Feminism: (as) a transformational politic  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Feminist focus on men: a comment

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

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

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

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

Writing autobiography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpts from Talking Balk: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

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

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

 ase.ase.

 

Afrika moja! Afrika huru!

Ase. o.

.

   Hii hadithi ni ya Agwambo Odera, Frederick Odhiambo, Gacheke Gachihi, George Nyongesa, Hilary Mulialia,  Onyango Oloo, Sam Ojiayo, Willy Mutunga, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Dedan Kimathi, Elijah Masinde, Ogun na Shango, this is a true confession, in the words of India Arie, of a live learned lesson I was sent here to share with y’all…

(excerpts from I)

introduction: reclaiming Afrika for Afrikans – Pan-Afrikanism: 1900 -1994 by Taju(deen Abdul-Raheem)

The 7th Pan-African Congress (7th PAC), held in Kampala, Uganda, from 3-8 April 1994 was organized to keep alive a tradition that has been around for about a century. The word ‘Pan-Africanism’ first entered the political lexicon in 1900, when the Trinidadian barrister, Henry Sylvester Williams, then based in London called a conference of black people to ‘…protest stealing of lands in the colonies, racial discrimination and deal with all other issues of interests to blacks’.1

It was however, in 1919 when the New Afrikan scholar and political activist, Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, convened what he called the first Pan African Congress in Paris that the Pan African Congress series, of which the 7th Pan African Congress was a continuation, came into being.

However, while the years 1900 and 1919 can be confidently cited as important reference points for the Pan African movement, the movement stretches much farther into the distant history of our people….the roots of the Pan Afrikan movement can be traced right back to the ravages of the first European slave ships to touch the Afrikan coast, some five hundred years back. In this connection, it’s not at all surprising that the founders of Pan-Afrikanism, as well as some of it’s leading warriors, have been Afrikans from the diaspora, who are descendants of the millions of Afrikans captured in the transatlantic slave trade.

Explaining the diasporan origin of Pan Africanism as a movement, W.E.B Du Bois has noted, Africans in the Diaspora tend to look to Africa as one united continent, one unit, mainly because they cannot trace their particular roots. 2

Moreover, the desire to cease being slaves was necessarily accompanied by the desire to go back home – to Africa. The precursors of Pan Afrikanism as we know it today are all the Back to Africa movements that sprung up in Ayiti, Brazil, Cuba, the US, and the rest of the Carribean during the early nineteenth century.

It was the ‘Back to Africa’ movement that for the ‘first’ time conceived of Africa as a ‘nation having socioeconomic and political problems that needed to be confronted on the basis of a Pan African strategy. At the same time, the Back to Africa movement made it imperative for the diasporan Afrikans to focus their attention on the problems of the continent. Apart from protesting the conditions of slavery under which they were living, the Back to Africa movement also called for the abolition of colonialism in Afrika.

The legendary Marcus Garvey is the most famous of the pioneers of the return to Afrika movement.3

Pan Africanism can thus be said to have its origin in the struggles of the Afrikan people against the enslavement and colonization of their people by extra Afrikan forces. Under the relenting onslaught of Pan Afrikanism, especially since the (1945) 5th Pan African Congress of Manchester, most countries on the Afrikan continent ultimately regained their independence. However, the regaining of independence did not end colonialism but only transformed it into neo-colonialism: political independence without economic independence……….

The (road to and from the) 7th Pan African Congress….if one must summarize in a few words what was significant about the 7th PAC and state what makes it distinct from all previous congresses, they must be: African women participated fully in the Congress but more than participating they formed PAWLO. From now onwards it will no longer be possible to write women out of the history of Pan Africanism. Attendance lists of previous congresses read too much like a register of an old boys’ school….but the 7th PAC (was supposed to have) changed this. We can(?) now talk of a movement that is reflective of all sectors of our society. To ensure this is permanent the women formed PAWLO, not as a rival to the global movement but as an equal partner, fighting together, striking separately, in our joint struggle.

 

Notes

1W.E.B Du Bois in ‘Origins of the Pan African movement’

2 Du Bois, ‘Origins of the Pan African movement’

3 For a summary of Marcus Garvey’s writings and his role in the Pan Afrikan movement see Amy Jacques Garvey with E.V Essienudom, Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey Vol.2, London: Frank Cass, 1977

from Pan Africanism Politics, Economy and Social Change in the Twenty-first century

[II] A People’s History of East Afrika:

Impersonating the People’s voices and the Rise of the Praetorian regime by Hilary Mulialia

Let’s start with a reality check. The Kenyan public has never been aware of itself as a people. They have never been a nation and have never acted as one.

A nation is a group of people who have common values, customs, language, origins and history. The claim to nationality stems from their possession of one or more of these aspects as “unique” to themselves.

Apart from their definition as a colonial unit of administration, “Kenyans” have nothing that is common and unique to them.

Nations are built by visionaries. Visionaries in positions of leadership who present a value so appealing that it is adopted into the hearts of the people and changes their every aspect of life, creating a new sense of identity.

It is from this identity that a “nation” speaks. It is values and principles that are the true Principals of a nation. It is these values and principles that speak for the nation.

 All the things that are now happening in the name of “Kenyans” are the machinations of a few individuals or small groups of individuals acting in the name of the people. These people have expropriated the self-determination and expression of the people unto themselves. They have conjured up ideas that work in their interests and have then used the media and the state machinery of administration to plant these ideas into the masses who then go repeating these mantras without internalizing the true meanings of the words they speak.

The individual and selfish interests of this small group are protected within a system of authoritarianism, where those who are above in the chain of command have complete authority over those below them. They work to create a strong Neo-colonial state (under the global Imperial State) where they play the role of the Praetorian Guard.

The Praetorian Guard

The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Roman army whose primary responsibility was to protect the emperor and his family. They quickly became a force unto themselves, began to determine who was to become emperor and severally eliminated emperors who refused to abide by their ever growing greed for power and privilege.

Today in Kenya (and Africa in general), there has risen a class of intellectuals, lawyers, writers, editors and charismatic individuals (in the name of politicians and some pastors) who have occupied the position of the Praetorian Guard.

Their main task is to defend the ideals of Eurocentric Imperialism (European centered control) and also to create the environment it needs to thrive. They are rewarded with powerful positions in the local socio-political arena.

Even though they all work through different lines of command, they are all obligated to a central power, a center that funds all their operations and to whom they are all loyal to. As they say “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.

The top of these classes have come together to form a consortium that has full control over the masses. They regulate and direct the governance, economics, socialization and the people’s way of thinking towards the ideals of Neo-liberalism and into the clutches of Western Imperialism.

This is the true local power.

We are now under a Praetorian Regime!

