Recently a ‘rafiki’ (kiswahili for friend) of ours, offered critical feedback on the storyboard of dis’ documentary feature en the (wish-list of a) series, it came in the form of a rhetorical question, in the wake of goodbyes en hellos, masking many fears en hopes en deep scars, grasping at the heart of the matter…

[blogger’s note: ‘us’ (our.stories.n.people) in the q_t werd stands in for the non/fictional, biodramamythical collective of artists, artivists and village (organizer)s  aka. ‘bredrin and dadas in solidarity’]

bigger point is, dis dada said ”you know what your doc doesn’t have? an antagonist……..”

(leading us to the latest ‘episode’ in this quest of building solidarity en salaam [Arabic en kiswahili for peace], but first a lil’ background…..truthIs, we’ve been seeding, planting and sharing our ideas and the storyboard of the q_t werd in our villages since way before the inception of this blog, or the ‘other’ one/s – where behind the mask/‘we’ all get nekkyd)

Our roster of bio/mytho/biographies en interviews feature only people we love, respekt and admire, and reads like we’re totally in love with so so many of dem, n we unashamedly are;

those real talks that make the q_t werd are as fresh as the legends of jus dis week in review….from the highs of ‘our’  colour me dragg AND  cassie walker winning $5,000 @ manifesto, to ‘our’ community raising the roof @ granny boots for kim & nat, doing it revolushunary grassroots style…..

real talks as conflicted as the lows of last night with the drama n fuckery that defined the was the ‘powers that be’ hosting the AGM meeting for ‘our’ Pride Toronto

[in the spaces between, we continue to chart the journey in dub…..where a is for anitafrika dub theatre, b is for [the vision of] bredrin and dadas in solidarity, c is for colour me dragg and colour spill productions, all the way to p is for the people project and where m is for the myths that we’re relearning , taught by our kinda legends, in these hadithi of the q_t werd]

…………As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.”

[excerpt from: The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House
 
by Audre Lorde
 
From Sister Outsider, The Crossing Press Feminist Series (1984)]

These are the stories that make the q_t werd, as real as our children and lovers, institutionalised scandals, mashups and makeups, evolving bashes and (not-so) complicated backlash to ‘our’ community organising and village rebuilding, and all the lessons we’re relearning in our journeys.

the bigger point of this post is…… ‘that’ question,

the answer is….we have plenty antagonists, plenty of enemies BUT…… we choose to focus dis quest of documenting our healing en collective recovery, of rebuilding salaam and solidarity, on people we love

and even then, still……d is for drama is the crux of the q_t werd…

because the truth is….. we’re still working thru our shit, and even if we were to start jus with people we know en love, we would have more than nuff stories of conflict transformation and wishful fantasies for seven seasons.

The q_t werd is as simple as ABC en D [toZ] en as mysterious as the riddle of the sphinx…..

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo……

Kesho ni: E is for elimu sanifu: in the q_t werd

Notes On creativity, compassion and courage:

  1. Creativity: recently, many mo friends have been questioning and sharing with us, [the storytellers behind The Q/t werd and Nekkyd,] what they think our art is about; we have heard en documented many ideas on the ways to build solidarity among QPOC communities, from a pan-afrikan perspective, yet we haven’t ‘officially’ fleshed out where we coming from and headed yet with this epic of a feature length documentary and series.

reality is, our visions (in dis here epic of a quest) have undergone deep transformashun: in the last 3 year(s) we have crossed different worlds and not only survived, crashed en burned, revived en thrived, but metamorphosed into the kipepeo of our wild dreams. our experiences of rebuilding villages are not what we expected them to be, they have surpassed our wildest fantasies en remind us of heaven on earth; now, alhamdulilah(t) we are grateful for the growing, loving communities, for all the healing and prayers in sacred spaces

in dis’ place here, in the diaspora, we found the source of Mama Afrika again, in her people.  In our ancestral legacies en mestizoed religions,  speaking black into (our +ve) blood.memories, breaking ugali with bredrin en dadas in prayer en solidarity.

the q_t werd is personal, political en religious:

personal like what you get when a documentary filmmaker/storyteller gets married to other artist/dadas, en where dem and their village produce a (dark) comedy series on lesbian, queer & trans (pan/afrikan) communities & a feature documentary on their ‘personal’ efforts to mobilise resources for queer/trans communities in East Afrika by designing the curriculum and fundraising for a queer/trans youth arts collective (QTYAC) in Kenya & Uganda. [that’s wassup]

the political is, we are far from where we started: individually and collectively, even though we’re back to the storyboard stages again, we’re still in the spaces between (post) production en grant writing.

