You’ll never believe wot happened is always a great way to start……

There’s a story I know. It’s about de earth en how it floats in space on de back of a turtle. I’ve heard this story many times, and each someone tells the story, it changes. Sometimes the change is simply in the voice of de storyteller. Sometimes the change is in de details. Sometimes in de order of events. Other times it’s de dialogue or response of de audience. But in all the telling of the tellers, the world

 never leaves de turtle’s back. And de turtle never swims away.

[revised excerpts from] the truth about stories: a native narrative [according to] thomas king

[kama ni ukweli…..]

Consider these dreamscapes of using the arts for educational-paradigm shifts in harvesting Pan-Afrikan memories of legends like Audre Lorde, Makmende, Malcolm X, Mandela, Marcus Garvey na Mbuya Nehanda:

kwasababu [because]

when WE speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard            nor welcomed
but when we are silent         we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

[in de spaces between: exploring how to not only reconcile but embrace queer/trans identities na (with) akina baba, mama na watoto WA– Afreeka]

    1. co-[re]create  (a tribute to those among us who carry the sage secrets of loving like) The Black Unicorn – in #Makmende Amerudi [with d’bi young.anitafrika en a map to the door of no return: notes on belonging – in dub ]

starring Ngozi Paul as  Britannia Zimeisha

[and Tsholo Khalema as Nneke Dumela in #theNekkydtruthis]….

(Not-so) long ago in a thriving learning village within a global matrix of farmers en soldiers of love, mo’ malaikas joined the pan-afrikan performing arts institute [in Cape Town] as artists-in-residence.

like [Check] dis’ sista we love, respekt en admire so…. ngozi paul is an actor, writer, director and executive producer, best known for her celebrated role of starr on the hit canadian show ‘da kink in my hair – a series which she co-created and executive produced. a true renaissance woman, ngozi is committed to telling universal stories through her tuned afrocentric perspective. her resolute commitment to telling ethnodiverse stories is apparent in the compelling body of work. ngozi has been named one of toronto’s ‘top ten actors’ by now magazine, and nominated for ‘best actress’ at u.k.’s black international film Festival for her powerful performance as susan in bayan. on the stage, ngozi is a proud recipient of stratford festival’s ‘tyrone guthrie award’. ngozi paul was an integral member of the original creative team of canada’s first black sitcom, lord have mercy!, which was nominated for two gemini awards including best comedic series. as the founder and president of ngozika productions, ngozi has created diverse content. ngozika productions is currently working on an innovative webbased series to be launched later this year and its debut feature film.

2.  Re-write (de hadithi of) Britannia zimeisha as “First mke (-si-mume)” [#nohomo] na Makmende as himself in (de mama of dis) ‘Amerudi’ series: where he is married to two of the Laydayz (na Godfrey) na Abscondita ni de fourth ‘mysterious’ wife aka. Fairy god sista [#notonthedownlow] in dis ‘big love(upendo)’ family

[herstory basi ni hadithi zetu….kama asili ya malaika, of gate-keepers na griots]

hadithi? hadithi? paukwa! pakawa! hadithi njoo…..

3.

Celebrate milestones in the growth of things like our love for each other, our families and back-to-Afreeka (is-the-future) movements.      [Hadithi kama…..Nakumbuka]

I remember when GALCK was officially launched in December 2008, still riding off the magic of moments-for-life like those, participating in en witnessing years of Under [en in the mainstream mis-reported/werd-on-the]- ground, rebuilding en teaching communities

Nakumbuka the touch of heaven shared with not only those that gathered to commemorate the birth of a queer/trans center of community work in the moyo wa[heart of] Nairobi but those that wished they were there and shared love en mo resources with US in the struggle for Afrikan liberation…for this en so much mo, I yam infinitely grateful.

4.     Take back de re-post.

It is clear that despite the fragmentation and marginalisation that modernity has imposed on the people of Africa, elements of Ubuntu still exist in African societies through languages, cultures and knowledge systems. Ubuntu seeks a restoration of balance in relations between individuals inter se and between individuals and nature. In the new situation in which the holistic individuals now find themselves united in solidarity – no longer alienated and isolated – they find Abantu in existence with elements of Ubuntu still with them. The holistic individuals find themselves already embedded in the culture of Ubuntu……

Such a new environment requires that in order to fit in the new combined human environment of interconnectedness and wholeness, such new combined individuals have to make their rules of a restorative society on an on-going basis.