 

Quick Background

There has always been a struggle, by a few conscious individuals and sometimes groups in this country, to liberate the African people from the ever evolving systems of suppression they have been under.

There is a lie going round that “Kenyans” have been fighting for reforms for the last 20 years. This ignorance is being perpetuated by those who want us to deny our sovereignty and self-efficacy (ability to effect). They want us to believe that we only started to fight for reforms when the Americans decided that we should. This is a lie.

Before we go around falsely accusing the masses of having made this or that decision, or that they want this or that article or kind of change, let’s go back to the beginning of our statehood to understand the Kenyan public and its involvement in change.

Less than a couple of years after independence, it was clear that;

  1. There were beasts inside the house. The ruling regime was a beastly ensemble of thieves and murderers who went all out to silence the likes of Pio Gama Pinto and J M Kariuki along with the remnants of the Mau Mau for trying to speak out to Kenyans and letting them know that this is not the independence that they fought for. The entire Executive had gone on a looting spree and accumulated for themselves vast resources that rightfully belonged to the masses. Other principled individuals, like Joseph Murumbi (the then vice-president), opted out of the game and engaged in his own creative aspirations.
  2. The System was fundamentally flawed. The constitution that we had adopted was an imperialist document which simply continued the colonial system of governance, the whole kit and caboodle, with the only changes being the color of the people manning the seats. In fact before independence, the main issue among the Africans was on the number of Africans being included in parliament. It was when the wave of independence from West and Franco Africa finally hit our borders that a hastily prepared Jomo Kenyatta was returned from seclusion and instated to the position of Prime Minister, a renamed Governor- under a queen, in the same mansion and all. It was only after one year of questioning that we dropped the Royal link and declared ourselves a republic with a president, even though the system of administration and the relations of power between the people and the government had remained the same.

Of course, the masses did not understand what was going on and apart from a few expressions of public anger during moments of extreme and explicit violence against their heroes; the masses went on with their lives, oblivious of their own pain.

At this point we need to ask ourselves certain important questions and answer them as we enter the next phase of our national development.

  • Where was the international community when Kenyans and other Africans were traumatized under the dictatorship of greedy brutes like Jomo Kenyatta and Mobutu Sese Seko?
  • How come there was no popular uprising in these and other African countries that would have lead to overthrows of dictatorships or at least led to the redrafting of imperial constitutions?
  • How come there is so much energy and resources available today to do these activities at a time when the urgency to do so is less than it was in “the dark days” of our advent?

Kenyatta was a feared man, and when he passed away in 1978, there was a silent sigh of relieve mixed with state orchestrated mourning in a ceremony which was overseen by Daniel Arap Moi, the Vice president who was to rise to the position of the second president of this country.

Moi was more of the same. In a short while, he had managed to consolidate power so well that the only way to remove him from power was to overthrow him.

Now, when there was a military uprising in 1982, not only were the masses not included in what many today agree was a necessary evil (to relieve us from the Draconian rule of Daniel Arap Moi), but these same masses were, of the view that the people responsible were some devil-possessed individuals who were out to destroy our “heaven of peace, love and unity”. Several individuals were held responsible and executed as the masses cheered.

The mid-eighties saw another mass-less strive for relief from totalitarianism. A group of Marxist Lecturers, under the label of “December Twelfth Movement” (DTM), started sensitizing their students on the tenets of communism. The students went ahead and organized themselves into the “Mwakenya movement” and as shouts of “people power” and greetings of “Comrade” started ringing out along the campus halls and periodically spilling out on the Nairobi streets during demos (sometimes for chapati and meatballs), the state knew exactly where to aim their clamps.

There followed a purge of all leftist leaning or speaking intellectuals along with their mind poisoning books and other literatures.

It was also during this time that the Nyayo House Torture Chambers became fully functional. Of its visitors, those who were lucky left with serious physical and psychological scars while the unlucky never even got the chance to re-emerge as corpses as the acid treatments they received completely pulverized their bodies. (You know, Kibaki was the vice-president during this time and as the second senior most executive in the regime, he owes Kenyans either an explanation or a prosecution of those whom he got intelligence of their involvement.)

Still no masses! Still no intervention by the international community! (They were too busy injecting neo-liberalism into our national veins in the name of Structural Adjustment Programs.)

External Dynamics

The fall of the 80s came with a global change that was to affect our internal governance for the second time in our history. At this point we need to illuminate on the relation between external causes and internal effects on the history of Kenya. We shall call this “geopolitics”. For this, we shall take a quick step back, just for clarity, before we resume.

The first geopolitical cause that resulted in a beneficial effect for the Kenyan people was the African revolution.

Now, let’s face the truth! The Mau Mau struggle had been fully contained in 1956 with the capture of Dedan Kimathi and their fate was eventually sealed by his execution in February 1957. Our destiny was on the same path as the South Africans and the Zimbabweans (and judging by the level and number of collaborators and others willing to sell their kin for profit, Kenya could have still been under colonial rule even today).

Luckily for us and many other countries, there had been an ideological battle between a collection of African minds (who included Nkrumah, Toure, Cabral) and the existing imperial ideologies which had conquered African minds. These revolutionaries united as Africans, managed to liberate the minds of their populations whose masses engaged their occupiers at the highest level of thought and this proved to the dominators that they were indeed dealing with intelligent beings capable of strategizing and ejecting them from this land.

Things then started moving very fast, though most of this movement was away from the sight and knowledge of the Kenyan masses. The Ghanaians won their right to self determination and Nkrumah immediately declared that “the independence of Ghana means nothing without the liberation of the rest of Africa”. In 1958, at the African Independent States Conference (at the time only 8 (mostly Maghreb) African countries were liberated), it was vowed by those present that Africa will not rest until all foreign occupiers leave.

It is through this actions and the resultant wave that independence landed on the Kenyan masses. This was after another 25 countries had been granted their independence in this 5 year period. The only hiccup for us is that the British selected Jomo Kenyatta, a man whose character they understood well and whom they knew was going to protect their interests at our expense. They were right!

The Second Geopolitical Cause. The end of the Cold War brought about a second shift in dynamics.

Before the dawn of the 90s, the west was strategically placing and maintaining despotic leaders over third world countries. Two main reasons;

  1. Greedy despotic leaders would be easy to compromise with kickbacks and they would readily allow for the rape of their natural and national resources by foreigners because (and we can’t over emphasize this) even though they had the intellectual capacity to understand the true value of their resources, they did not have the moral capacity to understand the damage they were doing to their people.
  2. Most importantly, in their war against communism which came with the promise of people power, the Liberal West needed to plant individuals with extreme totalitarian tendencies who would viciously crash any form of popular uprising. Communism (liberalism’s antithesis) was the biggest threat to their dominance and everything else (including the then almost half-a-century old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was being violated by their key African partners) was secondary. Corruption or murder, nothing could stand in the way of the political goodwill and financial support that these leaders regularly received.

