/Gulu/Mungu) exist in de invisible realm (Ikole Orun), while de “helper” god/desse/s (the Orisa) exist as divine immortals on Earth (Ikole Aye).

De energies of Source flow into en join with de energies of de Creator, which combined flow through en join with de manifold energies of de Orisa, which then flow through all that exists in Creashun.

Chapter 1                            In de beginning…..

Yoruba (en Bukusu) divinity actually begins before de mwanzo, with Olorun, de Supreme Being en  Source of de entire universe. According to Yoruba teachings, Olorun is so profound an intelligence en mystery, such an intense force, that we can never fully understand what IT is or how IT organizes en runs de universe. Although often referred to by practitioners as Father and He, Olorun is neither male nor female. For de sake of simplicity en also because it feels comfortable for me personally, I often use de feminine pronoun when referring to Olorun.

Ukweli ni, Olorun is an infinitely divine force that is minimized by assigning it either/or/any gender. Indeed, Olorun’s composition en potency are beyond de capacity of de human body to experience consciously with our physical senses.

Although de Supreme Being is beyond our intellectual en physical grasp, Yoruba teachings maintain a fundamental oneness exists between God en creashun. For Yoruba en Bukusu practitioners, holiness resides within all tings of nature, both animate en inanimate. People who look at life through an either/or  lens may have trouble with de concept of every single ting being at one with an indefinable entity that we cannot touch, see, hear, smell, taste, or fully explain.

How, they might ask, can someting be so elusive at de same time so integral to who en what we are? If we can neva physically experience or even describe Olorun, how can we find oneness with God here on Earth? How can we human beings live spiritually connected to de Supreme Being? How can we breathe God’s breath in every moment?

[Not only] The Yoruba [en Bukusu] path follows a both/and  approach to living, which allows for en embraces all facets of any situation, even forces that appear to cancel out each other. Dis ability to see multiple sides of tings makes it possible for us to accept de idea that God is near us en far away. It enables us to acknowledge that although God is mo powahful than we can envision or articulate, God is in our breath, our blood, en every moment of our daily lives…….

For de Yoruba, Olodumare functions as the creative divine intelligence, birthing en sustaining all matter. S/he does so without error en allows only that which has met hir approval to manifest.

Olodumare, like Olorun, is often designated as male, but like Olorun, Olodumare also transcends gender. De tendency to refer to Olodumare en Olorun as male is de product of partriarchal thinking en cultural systems. Because Olodumare represents de sacred womb of Creashun – en because womben create new life through their wombs – I choose to use de feminine pronoun for dis hadithi.

Nonetheless, please remember that although feminizing de Creator is, in a basic sense, appropriate to dis hadithi, it is not metaphysically accurate. While Olodumare and Olorun encompass both feminine en masculine energies, neither is exclusively male or female.

Na pia, while it is entirely appropriate to refer to Olorun, Olodumare, and Orisa as God, Yoruba teachings are very clear that there is only one source, Olorun. Olodumare and Orisa perform functions as extensions of Olorun’s unchanging Essence. Their divine powahs derive from Olorun; without Hir they could not even exist….

It is precisely because Yoruba tradition recognizes de singular greatness of Olorun that de Orisa are so important to practitioners.  We acknowledge ourselves as de children of Orisa, who are de watoto of de Creator, who is the child of Source, de Supreme Being. We understand that all pouring of divine maji – from Olorun to Olodumare, through de Orisa, en into Creashun – has endowed all maisha with de sacredness of de One Source. We realize that de Orisa are immediately responsible for filling our dunia en each of us wid Olorun’s magic.

Because we know dis about de Orisa, we revere them and we thank them. We pay speciall attention to them through our rituals en shrines, in private en in community, because our relationship with Orisa keeps us mindful of de powah, beauty, en presence of Olodumare. In loving Orisa, we acknowledge the flow of Olorun’s essence running through our lives.

For de Yoruba (en other traditions), de more intimately we know Orisa, de more intimately we know God…ase….

[revised excerpts from one of mi favourite books, zawadi kutoka mama wangu wa tatu] Finding Soul on The Path of Orisa by Tobe Melora Correal. mama ubarikiwe.

