on the quest for a resurgent Afrikan womyn’s activism in Tdot

[some] tings that inspire, restore & sustain me[=we]: kama picha za yesterday, leo na kesho

  1. Dis kinda soul/fullfood strengthens en positively transforms not only me so…..stories of bredrin and sistas gathering in love & solidarity, invoking the spirit of intimacy with each other and those who wished they were t/here but couldn’t make it, god/desse/s calling names of honourable wahenga en elders, sharing multi-layered journeys of big sistas,mamas, and others in our rainbow soup spectrum of identities. nights like watching Sistas in the Struggle with de Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity. re/learning from walimu kama Angela Robertson. Yolisa Dalamba. Wariri Muhungi. Kim Crosby.Dionne Brand.Leleti Tamu.Dionne Falconer.Sherona Hall…..

De question that brought me to dis ‘afrikan liberation moon’ gathering was how it took me this long to see this documentary? How did i miss it in all mi research for women’s & sexual diversity studies & feminist philosophy courses back when I was in ‘university’? true say naming IT started in mi belly, took a night of dreaming en a day to put words to, even as I listened to & reflected on versions of these questions in the audience, reminders to re/locate miself – en on the boundaries of this not-for- profit industrial complex within which so many comrades gather – what are the possibilities in sharing more meaningful resources in concrete continental-diasporic exchanges?  Jana, the spaces between, was dancing with de recognition & acknowledgment of big sistas that been teaching, taking care of, liming with & advocating for we in ‘ritualised’ community spaces through generations. Womben that I been listening to, learning from,sharing & building in extended villages with almost de entire decade that I been ‘immigrated’ to Tdot, some – mentors, others that I’d never met before, all warriors on the frontlines of social justice movements, harvesting litanies of survival en notes to belonging…I yam grateful for the builders who maintain positive, safe/r spaces to deepen our connection with the responsibilities of taking care of not only ourselves

network for pan-afrikan solidarity

but others and honouring our ancestors en those yet to come, within dis fundamental context called ubuntu.

What do a film screening & panel discussion organised, in Tdot, by the Network for Pan-African solidarity, an African heritage celebration for Ibeji, have in common with a fundraising drive, organised on the continent, by Fahamu, and a Day to end violence against sex workers, other than, uses of the powah of coalition building or intersectionality?

These are precious tokens of de ‘hirstory-making’ postcards of yesterday that I will remember tomorrow.

2. Stories like these make me so happy….What do Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA have in common?

They are home to people who have joined the Friends of Pambazuka and made a donation in the past two weeks. To our new Friends, thank you for your support and welcome to community of Friends. You are the first of many.

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3. Hadithi like these make me smile so hard

The Water Bird

A water-bird once, in search of food, swallowed the King of the crabs, and the whole tribe of crabs were so enraged that they swore they would have their revenge.

‘We will find this horrible bird,’ they declared, ‘and nip off its legs. We shall not fail to find it, for its legs are bright pink in colour and its feathers are pink and white.’

But the water-rat overheard the crabs plotting and hastened to tell the water-bird.

‘Oh! Oh!’ cried the water-bird. ‘They will nip off my beautiful pink legs, and then waht will become of me? Whatever can I do?’

‘It is very simple,’ replied the water-rat. ‘If you stand on one leg, they will think you are some other creature.’

The bird thanked him and tucked up one leg. When the crabs came, they saw, as they thought, a very tall pink bird with one leg and a large beak.

‘Our enemy has two legs,’ they said. ‘This cannot be he.’ And they passed away.

Ahahahaha!

Reblogged from http://excentricyoruba.tumblr.com.

asante dada

Welcome to the circle. Let’s proceed to clear a space for spirit to enter and take a moment to feel our soul connections.

Close your eyes and notice your breathing.

Allow your breath to carry you deeper and deeper into yourself, far, far back in time.

Into a time when….your ancestors met in circles.

Perhaps you can hear the drums, feel the warmth of fiya on your face, feel the bonds of kinship and belonging…….

Each and every one of us had ancestors who sat around a fiya together, drumming, singing, dancing, telling stories, praying…….in those circles people spoke from the heart, they found solutions to their problems, they laughed and they played, celebrated and grieved together.