The events that were happening in Eastern Europe, even though totally unknown to the Kenyan masses, were about to have a serious effect on Africa and the other third world countries.

As the USSR, a key supporter of socialist and communist movements worldwide, started disintegrating, the world knew that time for change had come. The fall of the Berlin wall signaled the start of the next phase of the new world order.

Now that the immobilizing threat of communism was out of the way, the purpose of the despotic and totalitarian goons (in the names of presidents) was now over. The question that was eating at the West was now; how to rid these resource filled territories, of the old guards (literally) and bring in a new kind of supervisor who would be able to run the more advanced system of expropriation and exploitation.

Suddenly, the lonely and oppressed voices of dissidents living in foreign lands started to be heard very loudly. This was echoed within the country by a few disillusioned and now fully co-opted (read corrupted) former Marxists from the Mwakenya movement (or at least those knowledgeable in revolutionary ideology) still living in the country.

Then one morning, Kenyans woke up to a group of seven “liberators” riding on top of an old rusty “Toyota Stout” pick-up into the now famous Kamkunji grounds waving two fingers in the air and screaming something like “we must repeal section 2A of the Constitution”. The Kenyan masses had no idea what the constitution was let alone what section 2A read like.

Under the Generalship of one “rogue Ambassador” called Smith Hempstone, (a former correspondent whose views were so right- wing that he had been kicked out of several Conservative newspapers)  the Imperial powers (we can stop calling them the International Community) managed to marshal all the Kenyan dissidents to sing in chorus “multi-party now!”.

With the assistance of Hempstone’s fat pockets, the dissidents managed to marshal enough media to convince Kenyans that the repeal of Section 2A and the introduction of many parties were good for them. Soon the whole republic was chanting and waving the two-finger salute without having ever seen the document or understanding its contents. Nobody told them that parties were just cohorts of grabbers teaming up to outdo each other.

All was good and the (Imperial Powers) IPs were about to rid themselves of this unnecessary “cold war” baggage called Moi.

Now Moi, the self-made professor of politics, read into this scheme very quickly. He quickly analyzed the game and realized that the person who being prepared to replace him was none other than his own minister for foreign affairs, the eloquent speaking Robert Ouko. He had been anointed as the next leader of this country and if nothing was done about it, he was indeed going to be the next president of Kenya. This could not be allowed to happen!

His elimination created a huge vacuum in the leadership of the new rebellion, but for the right wing ambassador, there was just one emergence that he could not stand. When it became clear that the soviet trained communist called Jaramogi Odinga was now leading the line-up to replace the old despot, he quickly moved for an alternative that would prove his undoing. Remember, communism is a greater enemy to the IPs than any other form of extremism.

As they quickly settled on the first Capitalist they could think of, they hastily organized a contingent to visit and convince Kenneth Matiba, the hotel magnate who was exiled in London, to come back and replace his former torturer, Daniel Arap Moi. They soon realized that, during his detention by Moi, the man had been damaged beyond repair. Besides, he was spreading dangerous and unacceptable ideas like; ‘the Indians are over-running our economy and need to be expelled’. Unfortunately, the ball was already rolling and the now schizophrenic man was running around believing he was a messiah who had come to save the country. He was unstoppable.

Understanding the game, Mwai Kibaki, a former vice-president and close cohort of Moi, realized that he was not a target of the purge, but was actually an asset in the neo-liberal dispensation that was being advocated for. With his economic credentials at hand, he broke ranks with his former master and positioned himself as an alternative propagator of the Liberal Agenda and a recipient of funding and support from the west.

With the field of presidential candidates growing by the day, the field getting murkier and the opposition unity now a dream, Moi managed to breeze through the 1992 election with a clear lead over the divided opposition.

The masses went back to their businesses and quickly accepted their “now” reality of President Moi.

This was one strand in the string of many Imperial Powers’ failures to remove planted dictators. The other notable attempts to remove out-of-favor incumbents included Desert Storm (to remove Saddam Hussein) a couple of years earlier, and the seriously bungled Battle of Mogadishu (1993) which had them running back to their drawing boards to come up with a new strategy.

Despite losing the battle, they had won critical ground which would ease their work in the future; they had managed to insert a two-term limit on the Kenyan presidency which meant that Moi had to leave in ten years time.

Now, all they needed was patience… and planning.

The Agenda of Reforms and the Building of an Elite Guard!

There was a new game to be played and it required new players- with new skills. Soon, there was a bevy of students and “activists” flying north-west to America. Destination- Havard!

New programs were started in this and other Ivy-league schools to train a new variety of guards, this time not political despots, but as a new guard of imperial interests and ideals. They joined groups of first-draft picks from other third world countries who were being trained to be a part of the new elite. An elite who were to acquire a great hunger for everything American and would serve their Anglo-American masters unquestioningly.

These were to be the Praetorian Guards of their dominions (countries) whose main task was to plant Imperialism at the centre of our governance system, defend it as the principal governor and to implement its policies despite local interests and governments.

They were to serve as checks the local heads of state and give regular reports to the central powers. On their recommendation, presidents, judges, heads of state and leaders of other institutions were to be appointed.

They are the feelers, informers and actors of the Imperial powers in the third world countries. They run big Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations which act as channels for funding the neo-liberal agenda on the ground. These organizations as a network command a lot of power since they receive a lot of intelligence from the grassroots organizations in the name of project proposals and reports.

Members of the Praetorian Guard were also to serve as heads of donor institutions such as the Ford Foundation, Action Aid, USAID and even United Nations programs. By directing the billions of shillings which go through these institutions, they have managed to muster unbelievable clout.

They were later to serve as heads of permanent commissions set up inside neo-colonial governments as part of the “conditionalities” of foreign funding, and it is through these in-government foreign controlled institutions that the Imperial Powers have managed to wrestle local governments to sub-mission. Not only do they have massive intelligence from the grassroots organizations, they also have relatively good access to government intelligence. This considered, they have more intelligence about this (or any other third world) country than the official government does. As we know, intelligence is key to governance and is the most protected institution within any state.

They were also to manifest as writers and editors. Their opinion articles are guaranteed publishing in the commercial print as all media houses are guaranteed fat cheques if they run their (press) statements as headline news.

They were also to co-opt other highly skilled members of the public, including corrupted intellectuals, into their regime. One of these intellectuals was to later rise to the position of Prefect, the Head of the Praetorian Guard.

New Strategy: Control/Create public opinion, control the state.

As the fresh guards started streaming back into the country in the mid-nineties, the cries of reform started getting louder and reached a crescendo in 1997 when the American trained choir was leading the country in the chorus of “No Reform, No Election”.

