[ i,S.I.S intro: Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo! Giza ya?  Nilienda Harare, Jinja, Kakamega, Kampala, Kimilili na Webuye, hapo (pamoja na) Bredrin en dadas in solidarity: tunajenga nyumba, tunalima, tunamshukuru mungu [na tunapokula na watoto] wetu, wazee hutusimulia hadithi ya moyo wa afrika…..

Hadithi? Hadithi? Check dis’ ‘Bukusu’ narratives reposted from the Lumboka Star]

BEMU LUMBOKA: MUMANYE MULI, KIMIENYA NE SELUKHO
By Prof. Julius Wangila Mukhwana. Australia.

Babandu befwe balomanga bali “Buli selukhoo, Namwenya kwayo.”

Sekali kario bana befwe, namwe mukhaulilakho murio? Bemu Tolondo ye Lumboka, mwama khuloma kamakali khu Bakhupi-etungu ewefwe eyo, ne khukhwoola e Buluhya, baiba bakali busa buli eselukho yinyokha.

Mwateka mwakanakana khuima engila ekhola kimienya kiefwe kibeho khubuli selekho yichaayo erekeresia nio nayo emanya kakabaho khaale namwe mataayi aho. Sindu ngesio sibaho, andi kimienya kiekamatungu nikio babefwe bapanga nebakhina kamabeka, ne basuna singorio, ne betikita, nebafumia nicho babaya, namwe nebakhebulila nibo beraana nabo bakwaa mububukoo, andi kimienya ekio kisiliho. Muchuba muhenje chingila nga mwakachula. Liakila naboola ndi mukhebusie kakandi khubakhupi e-tungu babandi nelisubila mbo semundolela bubi tawe.

Nga mwabakhebulila, sebali “Waske Musungu ne Nyongesa Mukanda, Fwoti, nende Laisa bong’eene ta.” Mwebilila Omulagu Chelobani khurura e Cheputais namwe khane e Wamono. Mumukhebulila? Owamwekesia khukhupa e guitar naye kaba Laisa. Khuli ne kimienya kimikali kisomesia buli mundu ne khukhilaho kili kia marehemu Wasike Musungu. Lundi kilimo bifuno.

Usually the music reflects, at times, the social concerns, politics, and developments of the artist’s society including his/her/hir own life experiences. May I furnish you with some more information on what you provided concerning the following:

Omuliuli Laisa bewa Temba, kumwenya kwewe mbo “E-Bung’oma mu Spinning” was based on the Government promotion of home craft and women education in our district that was (first North Nyanza and later Elgon Nyanza)……

In various villages during 1950’s – 1960’s and location centres at that time, women congregated and were urged to attend regularly to sew

table clothes, crotchet, make their own dresses and sweaters, cooking, etc. Those who performed better went on for upgrading at Bungoma Homecraft Centre. From there they were selected to attend the Kenya Institute of Administration at Kabete.

Ne wekesia Laisa khukhupa e guitar kaba wandaaye William khwa Ben Maka. He had a big head as someone said. But he was not 5ft 4ins as reported in Lumboka.

He was nearly my height 5ft 9ins. Nomwene kaba omwiwana Musonge, khu Basonge be Wachipo. Semwalomakho Masinde Nalobile tawe, namwe abundi mwaloma nebilile. Nayee khukhwama e Makheele, Kamusinga Anglican Church.

Ali omusoreri wembeelanga babandu kumwenya mbo “Omukhana Sarah Khatioli.” Nomwene kafwa lulumbe nilwo balanganga Kimilili bali “Nylon.”

It was, perhaps a precursor to what today our people everywhere call “Bwembeo.”

Ne okundi niye mwebilila kaba Peter Wekhomba Mwangale. Naaye kemba kumwenya mbo “Bayinda be Kimilili” when he was a student in Uganda. Wamwikisia khukhupa e guitar kaba wandaaye omukhulu Absalom Wekhomba Omukinyikeu wa 44. Omuloosi wamwibula niye waba omukhulu.

Peter’s song soured relationship between him and his father. The father felt that as a staunch Quaker, he had been shamed by the son for playing a guitar recording a song in tribute to him and others as farmers. Many Christian families or parents felt the same at that time e.g. Mwinamo’s father in Liranda in Isukha, disowned him for same reason.

However, Masinde Nalobile, Laisa ne Peter Wekhomba baba Babanyange 1950 – 1948.

In that category of their music, there was another remarkable artist at the Coast, called Fadhili Williams. He sang the original “Malaika Nakupenda, malaika…..”

Another very famous artist was Omutachoni Lusamoya from Ndivisi. Kumwenya kwewe nikwo babandu bakhiina for a long time was “Munandi.” It was the equivalentof “Bumping.”

Okundi kaba Lutubula from the same place. Naye kapanga “Limoyi”. But Omukananachi Kilikinji owe bawa Matere wa Lumonya khurura e Kamukuywa, naye oyo kapanga sinanda sichanula (the cordion) nende syekhumunwa (the harmonica). Yaba naaye kimienya kiewe kiaba bali “Ekorasi” ye Lulumbuchu (the waltz).

The reason for this was the second world war influence. Our people who were conscripted into the army (King’s African Regiment) to serve in this war as pioneers (Panyako) brought back memories of the music they experienced being danced to by the British soldiers. Related to this, the squatters on European farms across Kamukuywa river and the music they played and danced to imitating their masters, was Waltz. The returned soldiers with their squeaky boots-on danced waltz.

Hence, the common saying in Bukusu that “Yaba neba kenda, biraro bilomaa busa bili miaa, khamusini, miaa khamusini.”

So omusakhulu Kilikinji mirrored that generation’s music. It’s popularity among the Bakananachi to Bakinyikeu caused Kilikinji to continue playing even for Babanyange generation. I listened and danced to a few of his live music performances at one of the Kimilili location festival events during 1950 – 1956. These events or functions used to feature older artists like Kilikinji and younger artists like Laisa and Masinde Nalobile.

The promoter of such social activities was a community social worker, my cousin, Emanuel Nabwana under the direction of Major Ryland, a British colonial Community Development Officer from Kakamega. He taped the artists’ music. A nationally well known musician of Kilikinji’s generation in Kenya, was Paul Mwachupa, from the Coast. He sang “Simba Matata, and Simba..” in 1940’s and 1950’s. He died three to four years ago aged in late 80’s.

