Feminism: (as) a transformational politic  

“We live in a world of crisis – a world governed by politics of domination, one in which the belief in a notion of superior and inferior, and its concomitant ideology – that the superior should rule over the inferior – effects the lives of all people everywhere, whether poor or privileged, literate or illiterate.

Systematic dehumanization, worldwide famine, ecological devastation, industrial contamination, and the possibility of nuclear destruction are realities which remind us daily that we are in crisis…..

Feminism, as liberation struggle, must exist apart from and as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate domination in all its forms….the separation of grassroots ways of sharing feminist thinking across kitchen(table)s from the sphere where much of that thinking is generated [read institutionalised], the academy, undermines feminist movement.

It would further feminist movement if new feminist thinking could be once again shared in small group contexts, integrating critical analysis  with discussion of personal experience(s).

 It would be useful to promote anew the small group setting as an arena of education for critical consciousness, so that women, men (& trans folk) might come together in neighbourhoods and communities to discuss feminist concerns….It is in this commitment to feminist principles in our words and deeds that the hope of a feminist revolution lies.

Working collectively to confront difference, to expand our awareness of sex (gender), race and class as interlocking systems of domination, of the ways we reinforce and perpetuate these structures, is the context in which we learn the true meaning of solidarity.

It is this work that must be the foundation of feminist movement…..

True politicization – coming to critical consciousness – is a difficult “trying” process, one that demands that we give up set ways of thinking and being, that we shift our paradigms, that we open ourselves to the unknown, the unfamiliar.

Undergoing this process, we learn what it means to struggle and in this effort we experience the dignity and integrity of being that comes with revolutionary change.

If we do not change our consciousness, we cannot change our actions or demand change from others.

Our renewed commitment to a rigorous process of education for critical consciousness will determine the shape and direction of future feminist movement……

 

Feminist focus on men: a comment

…now we can acknowledge that the reconstruction and transformation of male behaviour, of masculinity is a necessary and essential part of feminist revolution. Yet critical awareness of the necessity for such work has not led to the production of a significant body of feminist scholarship that fully addresses these issues. Much of the small body of work on men has been done by men…..

(yet) just as love relationships between females and males are a space where feminist struggle to make a context for dialogue can take place, feminist teaching and scholarship can also and must necessarily be a space for dialogue….it is in that space that we can engage in constructive confrontation and critique…..

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmvx8suFr3M&NR=1%5D

Blogger’s note: these teachings are symbolic of the great work that has been done and that is still ahead of us in healing not only ourselves, but the world, and in liberating not only ourselves, and ALL Afrikans, but ALL people. The bigger point of sharing teachings that have transformed not just me, but many others is simple: to reconnect, relocate and rebuild (our) communities with (big) love en more bredrin en dadas in solidarity….afrika moja!

Writing autobiography

The longing to tell one’s story and the process of telling is symbolically a gesture of longing to recover the past in such a way that one experiences both a sense of reunion and a sense of release…..

To G…., who is she: on using a pseudonym

Bell hooks is a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-grandmother on my mother’s side…claiming this name was a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of woman speaking – of woman power.

[between the lines: molisa nyakale is also a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, and a mark-er of my true true home….claiming this name was also a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of wom(b)an speaking]

When I first used this name with poetry, no one ever questioned this use of a pseudonym, perhaps because the realm of imaginative writing is deemed more private than social….after years of being told that I said the wrong things, of being punished, I had to struggle to find my own voice, to feel that I could speak without being punished…

in using the pseudonym, I consciously sought to make a separation between ideas and identity so that I could be open to challenge and change.

Though by no means a solution to this problem, a pseudonym certainly creates a distance between the published work and the author….longing to shift attention away from personality, from self to ideas, informed my use of a pseudonym…the point of the pseudonym was not to mask, to hide my identity but rather to shift the focus, to make it less relevant

Excerpts from Talking Balk: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

In honour of the legacy of tajudeen abdul raheem (en many many ancestors who dedicated their lives to the liberation of all afrikan peoples)

this post is dedicated to bredrin and dadas in solidarity…nakupenda. bless those who work for truth, justice, reconciliation & peace.

 ase.ase.

 

Afrika moja! Afrika huru!

Ase. o.