One of the tools they had learnt to use was that of propaganda.

The eyes see, the ears hear… the mind believes!

They started engaging their campaign through the media. The consuming masses did not have the platform to interrogate these new forces and verify the truth or substance of their statements. The guards grew as a virtual force, without ever really touching the ground.

Used well, propaganda plants ideas into the masses’ minds. With time and persistence, these ideas gain familiarity and soon enough, the receiver becomes the idea and the receiver becomes the transmitter. (There have been great advancements in mass control from the days of Edward Bernays “Propaganda” to more sophisticated discoveries such as Pavlovian Conditioning and Memetics . Not to forget other techniques used in modern day advertising which creates irrational impulses and compulsive behaviors.)

They then create a force among the public which is what is known as “public pressure”.

On getting this cue, the so called international community then acts as if to respond to the cries of the people, though they know very well that they are the initiators of the sentiments through their local propaganda machinery. (What about you… what informs your opinions?)

Bowing to international pressure (the usual threats of stopped donor funding) and the hail of fire coming in from the new public relations strategy, the incumbent agreed to the reform package that had been put together by the Inter-Parties Parliamentary group which had been convened the previous year. Gauging by some of the demands presented in the package, which included “fast-tracking the registration of more political parties”, Moi knew that these guys were not ready to unite. He called for the elections… and won!

The next five years were to see major realignments as parties shifted in and out of the government and individuals in and out of the parties, as it became clear that there were no principles, values or morals involved and that the game was a “no holds barred” scramble for executive seats.

Moi was ready to bow out, but not before securing his property rights by preparing to install as president, his protégé and son of the first president; one Uhuru Kenyatta. There was a breakout in the ruling party camp and an exodus of disgruntled “handover hopefuls”, led by a suspected socialist, Raila Odinga.

Uniting the Opposition

Intervention was required. In came the prefect of the Praetorian Guard (He is currently the head of one of the American donor agencies. His movements are strictly behind the scenes where he is known by all those who seek power in this country. In public, he rears his head as an opinion columnist in the Saturday Standard under the pseudonym “Cabral Pinto”, a play on the names of two Africa revolutionaries- Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau and Pio Gama Pinto of Kenya. Will the real Cabral Pinto please stand up!)

With the weight of the Imperial Powers behind his back, he had managed to bring together the three main opposition candidates at that time. The first MOU, which was never publicized, divided power between Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party (DP), Charity Ngilu of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)and Michael “Kijana” Wamalwa. This agreement created the National Alliance of Kenya (NAK) party and was witnessed by the PG prefect on behalf of the Anglo-Americans. A united opposition was an almost guaranteed win (and change of regime).

When Raila entered the opposition scene, he threatened to split the opposition vote and somehow he had to be reeled in. Another MOU was quickly drawn up to accommodate the new members that he had managed to drag out of the KANU regime. They drew up a new constitution between themselves, a power sharing agreement that saw the creation of new positions in government.

The reserved positions were President and Vice-President, Prime-Minister and two Deputy Prime-Ministers. These are the positions that were to be “constitutionalized”. The Prefect was again present to guarantee the backing of the Imperial powers, who would ensure that the MOU would be adhered to the letter. All the members present, who represented the eight provinces of this country, were to form the central and advisory committee to be known as the “Summit”.

As this outfit was presented to the world as the “Second Liberation”, it escaped everyone’s attention that apart from one of them, the rest of the members were once a core part of the oppressive KANU regime and that they were in fact using money stolen from the public to start off their campaigns.

They were also mortgaging the nation’s assets to foreigners whom they would have to pay back by giving them undue advantage over local players in the name of “foreign Investors”. They were after all comprador bourgeoisies (local interest holders of the International Capitalists) who were already partnering with finance capital holders from the Imperial centre on their exploitation ventures.

This group had no common values or interests. They were only brought together by their common greed and “Moi Must Go” was their only common objective. Sure enough with this self-hypnotic mantra, they swept through the country in a euphoric wave that admittedly caught every one off guard.

They had made numerous promises of which the most outstanding was “a new constitution in 100 days”.

Here we will make a note which Kenyan History has been dying to forget. A very principled man called Joe Donde, submitted himself as a presidential candidate. This was a man who, slightly more than a year earlier, had single handedly taken on the banks and financial institutions in this country. Under the liberalized markets, the banks had loosed themselves of any kind of regulation and were raising interest rates arbitrarily. People who had borrowed (mostly by mortgaging their homes) at 8% found themselves facing 40% interest rates, with the principles literally doubling every two years.

Homes were lost, businesses closed down, marriages and families broken, hopes killed. Those in government were not willing to act since they were the same ones who owned these banks or were political patrons of the same. Only a brave man could dare stand up to these financial ogres.

Even as Donde stood up for the people and presented what came to be known as the Donde bill, he faced massive resistance from a combination of banking industry lobbyists and bank share-holder who were members of the house. He fought bravely but was no match for the billions of shillings which were openly exchanged in the parliament corridors to shoot down the bill.

He lost the motion. Believing that he had proved his heart and capacity, he declared his interest for the presidency. When he looked around, he realized that he was alone. Other than James Orengo, his tribes-mate, there was no one within sight of their campaign. No NGOs supporting his righteousness and his move to help the poor masses improve their lives substantially. No foundations donating towards his campaign. No churches saying that here stands a man with the “spirit of good” who has laid down his life so that you may sleep in a stone house. No media support… nothing.

His crimes…? He did not submit himself to the praetorian command and had threatened the interest and stability of the financial institutions.

They do not care about good, only about complete control on behalf of their imperial masters.

A New Executive Officer

2002

Moi’s protégé lost and the world joined Kenya in celebrating the victory over oppression. It wasn’t long before the Objective Reality started sinking in; Mwai Kibaki was an opportunistic exploiter who had no drop of honor in him. He had no sense of “national good”.

He violated all agreements between himself and the summit, himself and the constitution, and even between himself and morality. All agreements were thrown to the wolves as some members of his “Kitchen Cabinet” (made up of his drinking buddies and which had replaced the summit) went on record in public gatherings saying that; they never meant to change anything, it was all a ploy to get Moi out of power.

Nothing changed. Even the masses who had started acting out change on the streets by resisting corruption soon found themselves alone in the venture. Corruption was still rife, all the way to the top, and soon the masses found themselves back where they began.

The constitution making process, which had until now been a low profile event (with the departure of the tyrant), was once again brought to the fore as Raila Odinga picked it as a battering ram to force his way to his promised position of Prime-Minister.

As Yash Pal Ghai, the head of the Constitutional making process, once admitted, the process was yanked off its tracks and out of his control as the two powerful forces mobilized their troops and ripped it apart as the battle for the control of the state shifted to this platform.