Before the generation of Bakananachi, a very notable artist was my grand father, Omukolongolo Munyatibu Machio Silenge, “Wapanga Litungu.” Almost no Mukananachi and Mukikwameti in Bukusu would say that they never heard of him.

It is said by our clans men that he started playing “Litungu” (the harp) at the age of 10. He was the only one in Bukusu who played an eleven stringed harp. In his adolescent years, Nabongo Mumia (King Mumia) had him play before him and his visitors. From then onwards, they said, Kuka Machio regularly entertained mainly “Nabongo Mumia and his royal family members at Elureko (the present Mumias). Sometimes his father Silenge Mukhasokho would refuse his adolescent son to travel that far to delight the king with his talented blend of music. This would annoy the king and cause him to order that the boy music artist be brought to play.

When he was initiated into manhood through circumcision in 1906, Machio was ordered by the king to live near-by so he could entertain the king’s family and visitors daily within a short notice. He was given a farm at e-Matungu (that is now under the current Mumias sugar cane plantation).

The mosquitoes became a nuisance for him. So in 1912, he settled at Kibisi and Bituyu (the present Bewa Silenge and Nebolola) in Kibingei and Kimilili locations.

Kibisi was considered close to Shibachi’s settlement in Teremi, and Bituyu was close enough to Waluchio’s and Murunga’s homesteads in Kimilili since they were the rulers (kind of governors representing Nabongo Mumia) in that part of Bukusu. From this base, he moved around with other royal family members playing his music. He entertained mostly Murunga and Waluchio and their families.

These were the princes, the king’s brothers who had established their rule over Babukusu in the East with Kimilili town as their headquaters. Machio’s music was inspirational and informative. Thus far, uncle Pascal Nabwana told me one evening in 1962 before we left for Gatundu the following morning. He was to visit his old friend, who had been released from detention and restriction and was now relaxing at home among his people. That was the future Prime Minister and President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.

Pascal Nabwana told me, “Papa, oli kukao Machio karakikha khukhupa litungu, naye we chimbeengele afundeela, kukao embaa ali “Nikhaala ne mubolela ndi silibaao, nanywe muli ta. Khubolela mwana Shihundu, Basoreri enjeeyi balikho bakhaaba. Ewe lilaakho elala. Nyanga niyo Babukusu balikhu-kalukhaanakho, olindeeba, Naluliingo….”

After Machio repeated the chorus twice, and as he started the third one, Waluchio stopped him. Pascal said that he would have struck Machio’s harp down breaking it, had it not been for Murunga’s intervention. The overall senior chief/ruker grabbed Waluchio and told him, “Lekha omwana wa Silenge embee kumwenya kwewe. Enywe rekeresia niko kumwenya kuboola.”

According to uncle Pascal’s narrative, Machio finished his song. Then played three more that evening before Murunga and his royal family members retired to sleep. He also ordered Machio to go and rest, presumably to sleep, too. In those days, Babukusu were organising themselves to rebel and overthrow the Bawanga rule and dominance over them. Within six months, Pascal explained, Bukusu delegation went to Kakamega to petition the Colonial Administrator. They demanded that a ruler be selected from their own Babukusu tribes men.

The name they put forward, as a possible candidate, was rejected by the colonial authority. They wanted someone literate and conversant with government affairs. The delegates then argued that if that was what was required, they proposed Omukolongolo Namutala Mayeku. He was then a young man working as an office messanger and Kiswahili interpreter in the Colonial Administrator’s office in Kakamega. Murunga and Waluchio returned to Elureko as Namutala was installed the Chief of Kimilili. After that Gatundu visit, I went home at Kibingei towards the end of the month. I told my father about our visit and above all, the story that was narrated to me by uncle Pascal Nabwana. Arising from my father’s confirmation of it, I realised how instrumental my grandfather had been in the struggle to overthrow the Bawanga dominance and rule through his music.

It made sense then why each time adults inquired of who I was when I was growing up, and I said son of “Henry Mukhwana Machio.” Then the usual statement that came back as a reply was, “Khaane ewe Omwichukhulu wa Machio Silenge, owapangaa Litungu.” Trust me, I tried to access Machio’s music tapes and failed.

I would, therefore, appreciate immensely, if any of you guys in Lumboka, have accessed or know how to uncover such music that colonialists taped and never showed to our music artists of the generations of yesterday [and even still today…..]

posted by The LUMBOKA Star @ Monday, December 13, 2004

It’s that time of the year again in Turtle Island when black history month is ‘officially’ commemorated, where the reality is for Afrikans, every day en night (no matter how westernised or ignorant of our true true cultures we are), is about our (diverse) Afreekan stories……

so dis’ moon, like every other, not only I but so many mo’ others, are blogging with the rhythm of reclaiming ancestral legacies, and for the struggle of Afreekan liberation, as we have been doing from time…

As we give thanks for all the blessings, for the spreading waves of hope, love and positivity in abundance…in solidarity with the spirit of truth, justice and salaam driving the grassroots revolushuns in Egypt (formerly known as [parts of] Nubia!), Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Ayiti, en around the world…

The bigger point (as) is the ‘speciality’ of dis’ blog, we gonna re-DO [re-tell], take steps back [co-create]…..so we can give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow…. and revision our ways forward in the most loving, sustaining and sustainable ways…

hadithi? hadithi? hadithi njoo….

Reposted from http://bulletsandhoney.wordpress.com/

Generation Disaster

This opinion originally run in the East Africa on January 28, 2008 under the title,

The problem with Kenya’s politics is the old guard

The next revolution in Kenya will not be a violent one,

contrary to the bloodletting presently underway. Rather it will be the rejection of the generation of men from whom the leaders of this country have been drawn.

The major politicians were in politics long before the majority of Kenyans were even born and who even today enjoy inordinate sway in the country. President Mwai Kibaki was born in 1931. Ex-president Daniel arap Moi was born in 1924.

They are still doddering on, unable to relinquish the reins of the power they have held onto tightly for half a century.

Theirs is a generation steeped in tribal arithmetic, in a cynical nationalism; their values have infected those thousands of young people who are roaming the countryside in a killing frenzy.

The young men throwing stones and shooting arrows and the youthful riot policemen opposite them lobbing tear gas and firing live ammunition are fodder for the failed politics of a generation of old men who may just take all of us to the grave with them.