Already academic researchers are beginning to examine this new situation by exploring the parallels between online social networking and the practices of ‘tribal’ societies that McLuhan envisaged. In the collective profile-surfing essential for ‘face-booking’ and ‘my-spacing’ in which they try to engage in ‘friending’, they begin to see the resurgence of ancient patterns of oral communication. ……

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once declared about the philosophy of Ubuntu, which he called ‘this thing’:
‘Africans have this thing called Ubuntu…the essence of being human. It is part of the gift that Africans will give the world. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, willing to go the extra mile for the sake of others.
We believe a person is a person through another person, that my humanity is caught up, bound up and inextricable in yours. When I dehumanise you I inexorably dehumanise myself. The solitary individual is a contradiction in terms and, therefore, you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own community, in belonging.’…….
It is clear that the new society cannot reproduce a society that lived by the principles of Ubuntu for that was a qualitatively different society. But surely there are some lessons that can be learnt from that experience for the new society that those engaged in revolts seem to be demanding.
[ excerpts of The transformation of the global system and its IMPLICATIONS FOR AFRICA by Dani Wadada Nabudere http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/72529 ]

#ukweli ni: there’s some times I feel mo’ like a lone wolf from a pack of [structurally] dysfunctional hybrids, seemingly isolated/marginalised…. yet always

because of ‘this ting called ubuntu’ that’s neva got me lonely in dis concrete jungle surrounded with the wealth of Bredrin en dadas, children en elders, healers, righteous teachers, warriors en lovers wherever I live, work en play in…..

Najua I ain’t jus lucky, I yam [en we are] blessed. For that en so much mo’ ai yam infinitely grateful for….

There’s a(nother) story I know. It’s about the earth and divine re/visions of rainbow nations in urban hubs na vijiji kama [villages like in]  Abuja, Addis Ababa, Brooklyn, Cape town, Cairo, Dar-es-salaam, Jo’burg, Kampala, Kigali, Kingston, Lagos, Nairobi, Rajasthan, Tdot, Tripoli [and wherever there are those spreading love, hope and positivity in abundance]……these are (some of) the  post-cards of Makmende’s adventures that I will remember tomorrow.

Our real talks are like ‘a wom(b)an speaks’

(blood memories bout where we come from to dis’ days we live in and what is destined with the paths we’re on), in the spaces between honouring our ancestors, our children, and the future generations.

“It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community, be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for the leader. This could be a good time! ~

“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its own destination. ~

The Elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.”

[part of] Hopi elder’s prayer

…..these are a few of my fav poems for grey days with mounds of homework and metamorphosis, that call out to be pegged blue, red en yellow. Dis are some  of the ones I hold close to my heart…..

Moon marked and touched by sun

My magic is unwritten

But when the sea turns back

It will leave my shape behind

I seek no favour/untouched by blood/unrelenting as the curse of love

Permanent as my errors/or my pride

I do not mix/love with pity/nor hate with scorn

En if you would know me/look into the entrails of Uranus

Where the restless ocean pound

i do not dwell/within my birth nor my divinities/who am ageless and half grown

and still seeking/my sistas/witches in dahomey/wear me inside their coiled cloths

as our mother did/mourning.

i have been womban/for a long time/beware my smile

i am treacherous with old magic/and the noons new fury

with all your wide futures

promised

i yam

womban

and not white.

[between the lines: we explore indigenus myths en ancestor worship in diasporic tongues, in the spaces between a.k.a another place not here, like]

“Dahomey”

“in spite of the fire’s heat

the tongs can fetch it.”

It was in Abomey that I felt

the full blood of my fathers’ wars

and where I found my mother

Seboulisa

standing with outstretched palms hip high

one breast eaten away by worms of sorrow

magic stones resting upon her fingers

dry as a cough.

In the dooryard of the brass workers

four women joined together dying cloth

mock Eshu’s iron quiver

standing erect and flamingly familiar

in their dooryard

mute as a porcupine in a forest of lead

In the courtyard of the cloth workers

other brothers and nephews

are stitching bright tapestries

into tales of blood.