The bone of contention was the “non-executive prime-minister”. Raila felt he was being denied his promised position of “Executive prime-minister” as per the MOU. He showed his might by splitting the country into two. He declared it was 41 tribes against 1 tribe.

First Referendum

2005

 In came the masses! People who could not figure out, which is the right side of the road to walk on while going to look for a non-mental job at the farm or in the in un-dignifying Indian-run factories suddenly had very strong opinions on whether this country needs a Prime-Minister with executive powers, a Ceremonial head of state or a parliamentary system with a separate calendar and the powers to impeach the president.

What came out very clearly was that the Kenyan people have at their core, tribal identities which overcome all their other identities including spiritual or educational. Their opinions were- almost to the last man- based on their tribal affinities. It didn’t matter, fish-monger or professor, those from the western part of Kenya thought that the constitution was bad and needed to be done away with. Around the mountain, it was the opposite, priest or pauper, they all supported the proposed constitution.

The Praetorian Guard, which was duty bound to support the MOU it had facilitated, had been instrumental in ensuring it was captured in the first draft, which had been known as the “Bomas Draft”. They supported the “No” campaign which had become synonymous with supporting the “Bomas” position of an “Executive prime-minister”.

Despite having all the state machinery at its disposal, the sitting government of Kibaki and his Mount Kenya cronies were no match for the praetorian led Imperial forces who managed to twist the public in Railas favor.

Well, the referendum failed to pass the proposed constitution and it was soon forgotten about as the groups that had been formed around the two campaigns became “movements”, with one even adopting its campaign name for a party name. Since these movements had no ideals but the grabbing of power, the greed and mistrust in their midst caused the key players to take off in different routes.

Important note!

The Praetorian Guard and the Imperial powers don’t really care who takes power between Kibaki, Raila, Musyoka or any other politician who holds a substantial interest in the current economic dispensation. They know that these individuals would not jeopardize their interests by changing the foundations of the system. For as long as the ‘Title Deed’ is held sacred, then their land holdings shall remain protected. For as long as long as the person in power has retained some wealth in the stock markets, no law shall interfere with Bonds and Stocks. Once one has tasted the easy money of being a local partner (protector) of a foreign investment, they will always be open to new opportunities of commodifying critical aspects of the people’s lives and selling them to these foreigners for a minimal profit.

Once one has been corrupted, they always stand to be corrupted some more. To survive and rise in this corrupted system, one has to be corrupt. The Praetorian Guards are masters at corruption. It is their primary weapon of control.

What is important for them is that they identify those with power, or with potential for power, induct them into the principles of liberalism, bind them with material trappings (easy money to change their lifestyles irreversibly) and give them a stake in the capitalist system. Once they are in, fund their activities (and eventually their campaigns), create strong strings of control, then shove them into the political playing field.

Today, almost all the faces that make it to the public’s attention especially through the mass media, have been made by the Praetorian Guard. Those who have tried to make their way through other channels e.g. media personalities, have found the political field tough and have either agreed to fall under the praetorian’s command or have found themselves in the cold. Even their previous ventures have been destroyed.

This is the nature of the Praetorian Regime.

2007

 As the masses were driven into a frenzy over the elections, the Imperial Powers strategically placed themselves behind all campaigns. The three paramount chiefs Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, were seen criss-crossing Europe and North America pledging their loyalty to whoever will fund their campaigns. Upon their every return they were greeted as “descending gods” by their fully supplicated tribal followers.

Through the direction of the local guard, the Global powers channeled their support for the different campaigns through the different corporations and foundations which exist for such purposes. A lot of the financing and support also went to the media who besides running campaigns for these three horses, also ran separate campaigns for the election process itself. Anyone refusing to be caught up in this madness was labeled an “unpatriotic idiot”.

There was pressure from every angle. Expectations were unrealistic. Turn-outs were impressive. There was only one way to go…

2008

What we will never know for sure is who won the 2007 Kenya Presidential elections.

What we now know for sure is the greed for power that all our leaders possess. They engaged the highest level of brinkmanship that saw all players hold their positions at the expense of the rising death toll and displacement of the naïve masses.

With Kibaki unleashing uniformed and armed thugs on the masses and Raila pushing the same masses to go out to the streets to fight for him, Kenya exploded into a thousand social pieces with community turning on community in blind anger.

Even though in the beginning it was chaotic with every man and woman for hirself, it quickly transformed itself into a tribal (as was now being reported in the international media) conflict but just as quickly, it became a struggle about “Haki yetu!”

Soon Haki Yetu wasn’t about Raila, it was about land and resources as the disenfranchised grabbed at whatever they felt was rightfully theirs. The land wars were especially ugly in the Rift Valley where Kikuyus who had been perceived as encroachers were now being rounded up and expelled or killed.

It then started turning revolutionary.

As a diplomat from Latin America, experienced in revolutions, pointed out; “the objective conditions (the ground) are ideal for a revolution but the subjective conditions (ideals and capacities) are lacking”.

Two things led to the quick response from the Imperial Powers (remember that these are the same guys who sat back and watched over a million Rwandese die before even their media bothered to point a camera).

  1. The revolutionary nature of the conflict. There are a number of Kenyan youth who are “conscious” and educated in ideology and were soon organizing and emphasizing on the class nature of their problems. Remember that the battles were being fought in the poor and lumpen-ised parts of the country.
  2. The Americans had lost a major strategic battle in 2007 over the location of the US AFRICOM. All African countries, apart from their puppet government of Liberia, had refused to allow the Military Command to be built on their land. The Americans had beaten a tactical retreat by stationing it in Stuttgart, Germany, while waiting for an opportune time to land it in Africa.

(US African Command is to be the US foreign policy implementer as they shift their imperial approach from manipulation and coercion to explicit militaristic force as they are already doing in the Middle East. The objectives of the command are clearly stated as securing and coordinating American interests in Africa… read more on US AFRICOM).

They need to plant a stooge in Kenya to allow them access to Kenya, which is a major port into Africa, not just for Ships (like the slave ship which is currently being loaded with dehumanized Africans), but also for ideas such as liberalism and capitalism.

Kenya is central to the expansionist interest of the Anglo-American Imperial Powers. Even without the military command, there are already major installations located in this country especially the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) not to mention the military bases and Multi National Corporation’s (MNC) region offices.

The Takeover

The Praetorian Guards quickly pulled themselves together. Fed with the experiences of guards from other countries, they saw an opportunity to entrench themselves in the system and to take over control from the lack of leadership that was immediately experienced.