I was raised to respect my elders and there are many whom I indeed respect.

But the time has come to assess in the broadest and most personal terms how the generation of leaders that took this country from independence to the bloody and dangerous

present has performed.

The oldest were born in the 1920s and the youngest of the lot in the 1940s — opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was born in 1945 is the youth wing of this generation. They can be counted as a single generation in the sense that their vision of what constitutes Kenya and their role in it is widely shared.

This generation has played and continues to play a prominent role in politics, in our intellectual life and in the business community.

While there are many among them who are capable and well intentioned, the defining characteristic of this generation is failure

in leadership.

It is not enough to lay the blame on a few individuals. These prominent wazee (old men) have defined for us the content of our politics and the ethics of governance. They are our very own Boomer Generation except that the boom in this instance is the sound of our dreams and aspirations exploding. It is time we named them Generation Disaster.

It is a popular pastime to compare Kenya’s performance in economic and human development terms with that of the Asian Tigers such as South Korea and Malaysia. How often I have heard it said that these countries in economic terms were neck and neck with Kenya in the 1970s, only for them to surge ahead in the past three decades while Kenya trod water and in many instances retreated on the advances it had made.

The approximately 3 per cent of Kenyans who are above the age of 65 and from whom the bulk of Generation Disaster is drawn, have led us to an average life expectancy of 55 years compared with South Korea’s 77 and Malaysia’s 72 — according to the online Institute World Guide, which allows country comparison of economic data.

The economic numbers are even more dire. Kenya’s gross domestic product of $38 billion as of 2005 is only a fraction of Malaysia’s $287 billion and South Korea’s $1 trillion. Per capita, Kenyan citizens have only 12 per cent of their Malaysian counterparts’ income and 6 per cent of the South Korean GDP per capita of almost $23,000. At the turn of the century, 40 per cent of Kenyans were unofficially unemployed compared with fewer than 4 per cent of Malaysians and South Koreans.

These statistics, we can suppose with reasonable confidence, have deteriorated in the past three weeks and they mean that Kenya can count itself first among equals only if compared to the Congos and Guineas of this world. Our leaders’ vision is only to be lauded if compared with countries that have experienced genocides and decades-long civil wars.

Yet this generation, which touts its anti-colonialist credentials, its Kennedy Airlifts (the US scholarship programmes of the 1960s), its Makerere (university) pedigree and its ambassador-at-30 mentality has only managed to take us from one disaster to the next.

I grew up hearing about the inferiority of one tribe as against the other, in jokes that now seem like macabre warnings of a day when they would become deadly serious. My elders were ever focused on their belly buttons. Not for them to learn from the experiences of other countries — especially the disasters that were unfolding around us and sending refugees by the thousands into our country.

Their language was a curious construction. “The Kikuyu are now in power,” they would say even though I hardly saw a penny from this so-called power. “The Kalenjin have taken power,” they complained as President Moi stepped into State House, “They will finish us now for sure.” “The Luos can never rule this country; the Kikuyus are thieves; the Luhyas don’t know how to take power…”

This language is what has given birth to the present crisis and has underpinned the governance of this country since Independence.

Such a leap into the illogical, for our generation of leaders, is the very basis of logical thinking when it comes to apportioning power and privilege among themselves. It has served them well, this spokesman-of-the-tribe role.

It is the position that has enabled all those Mercedes Benzes to be bought from the proceeds of Goldenberg, Anglo Leasing and the dozens of financial schemes to rob the Treasury in the name of fulfilling the privileges of tribal mandarin.

Though they developed these roles before the majority of us were even born, their thinking has infected us all. Say what you will about the opposition, it too is a gathering of “spokesmen of the tribe” challenging a government largely constituted from similar material.

The one thing that such politics will not deliver to this country is the kind of vision and leadership that led

South Korea and Malaysia from poverty to wealth.

We may continue chasing “those people” from one area or the other and supporting the powerful on the basis that they are “our people,” but perhaps we only need to remember that the cost in lives is borne by individuals.

What does it matter that there is a Kikuyu president when you are a Kikuyu living in Nairobi’s Mathare slum? This generation of wazee has infected the country with its self-serving obsession with ethnicity as politics and politics as ethnicity. It has lived longer than most Kenyans can expect to live and yet it refuses to exit the stage.

Generation Disaster has repeatedly turned down opportunities to appeal to our better natures. It has chosen advancement from enmity rather than from strengthening our bonds.

Fear and suspicion are its stock in trade. These wazee sap on the blood of the young and seek gratification of their lust for power even if it leads to the destruction of this fragile, injured thing we call Kenya.

Why exactly should we respect this generation that has lived longer than most of us can expect to live and yet refuses to exit the stage, like an ill-mannered guest who insists on staying an extra night?

[hii ni hadithi ya some of the legends of the Q_t werd, kama ya Namutebi,

reposted from http://www.newvision.co.ug/PA/8/25/489410]

By Elvis Basudde

BORN poor, poorly educated, a victim of child abuse, pressed at an early age into dull and unpaid jobs, Sylvia Namutebi, 33, popularly known as ‘Mama Fiina’, recovered by her own efforts from these handicaps and from ill-health. 

From a deep remote village in Mukono where she was toiling from morning to evening, Namutebi was determined to make a meaningful life when she boarded a bus to Kampala while still a teenager.

She now works in a shrine at Katwe, where I met her for an interview.
Namutebi smiles as she smokes a pipe in her shrine. She is surrounded by about 50 people mainly women, singing, praying and smoking pipes. She shakes my hand and introduces herself as ‘Musambwa’ “ How is The New Vision?” she asks.
To me, she does not look like a Musambwa. I have always known Musambwa to mean evil spirit. But she did not look evil at all. Okay, I have never seen a Musambwa, I am a God-fearing man.

With her introduction, I had to sit up and think again, because it is rare to find people of Namutebi’s social status (a tycoon) who would proudly call themselves “Musambwa.”

Realising how mesmerised and unsettled I am, she laughs lightly and quickly assures me that the people around are friendly, harmless and love visitors.

And as I talk to her, I wonder how this typical village woman with no formal education and at such an age could accumulate so much wealth. Her colleagues call her a billionaire.