Our hadithi remains the same, we are still on this (vision) quest to continue (coming into) fulfilling our (right) destinies, still creatively funding our activism, art and village building through strategically chosen jobs and “fly-by-night” ventures.

The bigger point is that, the religious piece is the big(ga) hadithi, our nekkyd truth is the crux of our salvation and healing wise is,  us dreaming of (going) back home with all our first world privileges, friends and families.

2. Compassion: Over a moon ago, we received the best advice we ever got from a wise afrikan womban’s reading of our quest/ion/s. We were reminded that love and truthfulness would have to determine our way of expressing ourselves and that we jus HAD (no choice but) to lovingly and sincerely communicate our thoughts to those around us.

the truth is, we don’t have any ‘official’ funding for our (art) work, and yet we have still been audacious (and over ambitious) enough to work on submitting, not only, a documentary to the Inside Out & Mpenzi before the end of this year, but designing the curriculum and mobilising (people)  resources for QTYAC, to be run in Kenya & Uganda from May – August 2011.

Technically, the ‘boring’ or exciting stuff (depending on where you look at it from), that there are nuff people interested in getting move involved with/in our communities back at home, we’re trying because we CAN and if we don’t then folks who don’t know betta than us will prolly try to help us OUT  for themselves, we’re doing all a dis’ organising  because there’s sayings that go like we have mo to work with, in dis place here in the FIRST  world,  to serve our communities betta;

3. Courage: a love story

Skeleton woman

– A Tale of the Inuit –

She had done something of which her father disapproved, although no one any longer remembered what it was. But her father had dragged her to the cliffs and thrown her over and into the sea. There, the fish ate her flesh away and plucked out her eyes. As she lay under the sea, her skeleton turned over and over in the currents.

One day a fisherman came fishing, well, in truth many came to this bay once. But this fisherman had drifted far from his home place and did not know that the local fisherman stayed away, saying this inlet was haunted.

The fisherman’s hook drifted down through the water, and caught of all places, in the bones of Skeleton Woman’s rib cage. The fisherman thought, “Oh, now I’ve really got a big one! Now I really have one!” In his mind he was thinking of how many people this great fish would feed, how long it would last, how long he might be free from the chore of hunting. And as he struggled with this great weight on the end of the hook, the sea was stirred to a thrashing froth, and his kayak bucked and shook, for she who was beneath struggled to disentangle herself. And the more she struggled, the more she tangled in the line. No matter what she did, she was inexorably dragged upward, tugged up by the bones of her own ribs.

The hunter had turned to scoop up his net, so he did not see her bald head rise above the waves, he did not see the little coral creatures glinting in the orbs of her skull, he did not see the crustaceans on her old ivory teeth. When he turned back with his net, her entire body, such as it was, had come to the surface and was hanging from the tip of his kayak by her long front teeth.

Agh!” cried the man, and his heart fell into his knees, his eyes hid in terror on the back of his head, and his ears blazed bright red. “Agh!” he screamed, and knocked her off the prow with his oar and began paddling like a demon toward shoreline. And not realizing she was tangled in his line, he was frightened all the more for she appeared to stand upon her toes while chasing him all the way to shore. No matter which way he zigged his kayak, she stayed right behind, and her breath rolled over the water in clouds of steam, and her arms flailed out as though to snatch him down into the depths.

Agh!” he wailed as he ran aground. In one leap he was out of his kayak, clutching his fishing stick and running, and the coral white corpse of skeleton woman, still snagged in the fishing line, bumpety-bumped behind right after him. Over the rocks he ran, and she followed. Over the frozen tundra he ran, and she kept right up. Over the meat laid out to dry he ran, cracking it to pieces as his mukluks bore down.

Throughout it all she kept right up, in fact, she grabbed some of the frozen fish as she was dragged behind. This she began to eat, for she had not gorged in a long, long time. Finally, the man reached his snowhouse and dove right into the tunnel and on hands and knees scrabbled his way into the interior. Panting and sobbing he lay there in the dark, his heart a drum, a mighty drum. Safe at last, oh so safe, yes, safe thank the Gods, Raven, yes, thank Raven, yes, and all bountiful Sedna, safe… at…last.