Msimulizi: Paukwa!

goddesses I love respekt, en admire so

Hadhira: Pakawa!

Msimulizi:              Kaondokea chenjaga

                                    Kajenga nyumba kaka

                                      Mwanangu mwanasiti vijino kama chikichi

                                      Vya kujengea vikuta

                                      Na vilango vya kupitia

 Up to this point, dis blog has been dedicated to sitting studently at the rivers of de feet of honourable, inspiring mashujaa wa mashinani, en sharing their/our hadithi kwasababu wanayofundisha si mpya… words cannot describe how infinitely grateful I yam for the continued guidance of malaikas en all ur zawadis, bless you akina dada, ndugu, mama, baba, watoto na wahenga wa Afreeka, nashukuru ukweli wa hadithi zetu ya zamani hadi leo na kesho……

Up to this point I have described the life of de Nubians who live south of de marsh-country; those who inhabit de marshes are in most tings much de same as the rest; and they also practice monogamy, as de Greeks do; nevertheless they are peculiar in certain ways which they have discovered of living mo cheaply: for instance, they gather the wota-lilies (called lotus by the Nubians), which grow in great abundance when de river is full en floods de neighbouring flats, en dry them in de sun; then from de centre of each blossom they pick out someting which resembles a poppy-head, grind it, en make them into loaves which they bake. De root of this plant is also edible; it is round, about as big as an apple, en tastes fairly sweet.

There is another kind of lily to be found in de river; this resembles a rose, en its fruit is formed on a separate stalk from that which bears de blossom, en has very much the look of a wasp’s comb. De fruit contains a number of seeds, about de size of an olive-stone, which are good to eat either green or dried. They pull up the annual crop of papyrus-reed which grows in de marshes, cut de stalks in two, en eat de lower part, about eighteen-inches in length, first baking it in a closed pan, heated red-hot, if they want to enjoy it to perfection. The upper section of de stalk is used for some other purpose. Some of these people, however, live upon nothing but samaki (fish), which they gut as soon as they catch them, en eat after drying them in de sun.

Gregarious fish are not found in large numbers in rivers; they frequent de lakes, which they leave at de breeding season to swim in shoals to de sea……When de Nile begins to rise, de hollows en marshy ground close beside it are de first to fill, de wota from de river seeping through de banks, en no sooner are these low-lying bits of ground formed into lakes than they are found to contain a multitude of small fish…..The Nubians who live in de marsh-country use an oil extracted from de castor-oil plant. This plant, which grows wild in Greece, they call Kiki; en de Egyptian variety is very prolific….

The Nile boats used for carrying freight are built of acacia [?] wood – de acacia resembles in form de lotus of Cyrene, en exudes gum…De boats have no ribs and are caulked from de inside with papyrus. They are given a single steering-oar, which is driven down through de keel; de masts are of acacia wood, de sails of papyrus…

When de Nile overflows, de whole country is converted into a sea, en de towns, which alone remain above wota, look like de islands in de Aegean. At these times wota transport is used all over de country, instead of merely along de course of a river, en anyone going from Naucratis to Memphis would pass right by de pyramids instead of following de usual course by Cercasorus en de tip of the Delta….

Up to dis point I have confined what I have written [en restored] to de results of mi own direct observation, research en memory ya ndoto, en de views I have formed from them; but from now on de basis of dis hadithi will be de accounts given to Herodotus by de Nubians themselves-though here, too, I shall put in one or two tings which I have seen with mi own eyes.

The priests told me that it was Min, de first king of Egypt, who raised de dam which protects Memphis from de floods. De river used to flow along de base of de sandy hills on de Libyan border, en dis monarch, by damming it up at de bend about a hundred furlongs south of Memphis, drained de original channel en diverted it to a new one half-way between de two lines of hills.

reclaiming maktabas

To this day the elbow which de Nile forms here, where it is forced into its new channel, is most carefully watched by de ‘Persians’, who strengthen de dam every year; for should de river burst it, Memphis might be completely overwhelmed. On de land which had been drained by de diversion of de river, King Min built de city which is now called Memphis – it lies in de narrow part of Egypt – and afterwards on de north en west sides of de town excavated a lake, communicating with de river, which itself protects it on de east. In addition to his de priests told Herodotus that he built there de large en very remarkable temple of Hephaestus….