Thunder is a woman with braided hair

spelling the fas of Shango

asleep between sacred pythons

that cannot read

nor eat the ritual offerings

of the Asein.

My throat in the panther’s lair

is unresisting.

Bearing two drums on my head I speak

whatever language is needed

to sharpen the knives of my tongue

the snake is aware although sleeping

under my blood

since I am a woman whether or not

you are against me

I will braid my hair

even

in the seasons of rain.

[B is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity: our (vision) quest is to implement queer/trans youth arts collective/programs & circles for healing and self recovery in East & South Afrika in collaboration with anitafrika! dub theatre: an intersection of radical creativity, activity, and thought, human positive and moyo wa afrika: a coalition of Afrikans on the continent and in the diaspora who are committed to the reclamation of Indigenous Afrikan spiritualities, knowledge systems, economic praxis, and resources as the only viable means of addressing the colonially-induced dis-ease and dysfunction plaguing our peoples….

Lakini kwanza….]

A is for anitafrika! dub theatre: founded by artistic director d’bi.young in spring 2008 under the mentorship of visionary dub artist ahdri zhina mandiela, adt is a radical arts initiative rooted in the orplusi principles of storytelling, being developed by d’bi.young.

The 7 living/en/working principles are 

language, orality,

political context (or protext),

rhythm, urgency, sacredness, and integrity:

fundamental tools in the (re)emerging genre of bio-myth-solo-performance storytelling or ‘dubbin solo’,

according to artistic director d’bi.young.

[en between the lines: the Q_t werd is a documentary series/work in progress, charting the evolution of these principles  en reclaiming ancestral legacies……]

Through the intersection of these principles, the theatre seeks to explore and expand the relationship between the storyteller, their village(s), and transformation.

herstory

adt! is inspired by the seminal work of dubpoetry visionaries anita stewart and ahdri zhina mandiela. trained during the early to mid eighties at the jamaica school of drama (now the edna manley college of visual and performing arts), anita stewart wrote her thesis dubbin theatre: dub poetry as a theatre form on the progressive movement of dubpoetry into a theatrical realm which radically dramatized both the socio-economic tribulations of the jamaican people, as well as their potential for rebellion against their oppressors.

in her unpublished manuscript stewart identifies four major elements of the then emerging artform of dubpoetry — music, language, politics and performance — as bridges between the personal and the political and vice versa. stewart’s early documentation and analysis of dubpoetry as a working people’s socio-political movement, provide the primary lens through which adt! focuses.

in the late eighties early nineties, ahdri zhina mandiela coined and further developed the term dub theatre in reference to her own evolving work as a dub aatist. in the prelude to her dark diaspora… in dub: a dub theatre piece she defines dubtheatre as dramatized stage presentation comprised of varying performance component, including an indispensable/uniquely tailored dance language threading thru oral/choral work proliferating with endemic musical elements.

d’bi.young is a second generation dubpoet who learnt the artform from her her mother anita stewart and her mentor ahdri zhina mandiela. young is building on the foundational work of stewart and mandiela by developing dubpoetry/dubtheatre theory and practice through anitafrika! dub theatre: a launch pad of artistic training that locates itself within art for social change.

En A is for the legacies of audre lorde, that’s wassup!

Dream/songs from the moon of Beulah land I-V

I

How much love can I pour into you I said

Before it runs out of you

Like undigested spinach

Or shall i stuff you

Like a ritual goose

With whatever you think

You want of me

And for whose killing

Shall I grow you up

To leave me

To mourn

In the broken potsherds

Upon my doorstep

In silent tears of the empty morning?

But I’m not going anywhere you said

Why is there always

Another question

Beyond the last question

Answered

Out of your mouth

Another storm?

It’s happening

I said

II

Whenever I look for you the wind

Howls with danger

Beware the tree arms scream

What you are seeking

Will find you

In the night

In the fist of your dreaming

And in my mouth

The words became sabers

Cutting my boundaries

To ribbons

Of merciless light

IV.

You say I yam

Sound as a drum

But that’s very hard to be

As you covers your ears with academic parchment

Be careful

You might rip the cover

With your sharp nails

And then I will not sound at all.