Namutebi was recently crowned the first woman ‘President of Traditional Healers in Uganda’ (Uganda N’eddagala Lyayo), replacing the late Ben Gulu. She beat four men to take the most coveted office in the local industry of traditional medicine.

Speaking during the crowning ceremony, Robert Sebunya (former minister of health in Buganda government) who represented the Vice-President, hailed the traditional healers and encouraged them to smoke the pipe.

Namutebi’s assets are estimated to be worth sh2b. The 5ft 3inches feet tall, ‘not so sophisticated-looking’ Namutebi has a fleet of commercial lorries, omnibuses (taxis), over 400 boda boda, shops on William and Luwumu streets and at Mukwano Arcade in Kampala.

Namutebi also owns commercial buildings at Kajjansi, Makindye and Najjanankumbi. She is also the brain behind New Progressive School in Seeta, a school that caters for over 200 orphans and unprivileged children. 
Last month, during a Nigiina (gift circle) function that was held in Makindye, Namutebi surprised people when she donated a new car to a Nigiina ‘bride’. That is Namutebi for you.

Surprisingly, Namutebi is a very ordinary woman who does not brag about her achievements. Appearance can be deceptive.
If you meet her and she tells you she is the person behind all these projects, you would call it a lie.

However, Namutebi attributes her meteoric rise to hard work and to her gods – Musambwa Musamya and Lubaale Nagadya. She says she is the principal medium of Musambwa Musamya.
Some people though, allege she has acquired her wealth as a result of going under the lake, a thing she dismisses as hogwash. She said she has worked hard and has profited from her efforts.

“I have travelled a tough road to get here. It has not been easy, but a lot has to do with my tough upbringing and suffering which became an inspiration. The injustices my stepmother inflicted on me helped me see things in their true perspective and not to take life for granted,” she stresses.

She says she relates to the poor since her upbringing was rough. She knows what it is like to struggle through life. He mother died when she was just five years old.  She sees her in pictures and only has a blurred memory of how she looked like.

“My father was a no- nonsense person but he didn’t care much about me. He never valued me and used to take me for granted. They used to call me “Ekyaana,” meaning  a foolish child,” she reminisces.

She adds: “ I didn’t want people to suffer the way I suffered. That is how I became renown, by helping people especially orphans, paying their fees and taking care of th

em. Every Friday, I go on the streets and give children food and clothing.”

When Namutebi came to Kampala

in 1986, she was a little girl who stayed with her uncle in Ndeeba, from where she later got married and got her first daughter called Fiina, the reason they call her Mama Fiina.

In 1994, Namutebi teamed up with a friend called Mumbejja Nakayenga and both worked under the scorching sun, selling polyethylene bags (buveera) on veran

dahs of Kampala, mainly around Nansagazi shop near the former UTC bus park.

After some time, Namutebi left the business after her friend left for kyeyo in the US. She then started selling lesus, but it was like jumping from a frying pan into fire since the sunshine continued harassing her as she walked from one place to another looking for customers.

After seven years of gruelling perseverance –– working under the sun in the open, Namutebi got her big breakthrough around 1996. She graduated into selling children’s clothes. She would fly to Nairobi, China and Dubai to buy the items. She has never looked back ever since.

Listeners of Radio Star FM, Radio Simba, CBS, and Sapientia are familiar with the voice of “Mama Fiina O’womundeeba. She is always on air on these stations, contributing ideas on social and political issues. And for her love for President Yoweri Museveni, people have given her all sorts of names; Museveni’s witchdoctor or Museveni’s woman.

She says she joined politics in 1996 when she made her first call on Star FM and spoke out the good things Museveni had done, disproving those who were criticising him. She says apart from politicking and overseeing her business, she spends more time in her shrine where she cleanses people of their troubles and gives them luck.

“People throng here with all sorts of problems. They come to smoke the pipe and ask for blessings and luck. I cure various diseases and I am also a traditional birth attendant. Nobody smokes this pipe and remains the same,” she says, pointing to the pipe as she smokes.

She says she is an extraordinary witchdoctor, the present medium of Musambwa Musamya, and the god who gives blessings. She says she was appointed Musambwa while still in her mother’s womb.

She did not go for education due to reasons she calls “mystical”, but that her god blessed her with tremendous wealth. “I perform tasks that Musambwa instructs me to do. I heal people,and give luck and blessings,” she says. Namutebi was born in 1972 to Paul Mukalazi in Mukono.

She is the second born out of five. She is married to Ismail Sekidde, a businessman and “a good Christian,” as he calls him. They have two children aged nine and seven years. Namutebi employs over 60 workers in her various businesses.

“My immediate plan is to construct a huge hospital for traditional healers. I have already bought land for sh40m in Mityana for the project. I also want traditional healers to have offices and stops operating from those poor shrines,” she said.

[hadithi ya the Q_t werd ni ya Bredrin en dadas in solidarity, speaking truth to powah!

ni ya(le ya) kale,

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo…. ..

Giza ya?

Sahani ya?

[Hadithi hii ni ya the necessity of gratitude, prayer and slowing down to speed up…..]

I give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow, I give thanks for all the lessons and positive transformashun

I pray that the blessings of yesterday carry into tomorrow…

Bless my family, friends, comrades.

Bless all those who share their love with, and pray for me.

(Eshu, carry my prayers……)

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others….

I pray for long life and happiness, not only for myself but for others…

Ifa, bless me with marriage and children….


Bless the motherless and fatherless, bless those sick in hospital,

Bless the homeless…..

Bless our freedom fighters,

Bless the ancestors of dis’ land, in the diaspora of righteousness, Bless the ancestors on the Afrikan shores

Bless all those all who spread love and positivity in abundance

Bless our youth, coming into their right destinies, and our elders

 

Ifa, I ask you to forgive my sins, those that I do know, and don’t know about, and those I am yet to commit,

I pray for the healing of mama dunia…..

 

I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas

I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors,

 

I pray for continued guidance and protection, not only for myself but for others,

I pray for knowledge and wisdom, not only for myself but for others….

( so much tings to say, I pray for clarity, patience……)

 

Ifa, I pray to be humble, I pray to be loving, I pray to be strong….

Ase, Ase, ase…..

I’m sharing what connects me to others, stories that are close(st) to home –  the realities not only of bredrin and dadas on the continent, en in the diaspora, but all our living relatives…sharing moments of silence, deep breaths, cleansing tears, communion with loved ones and prayers for forgiveness for  those who saw David Kato as an enemy….forgive us (Great) Mother, for those sins we know and don’t know about, and those we are yet to commit…bless wale wanaospread upendo in abundance….ase….