.

yesterday (en today), in typical ‘alice in wonderland’ fashion,

 I re/connected with 6 (+some) afrikans that I met randomly in my travels ‘downtown’, around my ‘old’ hood(s)…. [4 dadas, (a gran) mama/s, en a brotha from Uganda].

all with werds of love, peace en conflict(s), en (the struggle for)  unity, no mention of the world ‘cup’ in our reasonings…

lakini, hii hadithi ni ya akina dada na mama wa afrika so why shouldn’t we (be) question(ing) the ‘musical’ controversy of (sasha fierce vs.) shakira vs. Freshly ground vs. K’naan as the official mascots for what has become an epic gathering of (the world) masses? (my two cents, why not pull another ‘Michael Jackson’ act &  have ‘all the stars’ perform together?)

 

Why shouldn’t we also be questioning our allegiance to ‘popular’ consumer culture that does little to alleviate the status (quo) of the masses (other than provide a soundtrack for escapism)? 

If we put as much energy in(to) revitalising the Organisation for African Unity, as we did into arts, sports, war (en) our education, then we could [read as: would] reasonably attain the U.S of Afrika within a decade, EN  have all the entertainment we want to occupy ourselves with, au siyo?

Why wait for (vision) 2030? we already know (more than) the basics of where we’re coming from, (more than) enough symbols to inspire a(n. Anti-imperialist) pan afrikan renaissance……

 [read the crux of the “Q” werd as ‘others’: according to anti-capitalists, it’s capitalism,  orthodox ‘mainstream’ feminists may posit it as white supremacist.partriarchal.imperialism…others still, like black nationalists, have conjured ‘back to Africa’ movements and afrikan feminists should technically invoke Mama Afrika herself…. the bigger point is, the crux of this hadithi all depends on where you’re at….hadithi? hadithi? Nipe mji….]

 “…A Pan African movement is therefore an indispensable prerequisite to the struggle for a second liberation. However, as we already noted, the African bourgeoise class which inherited the colonial nation-state has proved a complete failure in terms of genuine development. It merely sees its mission as that of maintaining and preserving the inherited system and therefore the status quo. That is what Economic Recovery Programmes (ERP)  really mean. That is also the objective of Structural Adjustment Programs: to rehabilitate the colonial structures. That is why (Frantz) Fanon noted that the phase of this class ‘in the history of under-developed countries is a completelly useless phase’. After it has destroyed itself  ‘by its own contradictions, it will be seen that nothing new has happened since independence was proclaimed, and that everything must be started again from scratch’ (1963, p.142). It therefore means that if the Pan African movement is to spearhead the struggle for the Second Liberation, it has to be rooted in a different social strata, the strata of the popular masses who bear the burden of SAPs, re-colonization and deepening under-development. Therefore in the words of Walter Rodney in his contribution at the 6th Pan African Congress: ‘The Unity of Africa requires the unity of progressive groups, organisations and institutions rather than being merely the preserve of states’ (1976, p.34). Let the people take over if African unity is to be genuine and permanent…..[from Conditions for Africa at Home by Chango Machyo w’Obanda

These ideas are not new, I heard (read as) learnt them from many Pan-Africanists en anti-imperialists of diverse brands. Preaching love and doing the best that we can to practise the change we see with/in en around us….

we KNOW when we’re on the right path, in the right place, at the right time, when everything happens jus’ so, en there is peace with in/side.(en) Out.

Our communities and collective well being that so many agitate, dream, theorise en organise about are all that we have…so what does having everything with/in to bring the change we need mean, if not everything, kitendawili?

Tega! betta late than neva!

hadithi? (hadithi?)

give me a song of freedom, kama nyimbo cia dini ya msambwa, ifa, mau mau,

(na) nipe mji……

It’s been a hot minute since I shared my ‘personal’ thoughts, all contradictory en straight up as they’re evolving….the reasons ain’t too deep, I’ve been distracted with searching….I’ve been looking, en I mean  REALLY  looking for a really good job; the kind with benefits en at least a 6 months contract, that’s the dream, en as new as it is, it’s true to my surroundings

the other reality is that I’ve been hitting the streets, offering myself for ‘service to others’ through any pimp running a restaurant, so at least I could start getting cold hard cash at the end of each shift put in, the kinda dollars that will get my debt/s repaid, travel fare, en school fees saved up again…those dreams that are so close, yet so (seemingly) far away….