Under the banner of Kenyans for Peace, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation (KPTJ), they created an information network which temporarily expanded the guard by bringing in new cadets, even though on a temporary basis. Those outside the information network but under the command of the guards now started being referred to as “Human Rights Defenders” (HRD).

(A lot of the lower rank HRDs don’t understand the game and most are driven by good intentions. The influential ones are identified through their activities and quickly co-opted into the paid ranks. Co-option usually means compromising your agency of Utu and agreeing to become an agent of Imperialism. They also introduce money as the motive behind your actions and a sense of immobility in the absence of money.)

The senior guards were soon flying around the world consulting with their Imperial heads on the seriousness of the situation, its threat to their interests and more importantly, the tactics to be assumed in cementing their control over the political class.

First… to contain the chaos.

There was a flurry of events as the Imperial Powers brought out there key diplomats to restore the situation to its previous state (what they called a state of “Normalcy”).  While former UN Sectretary-General and now Africa Chief, Kofi Annan was in the country as mediator, the US Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice was seen dropping in during moments of stalled negotiations as the US president George Bush was turning neighboring Tanzania into a podium for issuing threats and ultimatums to the two Kenyan principals.

With a stern reminder of how the popular Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was declared an abomination by the Media Machine before being executed in public, the leaders were forced to sign a document they knew was impractical, lest the same happens to them. They shook hands in front of the cameras as a signal for their troops to withdraw. They did!

The IP had usurped Kenya’s sovereignty and placed it in the hands of the Praetorian Guard. Their control was now public as they became the overseers of the pact. Any problems were reported to them. Where they were unable to address the situation, a simple call to Kofi Annan saw our two principals running around trying to placate the African chief.

The new hook of control was the International Criminal Court. Known for its ability to prosecute sitting presidents, it cast a shadow of death over the political landscape in the forms of; the UN rights violations investigator, Phillip Alston and the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who were regularly reported to be flying in and out of the country.

Then there was a list. Anyone’s name could have been in that list. Everyone behaved.

The leadership was now fully under the control of the Imperial Powers.

Silencing the Cries

Now, to silence the noise of change that was coming from a few conscious elements…

The resistance on the ground was organizing itself into a people’s movement. The masses were being educated on their interests. The “people” were becoming political. This needed to be stopped.

The machine that they had created to remove dictator Moi was now starting to work against them. It needed to be decommissioned. The “Reform” agenda had to be put to rest.

A committee of experts was quickly engineered with a make up that was fully donor-dependent almost to the last man and woman. Comprising some of their best international legal “mercenaries” as foreign experts, the Imperial Powers created a committee from their list of “consultants” and NGO heads that was itself fully donor supported.

The draft they came up introduced nothing new. It wasn’t meant to!

It simply converted to legal jargon the existing governance framework and changed the name of a few institutions and positions just for confusion purposes.

It had also attempted to constitutionalise the Imperial controlled commissions but this was checked by a few MPs who didn’t understand the game.

The cosmetic changes in the so-called Bill of Rights means nothing if power is not devolved to the grassroots and people allowed to organize their own democratic government at the village level. Central power MUST be totally contained. Focus must be shifted. (This decentralization will be addressed in subsequent articles.)

The Americans (at the centre of imperialism) don’t want change. They have fought to maintain the same structure of government which they understand very well is anti-people and regressive. This is a new document but not a new constitution.

Despite this, they have directed their guards to shut down any dissenting voices.

Using the same tactic of shutting down communications during times of possible rebellion, they have created a state of emergency which has seen them gazette a draconian act which threatens to lock anyone whose “free expression” on the electronic is contrary to their position.

They have further shut down Mombasa for 100 days under the guise of a drug crack down.

The NGO and CSO have been excessively funded to campaign for this document in the name of “civic education” which in truth is a process of herding the masses to accept this deception.

The media have become so partisan in the ongoing debate that one can’t help see that they are acting out of interest instead of Media objectivity. Here too, dissenting voices are not given any space.

The politicians are fully checked… what with the hovering ghost of the post-election violence threatening to imprison their principals. To boot, Luis Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor jets in just to remind agenda resistors what lays ahead for them if they refuse to toe the line.

And the people… the people have been quiet… until now.

(Can the Argentine Lawyer, Luis Moreno Ocampo, also look north from his home to the US and in the same spirit with which he investigated Omar Bashir [a sitting president of a non-signatory country of the Rome Statute] to also investigate George Bush and his partners in the Military Industrial Complex for starting a war on a false premise and being responsible for the deaths of over 1.2 million (and counting) Iraqis to date. It should be easier to arrest him since he is no longer the sitting president.

UN Special Investigator, Phillip Alston, Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, can you first investigate your nation-mate on the same said atrocities? Or will being a beneficiary of the Iraqi oil-output that the US now controls tint the view on your spectacles of justice. We as Africans will have more faith in what you are doing if we see that you are truly objective. As our fathers told us “kill the snake in your house before you call yourself a snake-hunter!”)

Why Do They Want Us To Accept This Document?

The infamous Berlin Conference treaty included what is called the Principle of Effectivity.

The Principle of Effectivity stated that powers could hold colonies only if they actually possessed them: in other words, if they had treaties with local chiefs, if they flew their flag there, and if they established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order (Uti Possidetis- Latin for “as you possess”, is a principle in international law that territory and other property remains with its possessor at the end of a conflict, unless provided for by treaty). The colonial power also had to make use of the colony economically. If the colonial power did not do these things, another power could do so and take over the territory. It therefore became important to get chiefs to sign a protectorate treaty and to have a presence sufficient to police the area.

As the Americans move in to control our state, they have satisfied almost all the conditions of this principle. Their flag (the logo of USAID with their flag) is present in almost all government departments and parastatals that they already control (also in NGOs and CBOs). They have established an administration in the name of “Civil Society Organisations”. A covert police force (and informers) so powerful, that our highest political officer dares not offend lest he is taken to the International courts (this is besides the terrorist police who are already operating despite the failure of the Anti-terrorism bill that was supposed to usher them in officially).

And now for the clincher- They want the masses (who are the sovereign in the country) to sign a document that binds them to a system of governance where a small group of people preside over a disempowered public. A document the people will be unable to change or replace. A document that goes against the principle of bottoms-up approach to power that is a true people government.

A document that creates an Imperial structure (with a throne), where the Praetorian Guard will determine who the puppet-king shall be. A puppet who like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (of Liberia), will say yes to the re-occupation of Africa by foreign forces (and values).

The same trinkets given in the 19th century to planted African “chiefs” to sell their people and heritage are today being given in the form of aid and project funding.

Are we more conscious than we were back then? Or is it true that Africans are indeed gullible apes?

You decide!

What is to be done?

We must reject this foreign backed process and document.

We speak not out of hate for anyone, but from Utu, the Spirit and Sense of unity, within which there is true love for humanity and for the equality and dignity of all.