 

From Gay Uganda – http://gayuganda.blogspot.com/2011/01/kato-david-kisule.html

I am in shock.

Literal shock. Just heard that one of our members, a prominent gay activist, an out and out man, who has been at the forefront of the gay rights movement in Uganda, David Kato Kisule was murdered. Dead, a blunt instrument to the skull.

Dead. In Lugazi Hospital at the moment.

What to do? Shock. Shock, shock.

So, I write, to try and express that which I feel. But, what can words express?

Kato. A disturbed friend. One of our very special brand of radical activists. He used to say that he was one of the very ‘out’ if not the first out gay man in Uganda.

And, yes, he was one of the people whose photo appeared in the Rolling Stone, one of the three plaintiffs who sued, and won the court case.

Yes, I am paranoid. I wonder whether it had any bearing. Whether that had bearing….!

Impossible, most likely, to prove cause and effect. We just don’t know. And, we are most likely to strike out in our grief at the nearest enemy.

But, is it a coincidence?

Gosh.

——-

Shock indeed.

Just settled down. Apart from trying to inform lots of other people who have already received the news. I have to settle down, get some rest, and then prepare for work tomorrow. Cannot just bounce off just like that.

But, I need to settle down. The shock, the realisation of all the things we fear, and brush off, and hope never ever to face. But, one of our own is gone.

Gone in a violent way. Gone, for reasons that I am as yet to know, or figure out… Oh gosh.

—-

More settled now, but no less shocked. That is what it does to you, a sudden death like this.

David was apparently killed in his home, by a person or persons unknown. Yes, there is a suspect, or suspects. Problem with investigations in Uganda is the fact that what is not verified will always remain in the realms of conjecture.

What remains is that we have lost one of our most prominent firebrands. Indeed, he was on the front page of the Rolling Stone with Bishop Ssenyonjo. Remember, the one with the caption to ‘Hang Them’.

And yes, he was one of the three who sued the Rolling Pebble, and won.

 

[I,s.i.s note: and for those us still living…..]

A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and 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

– Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn

Ase, Ase, Ase…….


(Reposted with big love en respekt from) Chuka Nnabuife on why 2011 is the Year of Interesting Books Coming

NEXT year will be eventful in the African books section. Already publishers are introducing books they will release in the first half of the year. Amazon will put out a new anthology containing the works of Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, John Coetzee, Nardine Gordimer, Ben Okri and other Caine Prize winning writers. Ngugi wa Thiongo will also come out with a new book due for release in February 2011 on the Amazon list.

In Pambazuka Press, an about to be released book, No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way, captures the tale of resilence while throwing the reader back to memory of the segregative Apartheid rule in South Africa.

The anthology of factual tales captured in both poetic and prose (media feature report format) narrates the several accounts of Cape Town, South Africa’s Symphony Way pavement dwellers who, like in film story, found themselves catapulted from their hitherto poor settlement to an better developed estate upon the end of the Apartheid only to be pushed out of the houses almost as suddenly as their fortune changed.

The publishers promote the work thus: “This anthology is written by shack-dwelling families in Cape Town who were moved into houses but soon afterwards evicted again. They organised the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction and here write about their experiences.

 “Many outside South Africa imagine that after Mandela was freed and the ANC won free elections all was well. But the last two decades have led to increased poverty and inequality. Although a few black South Africans have become wealthy, for many the struggle against apartheid never ended because the ethos of apartheid continues to live.”

The book follows several hundreds of shanty-dwelling families in Cape Town who, early in 2007, were moved into houses they had been waiting for since the end of Apartheid. But soon they were told that the move had been illegal and they were kicked out of their new homes. In protest, they built shacks next to the road opposite the housing project. And, soon a vibrant settlement of hundreds of ramshackled huts inhabited by organised protesting settlers blossomed there. It became known as Symphony Way. Home ground of Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign, whose membership vowed to stay on the road until the government gave them permanent housing. Eventually, the tales from the protesting slum-dwellers turns out a warm, close-knit and eventful one – full of vibrant communal lives, simmering relationships, love, hate and blood ties. The book also rubs off some disturbing feeling that the robust but poor settlement was forcefully moved to make the country host last summer’s football’s World Cup without what the authorities deem an odd sight for tourists.

Promoters’ of the book who inform that its audience target include anthropologists, activists, campaigners, NGO-workers, academics, journalists, commentators state: “This anthology is both testimony and poetry. There are stories of justice miscarried, of violence domestic and public, of bigotry and xenophobia. But amid the horror there is beauty: relationships between aunties, husbands, wives and children; daughters named Hope and Symphony. This book is a means to dignity, a way for the poor to reflect and be reflected. It is testimony that there’s thinking in the shacks, that there are humans who dialogue, theorise and fight to bring about change.

Two Symphony Way evictees were featured in a Guardian article of 1 April 2010: Badronessa Morris: ‘The police treat us like animals. They swear at us, pepper spray us, search us in public, even children. At 10 o’clock you must be inside: the police come and tell you to go into your place and turn down the music. In my old home we used to sit outside all night with the fire.’

Jane Roberts: ‘It’s a dumping place. They took people from the streets because they don’t want them in the city for the World Cup. Now we are living in a concentration camp.’

No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way set for release in March 2011 is available for ebook order in United Kingdom.

Another up coming book of interest from the same publishers is African Sexualities: A Reader, by Sylvia Tamale. In the work Ms Tamale probes, the perculiar traits of African sexualities with the aim “to inspire a new generation of students and teachers to study, reflect and gain fresh and critical insights into the complex issues of gender and sexuality.”

Promoters say the book seeks to open new frontiers of thinking about African notiopns of sex. African Sexualities stretches the space to several spheres of multidisciplinary scholarship.

The book with authors who are scholars, researchers, professionals, practitioners and experts from different regions of Africa and Africa’s Diaspora comes in themed sections, all introduced by a framing essay.”

The authors use essays, case studies, poetry, news clips, songs, fiction, memoirs, letters, interviews, short film scripts and photographs from a wide political spectrum to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, analyse the body as a site of political, cultural and social contestation and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities. The book adopts a feminist approach that analyses sexuality within patriarchal structures of oppression while also highlighting its emancipatory potential.