To put us another way

What I come wrapped in

Should be familiar to you

As hate is

What I come wrapped in

Is close to you

As love is

Close

To death

Or your lying tongue

Surveying the countries of our mouths.

If I were drum

You would beat me

Listening for the echo

Of your own touch

Not seeking

The voice of the spirit

Inside the drum

Only the spreading out shape

Of your own hand on my skin

Cover.

If I ever really sounded

I would rupture your eardrums

Or your heart.

V.

Learning to say goodbye

Is finding a new tomorrow

On some cooler planet

Barren and unfamiliar

And guiltless.

It costs the journey

To learn

Letting go

Of the burn-out rockets

To learn  how

To light up space

With the quick fiya of refusal

Then drift gently down

To the dead surface of the moon.

Kesho……The (A, B, en C’s Of the) Q_t werd in dub video

With all the g8, g20, pride and world cup fever in the air, I give thanks for the ‘other’ community festivals where generations and diverse people are celebrating. Like, the annual National Aboriginal day on June 21 & Multicultural day at the Peace Theatre on June25th, where friends and neighbours will come together to entertain and re-educate not only youth, but every one of US.  Ase. Ase……

http://peace.twomangoes.com/

the truth about stories (as a native narrative) is, they’re all we are…[like in this hadithi]

there’s a mood sweeping this nation, in which minority groups are demanding that they be perceived as people. We concur in this mood and we trust that it will not be long before the residents of Kadoka shall have advanced to a stage where they, too, can begin to treat their neighbours as people.

community of wanblee, south dakota

 I respect other religions, but I don’t like to see them denatured and made into something else. you’ve made a blondie out of Jesus. I don’t care for those blond, blue-eyed pictures of a sanitised, cloroxed, ajaxed Christ. How would you like it if I put braids on Jesus and stuck a feather in his hair? You’d call me a crazy Indian, wouldn’t you?

Jesus was a Jew. He wasn’t a yellow-haired anglo. I’m sure he had black hair and dark skin like an Indian. The white ranchers around here wouldn’t have let him step out with their daughters and wouldn’t have liked him having a drink in one of their saloons.

His religion came out of the desert in which he lived, out of his kind of mountains, his kind of animals, his kind of plants.

You’ve tried to make him into an Anglo-saxon Fuller Brush salesman, a long-haired Billy Graham in a fancy night shirt, and that’s why he doesn’t work for you anymore. He was a good medicine man, I guess. As you read it in the Bible, he sure had the power, the healing touch. He was a hippie, too.

Hipi – in our language that means ” he is here, we are here, it is here” – something like that.

So I don’t mind a young white man with long hair and a beaded headband coming to me, asking to learn about our Indian religion, even praying with us.

But I would mind it if he tried to change our beliefs, adapt them to his kind of culture, progress, civilization and all that kind of stuff. I would mind that very much.  You can’t take our beliefs out of our badlands and prairies and put them into one of your factories or office buildings……. 

[excerpts from] Seeker of Visions – John (Fire) Lame Deer & Richard Erdoes

hadithi? hadithi?

nipe mji…..

Dis’ werd on the ground: [is] doing the best we can to provide (revolutionary) pan-afrikan media coverage of the world cup.

So we celebrate Ghana’s Black stars victory not jus’ over Serbia, but in the struggle for afrikan liberation, manifest/ing in the past moons en years (en long ago), symbolised [most significantly for dis’ series on the q/t werd] in other historic events

[such as:- A.L (Afrikan Liberation) D-ay]

http://www.voiceofafricaradio.com/news/351-the-history-of-african-liberation-day.html

So, it’s only fitting that, in honour and memory of our great ancestors, we commemorate this post to the anniversary of the death of Walter Rodney,  a(nother Pan-Afrikan) King.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/65084

I give thanks for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, for bredrin and dadas in solidarity, for all the love and resources shared amongst ourselves, and all people liberating not only themselves, but others.

I pray for my families, friends and their families…….Bless our brothas and dadas, cooks, healers, mamas, peacemakers, our children, the future generations and (gran) mama earth. Ase. Ase…….