We must be very clear that we are not siding with the likes of Ruto and Moi (who are defending their ill-gotten wealth) but that we are acting out of consciousness, understanding (of our history) and most of all, a deep love for our motherland.

We must then immediately start organizing ourselves.

We must organize in every village and neighborhood.

We must bring the people together in forums and peoples parliaments, where each and every person will have the space to express themselves.

We must express our most urgent needs as a people. We must listen to each others greatest fears, passions and inspirations.

We must solve our most immediate problems- First!

Let us contend on how will use all our land to feed our starving selves and not on how long we will lease it to foreigners.

Let us contend on how we will house each and every young couple in a permanent abode and not on how we will kill their babies cause they have nowhere to take them.

Let us discuss how will build a new nation on new values and identities and not let foreign religious ideologies that separate brother from brother.

Let us build families and communities; communities where your neighbor is your brother/sista regardless of which background they come from.

Then out of the communities, let us build a new nation. A nation of people, bound by the spirit of Utu!

Let the nation form the state. A state run by a people’s government!

A government of the people, for the people and by the People!

A nation of love!

[a is for] a video diary of The ‘Q’ werd

betwixt en between: m is for molisa(n.)

on love,  truth, justice & reconciliation

coming out stories

I (not-so) secretly would like to be married to jus 2 (or 2 more) of all the kings en queens that have walked on this earth en that live today….children of oya, ogun, shango (en others…)

I am a(n. Afrikan)  wom(b)an (been) in love with 2 (wo)men, all met betwixt en between, in another place not here (my story is not new)….  I confess that if I had my wishes fulfilled, I would be married to at least 3 queens en a king, yes I am (unfortunately nowadays marginalised for being) non-monogamous, that’s my coming out story.

 I confess that even though I’m ‘mostly’ out of the closet, in deference to overwhelming majorities, en the likelihood that ‘the one(s)’ might be one-woman-shacking-up type o’ folks, I have proven time en again to be not only willing to settle with monogamy, but secretly hope that I might be enough for one person. coz I really don’t know how many ‘partners’ I can handle, the truth is I’ve never actually being in a committed ‘non-monogamous relationship, so it’s fair to suppose that I might NOT  be non-monogamous in the first place at all, it could jus be a subjective ideal, a case of wishes & horses, or it could be my memory en hints in the fluidity of relationships, it could just be that monogamy is not appealing or logical to me (or many others), I mean why marry just one, if you could build a revolushunary village with 10? why NOT  have whatever your heart desires, as long as it’s consensual? And, technically one could argue that ‘monogamy’ is un-African, (one of the myriad of imposed imperialist/western values)

it’s simple really….in the end, I’ll have whoever I want to be with for life that not only wants to be with me, but shares my dreams en hopes for better lives, to raise pikney en farm (for real!), (re)build communities of love, justice, (peace) en truth

Ukweli ni, I’d be satisfied with  ‘one’ coz I haven’t met any yet that have wanted to marry not jus’ me, but a few others, besides the bigger point of THIS hadithi is not who I want to share my life with, but how we’re re/connecting with the ones we’ve been looking for….

 [C is] the crux: we ’ve heard (more than) a few hadithi about eshu, obatala, ogun, Olokun, orunmile, osanyin, oshun, oya, shango, en Yemoja, but only a couple of versions of mumbi en nambi. It (almost) always goes that mumbi births 9+1 daughtas with (a)G….., en nambi, daughta of G, marries kintu, at least that’s (part of) the crux. The bigger point is most of it seems to be lost under centuries of whitewash(ing), and our freedom is hinged on going back for not only what we have forgotten, but that, which has been distorted & exploited, like the story of c(ee),

n is for nneke/d. Is for: parts of herstory

See stories will only get us started, the rest of what we (don’t) say are our actions. The work we do to make our dreams happen, this IS the Q werd, a journey that begins with the realities of (more than 9+1) dadas.in.solidarity.

The interviews are real, the events are not fictional, these are OUR pan-afrikan postcards, in the spirit of the biggest holiday this moon, African Liberation Day, and in honour of ‘an ordinary African doing his best to unite his people’ (Taju)

Kesho, on (Agwambo Odera, Frederick Odhiambo, Gacheke Gachihi, George Nyongesa, Hilary Mulialia,  Onyango Oloo, Sam Ojiayo, Willy Mutunga, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem) 9 + 1 ALD kings (in the Q werd)

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

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

Made in Tdot

There’s a book I read called The Truth About Stories (A Native Narrative), written by Thomas King, that instantly became one of the touchstones in my (literary & spiritual) journey….I’ll tell you parts of his-story because he said that I could, and I quote…..”It’s yours. Do with it what you will. Cry over it. Get angry. Forget it. But don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”

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

(tukona) Soul.hadithi…….

‘in the beginning’ hadithi…..

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

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

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

I was born the privileged skin

and my eyes are bright, bright brown

You’d never know there is Metis blood raging underground

let me tell you a story about revelation.

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

It’s imagination. It’s imagination inside.

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

to be continued….

(some) Facts. Many Catholic scholars now deny that there was ever a female pope, but the legend of Pope Joan persists. Even the church accepted Joan’s pontificate as historical fact, up to the beginning of the 17th century.

Her portrait appeared in a row of papal busts in Siena Cathedral, labeled Johannes VIII, femina ex Anglia:

John VIII, an Englishwoman.

Pope Joan was first mentioned by her contemporary Anastasius the Librarian (d.886).

 Scotus’s chronicle of the popes listed her:

“A.D 854, Lotharii 14, Joanna, a woman, succeeded Leo, and reigned two years, five months, and four days.”……

Pope Joan many not have been so apocryphal as she is now portrayed. Part of the church’s most carefully hidden history shows that there were women in high ecclesiastical positions up to the 12th century, when they began to be deposed in Europe…….

The Papess of the Tarot Decks was often called Pope Joan. When the first Tarot decks were being (re)produced, Joan’s pontificate was universally accepted as historical fact. The card-Papess’s three-tiered tiara was the same as the headdress shown on engravings of Pope Joan…..

(but) whether Pope Joan existed or not, a curious Vatican custom arose in the wake of her legend. Candidates for the papacy had to seat themselves naked on an open stool, to be viewed through a hole in the floor by cardinals in the room below. The committee had to make its official announcement:

Testiculo habet et bene pendentes,

“he has testicles, and they hang all right.”

It seemed important that “Holy Mother Church” must never be governed by a Holy Mother….