“As well as using popular culture to help address the ‘what, why, how, when and where’ questions, the contributors also provide a critical mapping of African sexualities that informs readers about the plurality and complexities of African sexualities – desires, practices, fantasies, identities, taboos, abuses, violations, stigmas, transgressions and sanctions. At the same time, they pose gender-sensitive and politically aware questions that challenge the reader to interrogate assumptions and hegemonic sexuality discourses, thereby unmapping the intricate and complex terrain of African sexualities.

“The blend of approaches and styles enhances the book’s accessibility and usefulness for teaching as well as allowing for historical and textual contextualisation.”

It is written for audiences in the higher education and postgradute levels. Due date of emerging from press is June 2011.

Among other books coming from Pambazuka and Fahamu books are African Women Writing Resistance, An Anthology of Contemporary Voices an anthology of African-born contributors who “move beyond the linked dichotomies of victim/oppressor and victim/heroine to present their experiences of resistance in full complexity: they are at the forward edge of the tide of women’s empowerment moving across Afrika.”

My Dream is to be Bold, a feminist oriented work is among them as well as Dust from our Eyes an Unblinkered Look at Africa, a Joan Baxter tale of the diversity of Africa and the resilience and spirit of its people.

From Citizen to Refugee, Uganda Asians come to Britain by Mahmood Mamdani is another nostalgia awakening book to be expected. It dwells on the seriously embattled life of Asians in Uganda during the eventful dictatorial reign of the late Gen. Idi Amin in the 1970s. It is a re-publication of 1972’s original. The author, Mamdani, an eye witness, describes the feelings experienced by Uganda’s Asians and tells of their camps’ political culture.

[http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71700%3A2011-year-of-interesting-books-coming&catid=54%3Aarts&Itemid=694]

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+protesters+rally+support+WikiLeaks/3999493/story.html

check dis…where I learned, that this is American Indian Heritage Month

http://imperfect-black.blogspot.com/2010/11/native-american-history-in-north.html

check dis too…..

Toronto Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2010 – Resistance and Renewal

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21

 5pm-7pm

Ceremonial opening

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, just north of Bloor.

Join us as we open Indigenous Sovereignty Week with drum, song, and food, and an opening address by Lee Maracle (Stó:lō) and Derek Bressette. Performers will include Zainab Amadahy (Tsalagi) and a big drum (TBA).

 

7pm-9pm

“The Scars of Mercury”

A film about Grassy Narrows

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, just north of Bloor.

Please join us to watch a documentary film about Grassy Narrows, and to mark the opening of Indigenous Sovereignty Week.

‘The Scars of Mercury’ explores the processes that threaten the destruction of a traditional and contemporary Indigenous hunting, fishing and gathering way of life, through residential schools, relocation, treaty violations, and clear-cutting, with a special focus on mercury poisoning.

The Grassy Narrows community has fought decades for justice on mercury issues, and is home to the longest running blockade in Canada – established to stop clearcut logging of their forests.  Grassroots people are working tirelessly to heal their community, revive their culture, and take control of their lives and territory.

See the film website.

 

Stay informed and to take action in support of Grassy Narrows

 

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22

7pm-9pm

Fighting for Indigenous education

UTS, 371 Bloor Street West, between Huron and Spadina (to be confirmed)

Speakers:

Joanna Anaquod (Anishinaabe), organizer of the 1989 hunger strike  to protect post-secondary education funding for status Indians

Ruth Koleszar-Green (Kanienkehaka), Academic Support Advisor at Aboriginal Student Services, Ryerson University (on leave)

Others TBA

Moderator: Lee Maracle (Stó:lō), well-known poet, thinker, feminist, elder-in-residence at U of T, and long-time Indigenous sovereignty activist

Canada’s education system has been a pillar of Canadian colonialism – it has been a primary weapon of cultural genocide in Canada; it has shaped racist images of Indigenous peoples in public discourse; and it has disappeared Canada’s history of colonialism, so that non-Native people do not see or understand their role in Canadian colonialism.

Generations of Indigenous people were forced to go to residential schools, where they were brutalized and forced to forget their languages, customs, and cultures. Today, the reality of most education for status Indians is that it is underfunded and inadequate. Governments spend much less on education for on-reserve Native students than they do for non-Natives. And they are doing little to address issues of language loss and cultural alienation. Meanwhile, post-secondary funding for Indian students is being threatened for the first time in 20 years.

Learn about the history of education in Canadian colonialism, and about how Indigenous people are fighting attacks on their access to education, while at the same time creating Indigenous models of education that are part of a process of decolonizing Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike.

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23

7pm-9pm

Every inch of our land is who we are: protecting mother Earth, protecting traditional knowledge

Fitzgerald Building, Room 103, University of Toronto – 150 College Street

Land, life, and language are inseparable from the identity of First Nations. Many First Nations still live in a traditional subsistence economy – gathering food and medicines, hunting and trapping for food and clothing, and building shelter on their traditional territories. Over thousands of years of living on and caring for the land, Indigenous Peoples have developed a vast and sensitive knowledge of their territories and the beings that live within them. Destruction of traditional food sources threatens the survival of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge – but destruction of Indigenous Peoples also threatens the survival of the planet.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation, in Chemical Valley near Sarnia, has been devastated by toxins produced in the petrochemical plants near the community. The Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Northern BC is fighting the building of a pipeline to carry tar sands oil through their territory. Our speakers will talk about the struggles for environmental justice on these territories, and on strategies for preserving traditional ecological knowledge for future generations.

Speakers:

Ron Plain (Aamjiwnaang), has been a leader in environmental justice struggles by First Nations, particularly in his home community of Aamjiwnaang

Toghestiy Wet’suwet’en (Wet’suwet’en), hereditary title holder in the Wet’suwet’en nation

Leanne Simpson (to be confirmed), professor of Native Studies at Trent University

Moderator: Sylvia Plain (Aamjiwnang), organizer with the Native Students Association

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24

6pm-9pm

Igniting resistance through Indigenous Bodies: Sexuality, Two-Spirit and Creativity

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, Toronto

This evening will focus on a discussion and a workshop around resistance through Indigenous bodies in the creative spaces that they exist. Topics will include self-determination, youth empowerment, sex and the crucial role of two-spirit people in the fight for sovereignty. Join us for refreshments, intense conversations, and fun!