[Je, hii ni ukweli au uongo?

p.63 – ?] source: The Histories by Herodotus

Nitamaliza na haiku mbili,

Memories of, nyimbo za Uhuru na #Hadithi Yetu


Coming Soon,  #To David With Love

kama ni ukweli…..

how can we harvest de wisdom of where we come from to create new possibilities for the United States of Afrika?

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

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

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

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

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


[re/posted]scribbles from the den

When the idea was first hatched to put forward South Africa’s candidacy for the 2010 World Cup, it seemed a far-fetched dream. And when FIFA actually awarded the tournament to South Africa, it was, in the view of many, a gamble destined to fail. However, after six years of turmoil, controversy and acrimony later, South Africa is finally set for the 2010 World Cup tournament.

For the next month, (legitimate) concerns about the financial toll of the tournament on South Africa’s economy, the absence of concrete benefits for large swathes of the South African population, or about FIFA’s stifling rules will be put on the backburner as the world enjoys the beautiful game.

Dori Moreno

Dori Moreno is one of those unapologetically afflicted by ‘World Cup Fever’:

I have been waiting for the World Cup to arrive ever since the announcement was made that it would be hosted in South Africa. It’s difficult to get excited about something happening so far into the future. But now, the World Cup is upon us, and in just 2 more sleeps, South Africa will face Mexico in the kick off game of the 2010 World Cup. And South Africa has woken up and is alive with energy, passion and enthusiasm.

 ‘Today, the Bafana Bafana team took to the streets of Sandton, Johannesburg in an open top bus. South African fans came out en masse to celebrate and get a glimpse of their national team. The vibe was indescribable and when the Soweto Marimba Youth League played the national anthem, I confess to being moved to tears from the sheer emotion and energy of the event.

‘I think even the die-hard pessimists out there will struggle not to get caught up in the positive energy that will carry us all on a cloud for the next month. To everyone out there, I say, ENJOY! To all the visitors to our awesome country, feel it, live it and fall in love. It’s time for AFRICA!!!!’

Jeanette Verster’s Photography

And talking about the June 9 ‘United We Stand for Bafana Bafana’ parade organised in Sandton to encourage South Africans to show their support for their national team, Jeanette Verster publishes a colorful picture essay that vividly captures the national excitement.

Brand South Africa Blog

Brand South Africa Blog hopes that the unity and patriotism demonstrated in the run-up to the World Cup will last long after the tournament:

‘The past few months have been an incredible sight. Road works, bridges being built and the most spectacular, the giant eye which watches over all of us from the entrance to the V&A Waterfront. To say I feel proud would really be an understatement, although true. Undeniably through all of this is the tangible feeling of patriotism, excitement and unified spirit in the air.

‘Flags, Zakumi’s (official World Cup mascot), soccer jerseys everywhere makes me feel that we can unite as a country, evident in the progress made.

‘*** I love SA ***

‘The feeling I hope for South Africa is that we stay this way long past the end game is played. Everyone is watching and can see that through working together and progress, we can be pushed into another league and be part of a set of countries people all of the world would like to visit sometime in their life.

‘So, Bafana, we are behind you 150%, make us proud and do your best.

‘Visitors to South Africa, our country is beautiful, take the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track you’ll be pleasantly surprised and p.s. don’t forget to shop!’

Constitutionally Speaking

Even as the excitement builds up, there is anger just beneath the surface over a number of (FIFA-inspired?) decisions which do not benefit South Africans. One such issue is the apparent blanket ban on public gatherings in many municipalities for the duration of the World Cup. Constitutionally Speaking argues that:

‘If this is true, it would mean that parts of South Africa are now effectively functioning under a state of emergency in which the right to freedom of assembly and protest have been suspended. This would be both illegal and unconstitutional. Other reports have suggested that such orders were indeed given, but that the police are now backtracking – probably because the police have realised that they are breaking the law and that the order, in fact, constitutes a grave breach of the law and the Constitution.