The q[/t] werd on the ground is doing it true true world cup style….working for unity everywhere from from Ayiti to Zimbabwe,[like in this hadithi] where we give thanks for the fiya, earth, air en wota this time! Mo’ blessings to people (practising and) speaking truth to power!

Hinche, Haiti-

An estimated 10,000 peasants gathered for a massive march in Central Haiti on June 4, 2010, to protest what has been described as “the next earthquake for Haiti” – a donation of 475 tons of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds by the US-based agribusiness giant Monsanto, in partnership with USAID. While this move comes at a time of dire need in Haiti, many feel it will undermine rather than bolster the country’s food security.

According to Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, leader of the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) and spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papaye (MPNKP), the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti is “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds… and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”

While Monsanto is known for being among the world’s largest purveyors of genetically modified seeds, the corporation’s spokespeople have emphasized that this particular donation is of conventional hybrid seeds as opposed to GMO seeds. Yet for many of Haiti’s peasants, this distinction is of little comfort.

“The foundation for Haiti’s food sovereignty is the ability of peasants to save seeds from one growing season to the next. The hybrid crops that Monsanto is introducing do not produce seeds that can be saved for the next season, therefore peasants who use them would be forced to somehow buy more seeds each season,” explains Bazelais Jean-Baptiste, an agronomist from the MPP who is currently directing the “Seeds for Haiti” project in New York City.

“Furthermore, these seeds require expensive inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that Haiti’s farmers simply cannot afford. This creates a devastating level of dependency and is a complete departure from the reality of Haiti’s peasants. Haitian peasants already have locally adapted seeds that have been developed over generations. What we need is support for peasants to access the traditional seeds that are already available.”

Who is La Via Campesina?

We are the international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.

We defend the values and the basic interests of our members. We are an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other type of affiliation. Our 148 members are from 69 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

you’ll (never) believe that happened!!!!

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe hadithi? Nipe Mji…..

Made in Tdot

There’s a book I read called The Truth About Stories (A Native Narrative), written by Thomas King, that instantly became one of the touchstones in my (literary & spiritual) journey….I’ll tell you parts of his-story because he said that I could, and I quote…..”It’s yours. Do with it what you will. Cry over it. Get angry. 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.”

najua hadithi ya mumbi na nambi, oshun, oya na Yemoja, ya audre lorde na assata shakur, bell hooks na Brenda fassie, Cherie moraga na chan mubanga, dbiyoung.anitafrika en adhri zhina mandiela, dionne brand, Jamaica Kincaid, Nalo Hopkinson, Octavia Butler, Angela Davis, Bernedette Muthien, Field Marshall Muthoni, Mekatilili wa Menza, Mbuya Nehanda, Nana yaa Asantewaa, Nyabinghi Muhumusa, Wahu Kaara, Wangari Maathai, Philo Ikonya, Muthoni wanyeki,  Sylvia Tamale, Winnie Mandela..all the way to Zanele Muholi, and I know more than these 31 en some stories, the ones that I keep for guidance and (true) hope, that remind me that WE  are the ones we’re looking for, we have all the answers that we need, in our true true stories…..

(tukona) Soul.hadithi…….

‘in the beginning’ hadithi…..

Lakini kwanza, nitakuambia hadithi ya how the Q werd was born from the Truth about (our) stories (a pan-afrikan narrative). We were listening to others because we thought we didn’t have any good ones of our own, even though we KNEW different, that those ‘other’ versions were still our own, just diluted & distorted through centuries of retelling…..

and because so many hadithi have been made up about US (people) and corrupted for exploitative reasons, then we have to at least try and set the record straight, while we still have the means…but don’t get it wrong, this non-fiction ain’t no luxury, en its (not) a free show,

(i got this on good authority) the truth about stories is that’s all we are. The metis singer Andrea Menard reminds us of this in the first verse of her song ‘The Half breed Blues’

I was born the privileged skin

and my eyes are bright, bright brown

You’d never know there is Metis blood raging underground

let me tell you a story about revelation.

It’s not the colour of a nation that holds a nations pride.

It’s imagination. It’s imagination inside.

hadithi? hadithi? nitakuambia hadithi yetu….lakini kwanza nipe mji?

to be continued….