6:00pm-7:30pm

Erin Konsmo (Saulteaux), Indigenous feminist, artist, and Alberta representative on the National Aboriginal Youth Council on HIV/AIDS (NAYCHA).

Krysta WIlliams, Lead Youth Advocate for the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, an Indigenous Feminist and Turtle clan from Moravian of the Thames First Nation.

Louis Cruz (Mi’kmaq)

7:30pm-9:00pm

Dana Wesley (Cree)

Shanee Qua (Plains Cree) Two-spirit Trans Aboriginal who speaks on behalf of Two Spirit, HIV/AIDS, Trans and Native Issues.

Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee)

Cosponsored by the Centre for Women and Trans People (U of T)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25

11 AM – Peaceful march on child welfare issues

Meet at Queen’s Park at 11AM. There will be a feast at the end of the march.

Hosted by Grass Roots Committee of Ontario

A call out to all supporters, warriors, leadership and community members for accountability and changes to the subsequent attacks on native people in this society. We want CAS (Children’s Aid Society) off our communities and replaced by our own services as developed by our own people both on/off reserve level. Do our First Nation leadership have control of these programs? No, so we demand answers.

7pm-9pm

The Privatization of Reserve Lands: the Conservative shortcut to assimilation of status Indians?

Music Room at Hart House (University of Toronto), 7 Hart House Circle

Accessible: Yes, for more information, see: http://www.harthouse.utoronto.ca/accessibility

Speakers:

Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc), veteran of the Sun Peaks struggle, former chief of Neskonlith First Nation, and spokesperson for Defenders of the Land and Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade

Armand Mackenzie (Innu), Innu Lawyer for the Council of Nitassinan, has been defending his nation from low-level military flights and hydro projects for over 15 years.

Bertha Wilson (Coast Salish), continues to fight the Tsawassen treaty which privatized her people’s land

Pamela Palmater (Mi’kmaq),  chair in Indigenous Governance and Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University

Moderator: Heather Dorries (Anishinaabe)

Since the 1800s, Canada has been seeking to terminate Indigenous Peoples and extinguish their title to their lands. From the 1850s on, a favoured strategy has been the conversion of reserve lands into “fee simple” lands that can be bought and sold like other lands – including to non-Native people. This idea was most clearly put forward in the infamous White Paper of 1969, and the Buffalo Jump memo of the 1980s, a cabinet memo that described how “fee simple”, among other policy tools, would channel Indigenous Peoples to voluntary termination and extinguishment. Today, in a massive push by the Department of Indian Affairs and high-powered Conservative thinkers close to Stephen Harper – including the Fraser Institute and Harper’s mentor Tom Flanagan – the idea of fee simple is again being peddled to Indians as a panacea.

Despite the legacy of colonialism and racism surrounding the creation of reserve lands, reserve lands have served to anchor Indigenous Peoples in their traditional territories. Fee simple has only one goal – the alienation of reserve lands, the extinguishment of Aboriginal title, and the termination of Indigenous Peoples. Hear how the government is trying to roll out this policy, and how it can be stopped.

Sponsored by Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto Initiative on Indigenous Governance, Aboriginal Law Students Association, Barriere Lake Solidarity

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26

1pm-3:30pm

Tkaronto – Film Screening

University College Room 179, 15 Kings College Circle

… a reflective and provoking exploration of two Aboriginal 30-somethings, Ray and Jolene, who make an unexpected connection at the pinnacle of a common struggle: to stake claim to their urban Aboriginal identity…

Director Shane Belcourt will be in attendance!

Sponsored by the departments of Geography and Planning and Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto

4pm-6pm

The Aboriginal City – panel discussion

University College Room 179, 15 Kings College Circle

What does it mean to work with, for and/or in the Aboriginal city? What would a decolonizing city look like? How do we get there?

Panelists:

Shane Belcourt (Director, ‘Tkaronto’), Heather Howard (University of Michigan), Evelyn Peters (University of Winnipeg), Lee Maracle (University of Toronto)

Moderator: Shiri Pasternak (University of Toronto)

Light refreshments will be provided.

Sponsored by the departments of Canadian Studies and Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.

7pm-9pm

Indigenous Law, Justice, Governance

Wilson Hall 1016, New College, University of Toronto

Speakers: Toby Decoursay, elder, Algonquins of Barriere Lake; others TBA

Aaaron Mills, (Anishnabe – Couchiching First Nation)

Moderator: Dawnis Kennedy (Anishinaabe – Roseau River)

Join us for an evening of learning about the legal, constitutional, and justice systems of Indigenous peoples. While some of these customary traditions were buried throughout periods of colonial repression, unbroken lines of knowledge continue to pass along between generations and continue to govern the social orders of communities across this land.

Sponsored by Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto Initiative on Indigenous Governance, Aboriginal Law Students Association, Barriere Lake Solidarity

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27

11am-2pm

Mobilizing support for Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the RIghts of Indigenous Peoples

Bowing to intense political pressure, Canada has finally signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – with caveats and provisos. KAIROS Canada has chosen to make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples its major focus for 2010-2011. Come learn about the UNDRIP, its background, and how you can be part of the campaign to get Canada to implement it.

Speaker: Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc), Defenders of the Land & Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade

2pm-5pm

Great Indian Bus Tour

The Native Canadian Centre

16 Spadina Road – north of Bloor

Get on the bus! A real tour of the Indigenous history of Toronto!

HOSTED BY THE TORONTO NATIVE HISTORY PROJECT

The Toronto Native History Project at The Native Canadian Centre in partnership with Indigenous Sovereignty Week is proud to present The Great Indian Bus Tour.

2:00pm to 5:00pm (Arrive 10 minutes early to get seated)

The Bus tour will depart from and return to The Native Canadian Centre (NCC) on Saturday Nov. 27 located at 16 Spadina ROAD, north of Bloor.

Seating must be reserved and paid in advance by contacting Tannis Nielson at the NCC 416-964-9087 ext. 326. We recommend booking and paying for your seat early to guarantee your spot. Payment must be made to Tannis no later than Thursday Nov. 25.