‘It is a sad day indeed when the police itself become a threat to our democracy and our rights because Fifa and the government want us all to behave and shut up for the next month and to forget about our democratic rights.’

Scribbles from the Den (and betwixt en between the lines: a video diary of the ‘Q[/t]’ werd)

Scribbles from the Den takes us back 20 years to a memorable World Cup game which is now part of the football folklore and which credited to have changed the World Football Order in favor of African countries:

‘Exactly 20 years ago on June 8, 1990 at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium in Milan, Italy, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, “a humble team with an insignificant past” to quote the Miami Herald, defeated Argentina, the star-studded defending World Champions led by Diego Armando Maradona, in a thrilling Italia ’90 World Cup opening game that came to be known as the “Miracle of Milan”…

‘The victory over Argentina was merely the beginning of Cameroon’s Cinderella story which came to an end only after England ousted the Lions in an epic quarterfinal game that is also part of World Cup folklore. Cameroon’s brilliant run in Italia ’90 in general, and its historic win over Argentina in particular reverberated around the world and changed the Football World Order forever…

‘The aftershocks from that memorable Friday afternoon at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium would be felt years later first with FIFA increasing the number of African teams taking part in the World Cup from two to five, then with the “browning” of European leagues which opened their doors to players from the continent and in the process unearthed African football prodigies such as “King” George Weah of Liberia, Same Eto’o of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire.’

Up Station Mountain Club

As the football fiesta goes on in South Africa, Charles Taku, a lead counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, wonders whether Africa has any reason to celebrate as many states turn 50:

‘Africa is sick; very sick indeed. It is safe to state that at 50, there is nothing to celebrate. Rather than celebrate, Africa should be engaged in a moment of soul searching to find out where we went wrong and to generate ideas about how to resolve the myriad problems afflicting the continent…

‘There is no gainsaying that Africa is a victim of its colonial heritage. It is also true that many African problems are self inflicted. For that reason, according to Peter Schwab, Africa is its own worst enemy.

‘As Africa enters the second half of the century, there is a compelling need for it to eschew all pretensions to celebration and to use the opportunity of the moment to search for viable solutions to its plethora of problems. Our collective failure enjoins us to do a lot of soul searching at this point of our history rather than celebrate a failed past in anticipation of a bleaker future. Africa and the black race in general need to take their destiny into their own hands once again. Time has come for all black people of this world to invoke the spirits of Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, CLR James, the Osagyefo Mwalimu and others whose mere mention of name give us the inspiration, courage and hope to start all over again, in seeking a path of glory they once laid out for us.

The time to build and improve on what they started for our collective survival in a mercilessly competitive world is now. Waiting for dictators that preside over the destiny of most of the continent at present to pave that path to glory is simply foolhardy, if not suicidal.”


Kumekucha explains how he believes the ruling elite plan to rig the August Referendum for the proposed new Kenyan Constitution:

‘Folks I am afraid that I have more bad news for you concerning the new constitution most of us are yearning for. Let me start by confessing that for a person with my years of experience I was rather naïve to believe that those who own Kenya would ever allow for an electoral system that they did not have any control over. The truth is that the so called “tamper-proof” electoral roll has already been tampered with and non-existent voters introduced. And since it is NOT the same electoral roll that we will go to the general elections with, the only conclusion is that the intention is to rig the August 4th Referendum.

‘The game plan by the powerful owners of Kenya is for the NO camp to catch up with the YES majority so that the difference is around 20% or less. What will then happen is that NO will win with a very slim majority. Enough to deny most Kenyans what they are yearning for so much that they can no longer sleep too well. Those wh o have read the document and realize the sweeping changes it will bring into the country and the deadly blow it will deal to impunity.

‘What really scares me is that so far these powerful forces have been able to get things done through the NSIS and have even influenced the judiciary to make certain bizarre rulings. To me that is evidence enough that they are quite capable of going ahead with their well laid plan even as the president tires himself crisscrossing the country campaigning for a new constitution.’


* Dibussi Tande blogs at Scribbles from the Den.