The memory of this time is in your body, in your bones, in your belly. It is your deep connecshun to the circle. It is your heritage.

The time has come to remember the circle and bring this way of gathering back into our consciousness, into our lives, and into community……


We enter the wisdom circle with a commitment to explore our basic inquiry: How can we continue to survive, dream, hope and carry on in this time of transformation?

How can we release rigid patterns of thinking and broaden our perspective? Let’s set aside philosophical debate and listen to each other with an open heart.

Let’s begin by asking provocative questions, questions that push us to reconsider the values and assumptions upon which we base our lives…..

 

Asking the Right Questions

We often use this inquiry to begin the rounds of a wisdom circle as a way of introducing people to each other. Each person revealssomething personal about themselves. We’ve heard an amazing range of answers to that seemingly simple question….

[i,S.I.S note: in dis global web of the world of a circle, my names are Molisa Nyakale, a pseudonym. code for a vision quest of different worlds.]

Questioning something as basic as our names gives us a glimpse of the ways a wisdom circle encourages us to shake up old thinking patterns…….the kinds of questions that best serve us are those that inspire self-reflection and allow us to draw from our direct experiences. Such questions sometimes spark revelations that surprise the speaker. Sometimes, they uncover old wounds, and tears come with the answers…..

The most memorable wisdom circles are those in which you come away with greater self-acceptance and self respect because the group process helped you to know yourself betta.

Do you feel more empowered, have a clearer vision of your life and how you fit into the larger picture, a better sense of what your unique medicine is, after you have attended a wisdom circle?

Did you have the opportunity to reaffirm what you truly value? Did you experience some relief when you revealed your struggle in the company of kindred spirits? Did you grow in your capacity to listen from the heart? Each of these questions suggests an experience that is possible in circle….

Yes, a wisdom circle is a place for self-discovery, for nurturing ourselves. And yes, a wisdom circle encourages us to engage the world. It is a place to build compassionate community and forge a new strategy for living in a world that works for everyone……

People who have taken the time to “work on themselves” have frequently compiled an impressive list of workshops, books, retreats and vision quests. These folks might be called “inner focused.” They believe that the most compassionate and meaningful thing you can do for others is to work on yourself.

Others have spent their time doing volunteer work, organising political and social activities, restoring the environment, and raising children. These are the folks we might call “outer focused,” and they believe the most compassionate and meaningful thing you can do is to try to improve the world.

Some of us have done a little -or a lot- of both……When we are anchored by an inner reality, a vision, and values we have come to know as our spiritual home, we can “move mountains”.

In a wisdom circle, cross-fertilization occurs between “inner” and “outer”: between our own inner guidance and wisdom, and the experience of others…..we are guided by a reconciling question that informs our lives: “Is it viable to the self and workable in the world?”

(…..) The wisdom circle can be the “heartspace” that helps institutions function productively in a more humane way. It has the potential to heal separations in many settings.

We feel a bonding with the people in our circles and then find ourselves taking that increased potential for relationship out into the world. The deep, warm, strong connections in circle become the standard for our relationships everywhere. Rather than the circle being an exceptional situation, it is a natural meeting ground.

The circle is a dojo- a practice arena-for an opening of the heart. We invite you to join us and explore this process for yourself in the company of kindred spirits…….

Ase, Ase…….

[revised excerpts from] Wisdom Circles: A Guide to Self Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups

Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring, Sedonia Cahill;

Wathint abafazi!
Wathint` imbokodo uzo kufa!

Now you have touched the women!
You have struck a rock
 

(You have dislodged a boulder!)
You will be crushed!

The Federation of South African Women (1955)

 sistas in solidarity (SIS) is a working concept that grew out of Thursday’s  roundtable discussion on building solidarity within queer/trans afrikan communities.  (this is a living document). 

It is an intuitive and logical consequence to the big dreams we have for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples. It is our contribution to the struggle for Afrikan liberation. We are critically analysing our gaps and internal contradictions.

We are addresssing the intersections of our diversity, sharing resources, and building radical, sustaining and  sustainable coalitions.

It’s significant to note that there were only 3 (bio) brothas in the brainstorming session. And only one was over the age of 4. That would be Chris Harris from BADC. another comrade in the struggle for afrikan liberation, ase. and ase, to all the wo/mynthat came together to build solidarity.