Imagine when he lit his whale oil lamp, there she – it – lay in a tumble upon his snow floor, one heel over her shoulder, one knee inside her rib cage, one foot over her elbow. He could not say later what it was, perhaps the firelight softened her features, or the fact that he was a lonely man… but a feeling of some kindness came into his breathing, and slowly he reached out his grimy hands and using words softly like a mother to child, began to untangle her from the fishing line.

Oh, na, na, na.” First he untangled the toes, then the ankles. “Oh, na, na, na.” On and on he worked into the night, until dressing her in furs to keep her warm, Skeleton Woman’s bones were all in the order a human’s should be.

He felt into his leather cuffs for his flint and used some of his hair to light a little more fire. He gazed at her from time to time as he oiled the precious wood of his fishing stick and rewound the gut line. And she in the furs uttered not a word – she did not dare – lest this hunter take her out and throw her down to the rocks and break her bones to pieces utterly.

The man became drowsy, slid under his sleeping skins, and soon was dreaming. And sometimes as humans sleep, you know, a tear escapes from the dreamer’s eye; we never know what sort of dream causes this, but we know it is either a dream of sadness or longing. And this is what happened to the man.

Skeleton Woman saw the tear glisten in the firelight and she became suddenly soooo thirsty. She tinkled and clanked and crawled over to the sleeping man and put her mouth to his tear. The single tear was like a river and she drank and drank and drank until her many-years-long thirst was slaked.

While lying beside him, she reached inside the sleeping man and took out his heart, the mighty drum. She sat up and banged on both sides of it: Bom Bomm!…..Bom Bomm!

As she drummed, she began to sing out “Flesh, flesh, flesh! Flesh, Flesh, Flesh!” And the more she sang, the more her body filled out with flesh. She sang for hair and good eyes and nice fat hands. She sang the divide between her legs, and breasts long enough to wrap for warmth, and all the things a woman needs.

And when she was all done, she also sang the sleeping man’s clothes off and crept into his bed with him, skin against skin. She returned the great drum, his heart, to his body, and that is how they awakened, wrapped one around the other, tangled from their night, in another way now, a good and lasting way.

The people who cannot remember how she came to her first ill fortune say she and the fisherman went away and were consistently well fed by the creatures she had known in her life under water. The people say that it is true and that is all they know.

[from women who run with the wolves: myths and stories of the wild woman archetype]

http://www.blacklooks.org/2010/08/james-baldwin-precious-lord-take-my-hand/

Peace is possible (prayers)

I pray for health en prosperity not only for myself, but for others. Bless our healers en peace-makers. Bless the homeless, motherless and fatherless. Bless those sick in hospital. Bless all our relatives. Bless those who pray for us, and their families. Bless our wotas en grandmama earth.

[BLOGGER’S NOTES: I give thanks that the blessings of yesterday are still here today, and I pray that they may be carried to tomorrow. I am reminded every day I go to work that “peace is possible”….. that we have to work, organise, play, reason & sing [for] it, every minute of our lives.  

I give thanks that I have such good, loving folks en pikney surrounding me, every day that I go into work, and I give thanks that I’m actually getting paid for this shit, to work for peace, and work divine/love-ly tings with government money…

I give thanks that I get to work with en teach youth right close to home, give back to my hood, and I give thanks that I was guided (to) here, where I technically/really should know more of my neighbours (forgive my sins those that I do, and don’t know about. Forgive my foolishness) ]

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember July 23rd, Peace is Possible Parade and Prayer Day/Honoring Egungun/Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

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…..

(re)introducing (Tsholo) Khalema as Nneke Dumele in NeKKyD

NEKKyD is a Canadain dark-comedy web series sitcom that debuts June 30, 2010

Each episode is a different journey inside Nekkyd’s (Tsholo Khalema) world as her wry observations take us into the mind of a screwed up, loved up, lustful lesbian world. Being a lesbian is tough, Being a black immigrant African lesbian trying to fit in… well lets just say, to survive you gotta know the RULEZ TA BEIN’ A STUD. NEKKyD explores the world of Nneke Dumela and her earth-shattering lust for the gorgeous and sassy women

Check out http://colourspill-productions.blogspot.com

  Nekkyd is the 2nd of 31 stories (in the 1st series of) The Q werd: a mystic, organic en (us)people-driven hadithi caravan of video diaries. Nothing like the L word, in many ways like IloveUPeople, with a continental twist…….the crux of the series is big love en big mobilizing for, and, within (pan) Afrikan communities….