(but) I have a feeling, this week is gonna be IT…..the pundits have declared that we’re climbing out of the recession (though many more are still unemployed), the birds en bears have officially christened the ‘spring’ (though I prefer the transition of seasons in East Afrika), en even this reality doesn’t come close to capturing the hope that has seen me through surviving en the rewards that have sustained my growth, en are instigating (my) thriving….as simple as one project, one documentary, started out of necessity, en growing in scope en tenacity…as comforting as conversations with God/dess en communion with the earth en holy werd..

I’d been digging myself into deep holes with resistance en worry, making mountains out of road blocks, when all I needed to do was, simple, change….myself, before I even tried to think about how I could do better for others.

I did, change….I have had no choice but to…..one of those beauties of the universe. Everything that happens really is jus’ so, for a reason, en now that I’m happy again… I know that this is where I’m supposed to be (it’s not new)…. where every day gets better, en we get a lil’ closer to our visions.

 The truth about (our) stories is that they’re we all we have, en they’ve changed over centuries, but the fairy tale script remains embedded in our realities.

In the beginning, there was……en then there was a spark, fast forward to boy/girl meets cute. Linger in the chase & drama that ensues, mandatory finding one/self/ metamorphosis, en ….they live/d happily ever after. The end.

That’s one version. Another is where the years stretch with experiments, en settling in foreign cities. Where girl questions hir gender identity and rebels the only was s/he knows how, by any means necessary.

Re/inscribes language on hir body, en grows into the woman she had never imagined, dramatic segue to where woman meets wo/man.  Linger in the ‘cycling’ en metamorphosis that ensues, en they go on to marry several more queens en a king, en….live/d happily after. The end.

En an even older story goes that Oba en Oya vied for one man, Chango, who like Osun, loved many wo/men…en had a couple of loves of his life, en their descendants are scattered all over the world. En this is not the end, or anywhere near the beginning….

The beauty about stories is that we can have our heart’s desire in them, en with just the right amount of faith, magical dust, prayer en work, they come true. En if it’s true…..chant with me now J

So, for the next couple of moons, this blog is dedicated to dadas in solidarity.  Stories of researching afrikan hirstory.  Documenting the evolution of our film project, The Q werd. We’re collecting stories of queer/trans wo/men of afrikan descent, en going way back in time to re/cover what has almost been forgotten, all the betta to move forward (with)…..ever!

starting from the beginning, with indigenous afrikan creashun stories…from gulu en ngai to olodumare….hadithi! hadithi?!!!!!!!

Nilienda eldoret, isiolo, kaimosi, kiambu, kimililili, kisumu,  kitale, lamu, malindi,  nakuru, ngomeni, osogbo, thika, wajir, webuye……nipe mji, nitakupatia hadithi……leo ni ya mashairi kama makmende, en memes bigger than Wikipedia 😉

Recommended listening for this post  (songs of stories in the brewing pot called The Q werd)

  1. Asa – fire on the mountain
  2. Nneka – Africans
  3. Lamya – black Monalisa/empires
  4. K’naan– take a minute/waving flag
  5. Miriam Makeba – Mayibuye!
  6. Stella Chiweshe – mutambazve
  7. Daudi Kabaka – mchumba wangu
  8. P square –  no one like you
  9. Gyptian – butterflies
  10. GidiGidi MajiMaji – many names, many faces
  11. Queen Ifrica – lioness on the rise
  12. Ukoo Flani ft. Nazizi – hiphop halisi
  13. Weird MC – Riranwo

to learn how to give love and to let it come in.

 in the spirit of love en resistance,

here’s another gift (yes yes y’all! tis’ the giving season)

more s/heroes waxing LIBERATORY  about  OUR  stories.

iS.I.S: you are beautiful

in the spirit of (i)S.I.S…..

sista (en brotha) love en solidarity!

here’s another gift….

 

juicy sneak preview #3

(if you haven’t been counting)

 what’s on our wishlist?

coco la creme en dainty box “performing” burlesque to dis here song 🙂

dis message is WICKED! ( no homo! 😉  )

 

i dedicate this song to daniel chege & charles ngengi 🙂

the simplest way I can put it…..

for the one(s)….it’s not new….i love you.

yes we can! condemn Bill 18 NOW & release all political prisoners, not only in AmeriKKKa, but on the continent.

yes we can! work on our (own) unity first.

yes we can! commit to the liberation of all Afrikan people.

yes we can! advocate for global human rights.

this song is dedicated to barack obama.

 

a case of reparations

a good meal to swallow in reflection of the monies owed to afrikan peoples.