Ticket cost is $20 per person

Cash payment only

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148694568510339&num_event_invites=0

7pm-10pm

MUSKRAT magazine Launch & Creation Tales

Walnut Studios, 83 Walnut Avenue (near Bathurst and King)

With Special Guest Storytellers:

Come sit around the fire and listen to The Anishinabek Creation Story (inspired by Muskrat) and told by Mnijikining storyteller, Mark Douglas

Witness Creation, a Video Performance by Métis Visual Artist, Tannis Neilson

New Works showcase by:

Visual Artist Travis Shilling & Filmmaker & Photographer Keesic Douglas

The MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture, and living magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28

9:30am-5:00pm

Symposium on building new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and working in solidarity, including:

Canada’s termination policy – an overview by Roger Obonsawin (Abenaki)

Building Indigenous unity -a workshop with Roger Obonsawin

Learning lessons from the past and present of solidarity organizing with Ed Bianchi (KAIROS)

Indigenous Solidarity for people of colour

Closing debrief circle

Further details TBA

CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE REGULARLY FOR UPDATES: http://www.defendersoftheland.org/toronto

FIND US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=170827162936733

 Jus one of the many revolushunary organisations that we love, respekt and admire so, the ones that we have grown with en learnt so much from on building communities of (good) practice and the struggle for Afrikan liberation….

http://blog.trustafrica.org/blog.php?/archives/45-Hakima-Abbas-reflects-on-African-philanthropy.html

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68376

these are (some of)  the hadithi of the q_t werd [ on the ground]…

the ones that haven’t been published (yet)….

Proposal – Queer African Reader

Project Consultant: Sokari Ekine
Proposed Editors: Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas

We are writing to invite you to participate in the publication of an African LGBTI Reader to be published by Pambazuka Press in June 2011. The African LGBTI Reader is being published in response to the increasing homophobia and transphobia across the continent which aims to silence the voices of African Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex people.

The African LGBTI Reader [Working Title] seeks to make a timely intervention by bringing together a collection of writings and artistic works that engage with the struggle for LGBTI liberation and inform sexual orientation and gender variance. The book seeks to engage with primarily an African audience focusing on intersectionality and will include experiences from rural communities, post-conflict situations, religious experience as well that of immigration and displacement.

We are proposing an alternative framework for the book based on a participatory model in which we ask prospective contributors and the broad queer activist community to discuss possible topics to be included that will push analysis and thinking within this distinct and diverse movement across the continent writing from the standpoint of both personal stories and experiences as activists. We feel this is important because of the multi layered issues which exist historically, regionally and politically with regards to sexual orientation and gender variance in Africa as well as the overall struggle for African liberation.

We hope to facilitate the writing of key African LGBTI leaders, activists and thinkers by providing a two week retreat where activists can create the space to reflect, share their ideas and writing, peer review each other’s work, have access to sources and resources provided by prominent academics and the institution. The writing retreat will be fully sponsored and contributors will be provided an honorarium for their writing which will enable them to take the time away from their activities to provide a critically reflective piece.

Possible Topics – not including personal stories, poems, stories

We have identified eight themes which are listed below with a brief summary of each. We are suggesting each of you think about the theme[s] that interest you and suggest specific topics on which you could write or would like to see addressed.

1. WHAT’S IN A LETTER:

We repeatedly use the terms lesbian, gay, bi-sexual transgender and intersex but what do these mean in your own experience, your own community and country? How limiting or inclusive are these labels? Are they appropriate and do they reflect your own experiences? Does the identity cause more problems than the behavior? Does gender variance or gender non-conforming provide a more appropriate entry point for discussion in Africa given silence around all sexualities? How do we organize across definitions? Why should we?

2. RESISTING OPPRESSION – TOWARDS LIBERATION:

What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge queer oppression?

Should we be talking about movement-building? What conceptualisations, experiences and visions of movements do we have / should there be?

Should the struggle for LGBTI Rights be framed within a Western construct which sees Rights as instruments and legislation or should the struggle for rights be constructed within a framework of movement building around which the oppressed organise?

How has the reliance on the NGO Industrial complex supported or hindered movement building? If the latter, what possible alternatives are there to organising and fund raising? How can we move towards more collaborative and collective ways of working which support movement building? What kind of strategies have been used or could be taken up to resist / challenge criminalisation and homophobia including that coming from religious institutions and the media? How should we understand and transcend the limits of the NGO-dominated activist space?

3. PINK COLONIALISM AND WESTERN MISSIONARIES:

What are the problematics of internationalising campaigns and how do we work with allies in the West? How do we overcome donor dependence as a movement? Do the donors and bilaterals save us from ourselves? How do we measure victory e.g. in Malawi and Uganda?

4. A CHANGING WORLD: SOUTH AFRICA AND THE BRICS:

Does South Africa have a particular role to play in supporting queer liberation in Africa? Does the shift in global power create opportunity or threat for African queer liberation? What other geo-political factors determine the course for queer liberation?

5. AFRICAN QUEER LIBERATION AND CLASS STRUGGLE:

What are the intersections between the broader social justice movement in Africa and the movement for queer liberation? Why should one care about the other?

6. ARE GAY MEN FEMINISTS?

What political frames are useful in our movement building? While LBT activists have tended towards feminism does it exclude GT men? How do we address patriarchy and sexism in our movements and personal relationships even among women-identified folks? Why do many straight identified African feminists resist taking on queer issues as a feminist issue in Africa?

7.         GOD AND QUEER –

INCOMPATIBLE OR INSEPARABLE IN AFRICA

Does the movement have to come from a secular space? Given that many African queer folks identify as religious how do we overcome fundamentalism?

The US right wing church are using Africa as a battleground for queer bashing – why is this effective?

What of countries with majority Muslim populations or Islamic law for queer liberation?

What is liberation theology today from a queer liberation and broader social justice perspective?

What are our strategies here?

Are there existing experiences of this, and what can we learn from there? What are the conceptual, spiritual and strategic challenges that the concept of liberation theology throws up to religious queers?

8. RECONCILING THE PERSONAL WITH THE POLITICAL:

What particular role has been/can be played by those engaged in activism through the creative arts? What has been/is the personal cost to working as social justice activists often working in relative isolation and in hostile environments? How can we better balance our lives as social justice activists with that of social people and the need to care for ourselves?

Submissions can be any of the following: essays, case studies of lived experiences on any of the suggested themes, personal stories, poems, art work, photography, short stories, short plays.

Submissions are welcome from Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora.

Download the Concept Note here.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/Announce/67004