The crux is the 3rd story of the Q werd:||the crux|| is a marketing, media and entertainment strategy outfit servicing Canada the USA and the Caribbean.

With almost a decade of industry experience, ||the crux|| offers branding strategy, media relations, publicity, community relations, message development, speech writing, media training, promotion, press-kit creation and complete event production.

With a wide array of industry contacts throughout North America and the Islands; ||the crux|| represents clients within the the Corporate, Multicultural, Arts and Culture, Fashion and Beauty, Entertainment and Lifestyle realms.

Check out http://isthecrux.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/13-questions-with-mel-fernandes

To be continued….kesho on the Q werd: (the evolution of) swagger

re/posted for a/nother critical study of  the voices that shape public discourse…if we were to apply a foucauldian analysis to the series being presented since October 14th, (en before)  it becomes clearer that the traiblazers are not Chege, Ngengi, Bahati or even  SMUG…even though they are all intricately connected in this ‘gay’ matrix.

the blazes are in every single arrest, and every one who is afraid to come  OUT, and talk back….

the trail blazers are the ones, who in Audre’s words, speak! even when they are afraid their words will not be heard nor welcomed.

the trails are  in the ones who speak, because they know when they remain silent they are still afraid….

they know it is better to speak.

and we’ve been speaking since way before chege & ngengi.

you wanna know who some of the real (purpose/full) trailblazers are?  they are people like fanny anny eddy & pouline kimani, victor mukasa & audrey mbugua, bombastic kasha & david kuria…..they are many more people than these folks. but i digress….

here’s yet a/nother article on Chege and Ngenge….

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Source: The Nation

After the Sunday Nation broke the story of the gay wedding of Kenyans Daniel Chege and Charles Ngengi in London, hardly any other subject could get attention on call-ins into FM stations, the Kenyan blogosphere, and in Nairobi pub conversations.

Chege and Ngegi are the first Kenyan gay couple known to have publicly wedded. Chege has been in a previous gay partnership that broke up.

Most of the comments were, predictably, critical—and some downright hostile. By almost a ration of 10 to 1, Kenyans thought what Chege and Ngegi had done was disgraceful, a shame upon the country, their families, an affront to God and good old African values.

But then something that no one seems to have paid attention to happened. In a follow-up, KTN TV station went to the village of Chege’s parents, and in one scene that has proved particularly controversial, stopped a very elderly relative of Chege along the village path, flashed the photo of the gay couple, and wanted to know her views.

SMS messages and Tweets started flying even as the programme aired. By a ratio of, again, 10 to 1 most Kenyans felt that KTN had crossed the line in the way it treated Chege’s and Ngegi’s rural relatives. One remarkable collection of this anger was on Stockskenya.com, whose users abandoned their usually staid conversation on finance and business issues, and plunged into the more dramatic world of privacy and sex.

This reaction was surprising, because what KTN did would have passed off as good, aggressive reporting if it had been any other story. As far as most people are concerned, Chege and Ngengi went too far to break a taboo. But the fact that so many people also seemed turned off by a follow-up of the story that went beyond the couple to their relatives, suggested that Chege and Ngengi have broken a psychological barrier.

Going forward, discussions of gay issues will probably be less difficult. And, I suspect, the next story of another Kenyan gay couple is unlikely to attract as much attention. The novelty, or shock factor, around gay relationships in Kenya – and indeed people in the know say Kenya has East Africa’s largest gay community – has cracked considerably.

Chege and Ngengi never intended it that way. After all, they refused to speak to the BBC about their wedding, and their only other comment has been a plea to the media and the public to leave their families alone.