We warn you! we have (not)  only just begun, en these issues are OUR stories…..

 For the next few weeks, we will be (mostly) sistas in solidarity, mobilising resources en working together to do more to support queer/trans activism on the continent. we’re working on our own unity first.

It’s official we’re recruiting. write an op-ed. bring it up wherever en whenever. Do something (more).

We will be talking with you on community radio.Verlia stephens is officially back on air this week en she’ll be telling you more about the bill and proposed actions in her next  show  on “Liming with Verlia in de African Diaspora”.

We will be circulating petitions and requesting folks to sit on advisory commitees.

 

We will support the implementation of 4 programs, to start….

AO101  workshops,

a womyn’s circle for healing en self recovery,

queer/trans youth arts collective &

queer/trans youth exchange program (Jun-Aug 2010), to be launched in East Afrika,

en spearheaded by The People Project with the collaboration of various Kenyan & Ugandan groups.

(much, much more will be shared in detail on the listserv)

 

We’re asking for donations of many kinds. 

we will be sending you our wish lists for the GALCK  resource centre

(and) we’ll be checking them twice. 😉    

so check this space (soon).

 

to give you an idea. we’re looking for donations like books, videos & educational brochures for our library.

Binders, condoms, dams, lube, computers, cameras, printers, scanners, sound recorders, paper, STP’s, blank tapes, a boom & mic, hormones, technical support, volunteers, & MONEY.

 

we’re going to ship a container back to Kenya, with (some) necessary resources, for these groups in East Afrika.

MWA, TEA, IshtarMSM, Gay Kenya, AfraKenya, SMUG, FARug &  TITs

 

there are many possibilities to the ways you could support.

(be as creative en as revolushunary as you can, en get back to us with your ideas and suggestions)

 

We’re recruiting performers for our UNDERGROUND &  BIG LOVE  parties.

we promise a round up of the biggest celebrity talent (from the margins)

we got an after party, and our favourite DJ’s cherry picked alot.

 

yes. we have our wishlist. we want folks like  Ryan Hinds, Dainty Smith, D’bi Young.AnitAfrika, Amai Kuda,Troy Jackson, Laura Aidanblase,  Stacey Ann Chin, Imani Henry, Hanifah Walidah, Milo de Milo, Suzy Yim, Brescia Birdthroat Bloodbeard, LAL, zaki ibrahim, deb kirk pearce, ryli skelton, tenacious bryan, marie jolie, njeri damali campbell, truthIS …..the list is long.

we want U people

(to)

 

Book these dates. Nov 21st & Dec 18th.

we’ll be throwing you some (not-so) “UNDER-GROUND”  parties.

 

For now, we’ll spill jus’ a few juicy secrets. 

On Nov 21st,there will be spoken word/dub poetry, song en dance, en an after party.

There will be be many beautiful  QPOC en a silent auction.

It’ll be the kinda win-win situation we all looking for. come out, en raise money, for a revolushunary cause.

 

AND we’re looking for sponsors for raffle prizes for December’s   BIG LOVE  party……

the idea is that we get it all from the community, but we’re ready to exploit small en big businesses for our purposes. 

all a dis, en more,  is by, for, en from the community.

we are (the )  GRASSROOTS.

we are the power of (u) people.

 

We”re looking for other parties to donate part of their proceedings in events over the next 3 months.

would the (not so) usual suspects please stand up?

 Give us your ideas of who else we can get to donate part of their party funds to our cause.

 

Watch the streets and  join our group on FACE BOOK  for more details.

we need your support to realise our dreams.

Because we’re setting lofty goals, and THIS IS  the revolution.

Thinking global and starting local.

 

Join us!

  We are doing this not only because we can, but because it is necessary.

 We stand in resistance to all forms of imperialism.

and, to start, we petition the Prime Minister to release an official declaration condemning Bill 18! 

 

We will launch a queer/trans/pan/Afrikan activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu, that will serve as a forum to connect  Q/tPOC  and, activists of Afrikan descent from the continent en in the diaspora(s).

The official launch for the listserv will be, online, on Friday October 23rd.

And, we’re recruiting people for the cause.

 

Izwe lethu! I Afrika!

 

sis

[you tube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BpXhaDXp-c]

 

s.I.s(ta)