[Blogger’s note: Pope Joan’s is a herstorical landmark in the Tdot of the Q werd. a real gender bender…….excerpt/ed from Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara Walker, p. 475]

Na bado, ni kweli kama hadithi ya……

 Juno

…had many attributes or emanations which are sometimes erroneously viewed as separate Goddesses. Juno Fortuna (Fortune), Sospita (Preserver), Regina(Queen of Heaven), Lucina(Celestial Light), Moneta (Advisor/Admonisher), Martialis (mother of Mars), Carprotina/Februa(love), Populonia (mother of the people), en so on, through many other Junos….

Among Juno’s sacred symbols were the peacock, the cowrie shell, and ofcourse, the lily, or lotus, universal yonic emblem. With her sacred lily, Juno conceived the God Mars without any assistance from her consort, Jupiter; later to be called the Blessed Virgin Juno.

The three-lobed lily that used to represent her parthenogenetic power was inherited by the ‘virgin’ Mary, who still retains it.

[The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets: p.484, Juno.]

To be continued….

blogger’s note: you probably already know this story, references to ancient Afrikan cultures are all over the net en the world….so here’s another one of them…of the gran (primeval) mama of us all  (emphasis on ‘the capital’ in the Q werd)

Adapted from http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/hathor.html

Hathor is one of the most ancient Egyptian goddesses. She was known as “the Great One of Many Names” and her titles and attributes are so numerous that she was important in every area of the life and death of the ancient Egyptians. It is thought that her worship was widespread even in the Predynastic period because she appears on the Narmer palette. However, some scholars suggest that the cow-headed goddess depicted on the palette is in fact Bast (an ancient cow goddess who was largely absorbed by Hathor) or even Narmer himself. However, she was certainly popular by the Old Kingdom as she appears with Bast in the valley temple of Khafre at Giza. Hathor represents Upper Egypt and Bast represents Lower Egypt

She was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was considered to be the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow (linking her with Nut, Bat and Mehet-Weret). As time passed she absorbed the attributes of many other goddesses but also became more closely associated with Isis, who to some degree usurped her position as the most popular and powerful goddess. Yet she remained popular throughout Egyptian history. More festivals were dedicated to her and more children were named after her than any other god or goddess. Her worship was not confined to Egypt and Nubia. She was worshipped throughout Semitic West Asia, Ethiopian, Somlia and Libya, but was particularly venerated in the city of Byblos.

She was a sky goddess, known as “Lady of Stars” and “Sovereign of Stars” and linked to Sirius (and so the goddesses Sopdet and Isis). Her birthday was celebrated on the day that Sirius first rose in the sky (heralding the coming innundation). By the Ptolemaic period, she was known as the goddess of Hethara, the third month of the Egyptian calendar.

Hathor was also the goddess of beauty and patron of the cosmetic arts. Her traditional votive offering was two mirrors and she was often depicted on mirrors and cosmetic palettes. Yet she was not considered to be vain or shallow, rather she was assured of her own beauty and goodness and loved beautiful and good things. She was known as “the mistress of life” and was seen as the embodiment of joy, love, romance, perfume, dance, music and alcohol.

Hathor was especially connected with the fragrance of myrrh incense, which was considered to be very precious and to embody all of the finer qualities of the female sex. Hathor was associated with turquoise, malachite, gold and copper. As “the Mistress of Turquoise” and the “lady of Malachite” she was the patron of miners and the goddess of the Sinai Peninsula (the location of the famous mines). The Egyptians used eye makeup made from ground malachite which had a protective function (in fighting eye infections) which was attributed to Hathor.

As the “lady of the west” and the “lady of the southern sycamore” she protected and assisted the dead on their final journey. Trees were not commonplace in ancient Egypt, and their shade was welcomed by the living and the dead alike. She was sometimes depicted as handing out water to the deceased from a sycamore tree (a role formerly associated with Amentet who was often described as the daughter of Hathor) and according to myth, she (or Isis) used the milk from the Sycamore tree to restore sight to Horus who had been blinded by Set. Because of her role in helping the dead, she often appears on sarcophagi with Nut (the former on top of the lid, the later under the lid).

She occasionally took the form of the “Seven Hathors” who were associated with fate and fortune telling. It was thought that the “Seven Hathors” knew the length of every childs life from the day it was born and questioned the dead souls as they travelled to the land of the dead. Her priests could read the fortune of a newborn child, and act as oracles to explain the dreams of the people. People would travel for miles to beseech the goddess for protection, assistance and inspiration. The “Seven Hathors” were worshiped in seven cities: Waset (Thebes), Iunu (On, Heliopolis), Aphroditopolis, Sinai, Momemphis, Herakleopolis, and Keset. They may have been linked to the constellations Pleiades.

However, she was also a goddess of destruction in her role as the Eye of Ra – defender of the sun god. According to legend, people started to criticise Ra when he ruled as Pharaoh. Ra decided to send his “eye” against them (in the form of Sekhmet). She began to slaughter people by the hundred. When Ra relented and asked her to stop she refused as she was in a blood lust. The only way to stop the slaughter was to colour beer red (to resemble blood) and pour the mixture over the killing fields. When she drank the beer, she became drunk and drowsy, and slept for three days. When she awoke with a hangover she had no taste for human flesh and mankind was saved. Ra renamed her Hathor and she became a goddess of love and happiness. As a result, soldiers also prayed to Hathor/Sekhmet to give them her strength and focus in battle.

Of course, Thoth already had a wife, Seshat (the goddess of reading, writing, architecture and arithmetic), so Hathor absorbed her role including acting as a witness at the judgement of the dead. Her role in welcoming the dead gained her a further husband – Nehebkau (the guardian of the entrance of the underworld). Then when Ra and Amun merged, Hathor became seen as the wife of Sobek who was considered to be an aspect of Amen-Ra. Yet Sobek was also associated with Seth, the enemy of Horus!

She took the form of a woman, goose, cat, lion, malachite, sycamore fig, to name but a few. However, Hathor’s most famous manifestation is as a cow and even when she appears as a woman she has either the ears of a cow, or a pair of elegant horns. When she is depicted as entirely a cow, she always has beautifully painted eyes. She was often depicted in red (the color of passion) though her sacred color is turquoise.

It is also interesting to note that only she and the dwarf god Bes (who also had a role in childbirth) were ever depicted in portrait (rather than in profile). Isis borrowed many of her functions and adapted her iconography to the extent that it is often difficult to be sure which of the two goddesses is depicted. However, the two deities were not the same. Isis was in many ways a more complex deity who suffered the death of her husband and had to fight to protect her infant son, so she understood the trials and tribulations of the people and could relate to them. Hathor, on the other hand, was the embodiment of power and success and did not experience doubts.

While Isis was merciful, Hathor was single minded in pursuit of her goals.

When she took the form of Sekhmet, she did not take pity on the people and even refused to stop killing when ordered to do so.

to be continued……

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)