However, if eventually Kenya comes to hold a more tolerant public attitude toward gay people, history will show that Chege and Ngengi were the ones who opened public minds. They could be the accidental trailblazers for gay rights in Kenya and, who knows, maybe East Africa

So here’s yet another repost…another in/direct relay of the shit that our east afrikan “media” personalities spew….as with everything else nowadays,we ain’t agonising, so much as, using this homo & trans phobic backlash to organise ourselves & advocate for queer/trans rights.

in other words, we’re  TAKING BACK SPACE!carolinemutoko1

you’re right Caroline, we have much more important shit to deal with. I resent that folks like you, who getting paid plenty nuff to get people’s attention and sell stuff, that you would waste airtime with such ignorance and (mis) understanding, that you would trigger me to JUS HAVTA  respond

……tolerance is not equated with sticking your head in the sand or allowing for hate to flourish. I told this to John Allan Namu, and I’ll tell this to you, sometimes you just need to go by a really simple rule of thumb. if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say nothing at all. (and yes, that one is another tricky principle to negotiate…but I’ll show you an example of the power there is in language….I’mm check you, en still keep it positive….practise long enough and you can do it too)

both you (en John Allan Namu) need to sign up for our upcoming AO101  workshops. If like you say, Caroline, there are so many  “gay” folk that you support, and kudos for trying, then I’m sure you would jump at the chance of educating yourself on anti-oppression issues.

we all gots learning to do. and this will be my gift to you. I offer you a 2 – 3hr workshop, for you and your colleagues in March…at your convenience, where we will challenge homo/les/bi/trans phobia in a decolonization framework.

In other words, we’ll interrogate the intersections of our diversity and oppressions, and teach you more appropriate words than gay, like queer, & ” so gay” like neo colonialism & the masters tools will never dismantle the master’s house……and you can learn more about the role of allies, and all those folks in the closet…..most importantly, you’ll hear from people who’re OUT  of the closet, and won’t take you shoving us back inside…relegating us to sensationalist news items on the latest western craze and 2 gay men getting married in the  UK.

and dear reader, this post is for you too,  judge for yourself if Caroline needs any checking on her “issues”..

here’s what she had to say, in her own words.

stefanbruggermannwordsthatbecompics

THIS IS WHAT CAROLINE MUTOKO OF KISS FM wrote last week concerning an issue that was raised by many listeners of their sister station- CLASSIC 105 when the on air presenters went on and on poking fun at the gay community and concluding by telling their listerners to SLAP THE GAYNESS out of any gay person they meet in Kenya…………………..

*The violence in Kenya in 2007 can never be compared to the intolerance Kenya and Africa have for gay people. It trivializes the issues we underwent politically and ethically. The very people who suffered in 2007 would be shocked and disgusted to think some small minded people think it’s the same thing. How you chose to have sex cannot and does not compare to the suffering of our IDPS.*

*I am tolerant of homosexuals, period. When I start getting garbage in the name of the “persecuted minorities” then I have to put an end to it. There’s a threshold to how tolerant I or anyone can be of something that whether you like it or not, goes against the very sensibilities of more than 90% of humanity, let alone Kenyans.*

No single media personality has given the homosexuals in this country more air-time or space to speak and be heard without judging them than I have. So spare me the crap and the moral high-ground on what I can or cannot say and whether or not Nick and Marcus were right or wrong. There are homosexuals who work with us how do you want to know I care? Would you like to me “out” them so you can ask them if Caroline is legitimate.

What Kenya went through in early 2008 and this nonsense with the homosexuals cannot and should not be compared at all. How fickle can you be.

I can be tolerant, and tolerant I am, but I don’t have to embrace it and I sure as hell don’t have to apologise for saying it’s a none issue if I think so. There are bigger issues in this nation to deal with right now and the fact that afew homosexuals are hurt because Marcus and Nick said, give them a quick slap is beyond logic.

(NO SHE DI(UH)N!!!!!!)

From [*Name*], to [*Name*], to [*Name*], [*Name*], the organisation called Forgotten Sheep, [*Name*], [*Name*], [*Name*], to [*Name*] and [*Name*], to [*Name*] and [*Name*], to [*Name*] and [*Name*] and not to mention [*Name*] and [*Name*] who still rely on me for cash and jobs, I am very tolerant of homosexuals in Kenya. I’m not some silly little talking head looking for cheap publicity, I actually keep their confidences, respect their secrets and accept they want to remain in the closet.

(Yes! This is ironically THE  Harvey milk moment of this rant)

They come to my show, call me and take me into confidence because they know I get it. I’m their go-to-person. But when some air-heads thinks this is their new soap box to get mileage, you’ve got another think coming.

Incidentally, can you all get back to work, Paul Ilado, Patrick Quarcoo and myself have real issues to deal with. Caroline.

PS- SHE HAS WRITTEN ANOTHER LONG ARTICLE TITLED-  SO YOU’RE GAY, SO WHAT????

in todays THE STAR newspaper…..