maisha:

روی نـگار در نـظرم جـلوه می‌نـمود وز دور بوسـه بر رخ مـهـتاب می‌زدم

The face of my love flashed before my eyes

From afar I sent kisses to the moon

حافظ (via honeyandelixir)

voice of love hafiz

kifo:

…….and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard

nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid

So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive
– Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn
life/cycles:

in-spirit of honouring wahenga wetu, ancestors of dis land, from the diaspora of righteousness to the heart of we all,

mama na akina baba, ndugu, dada na watoto wa afreeka o….

i yam speaking not only for survival, immersed in grieving/birthing/re-emerging rituals, na kwasababu dis place here is sometimes all i got to run to, into we arms, harvesting these powahs of technology for we nourishment en thriving.

in these re/learning healing journeys ya sustaining vijiji, here where we (continue)  harvesting collective zawadi of resiliency positively transforming these silences, we’ve become used to for too long….

in de spirit of this afrikan liberation renaissance, when mi own words still not enough, as i transition back from this cycle of (reclaiming) silence n ‘black-outs’….

sharing with overflowing love, these zawadis that have sustained not only me, but so many of we through the moons and hard he/art work years…,

mawazo kama

darling,

the person that hurts you

will not stick around

to stitch you up,

so you better learn

to heal yourself

with your own two hands.

m.v., be your own savior.

(via lipstick-bullet)

na

to soundtrack ya ibeyi’s cover of better with the infinite

Advertisements

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hapo zamani za kale, there was once a woman who had no husband, en she lived for many days in “trouble”. One day she said to herself, “Why do I always feel so troubled? It is because I have neither children nor husband. I shall go to de medicine man en get some pikin.”

She went to de medicine-man en told him she was unhappy owing to de fact that although she had now grown old, she had neither husband nor children. The medicine asked her which she wanted, husband or pikin, en she told him she wanted pikin.

She was instructed to take some cooking pots- three, or as many as she could carry-and to search for a fruit bearing sycamore, to fill de pots with fruit, to put them in her hut, and to go for a walk.

The womban followed these instructions carefully. She gathered the fruit, filled de pots, placed them in her hut, en went for a walk until de evening.

On arriving near de kraal, she heard de sound of voices en asked herself, “Why does one hear de voices of pikin in de kraal?” She went nearer, en found her hut filled with pikin, all her work finished, de boys herding de cattle, de huts swept clean by de girls, de warriors singing en dancing on de common, en de lil pikin waiting to greet her. She thus became a rich woman en lived happily with her pikin for many days.

One day, however, she scolded de pikin, en reproached them for being children of de tree.

They remained silent en did not speak to her, then, while she went to visit her friends in other kraals, de pikin returned to de sycamore tree, en became fruit again. On her return to her own kraal, de womban wept bitterly when she found it empty, en paid another visit to de medicine man, whom she taxed with having spirited away her pikin.

De medicine man told her that he did not know what she should do now, en when she proposed to go and look at de sycamore tree, he recommended her to try.

She took her cooking pots to de tree and climbed up into it. But when she reached de fruit they all put forth eyes en stared at her. This so startled her that she was unable to descend, en her friends had to come en help her down.

She did not go to the tree again to search for her children.

This hadithi I heard not many times before, en read again in Best-Loved  Folktales of the Dunia,  from de Maasai of [what is nowadays called] Kenya. You can do anyting you want with these stories, share them with other pikney, laugh, cry, forget about it or fafanua…..

2 East Afrikan ‘back then’ & ‘now’ love hadithi

[This post is inspired by de Coalition of African Lesbians, Spectra speaks, Kampala, gauteng & tdot renaissance womyn, en mi ‘wives’. I’m deeply grateful to you dadas for speaking truth to powah! with y/our diasporic & native journeys, we are all Afrikans in such diverse ways. In dis spirit of ubuntu, like other idealist warrior womben, I reserve the right to display pride and passion about my cultural roots……]

Nothing helps the Bukusu to recognize the rhythm of words, the silence, and the aroma of the night, and elements like rocks, water and its weight of pebbles more than the oral literature that is composed every day around him, hir or her…..

I still remember 3 years ago, was living with a dada en daughta I love, respekt en admire so, working for Minority Women in Action [& de

Kenya Chapter of Moyo Wa Africa] from the hirstorical Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya [GALCK] centre wid mi ‘co-wife’, Pouline Kimani en an ever growing collective of volunteers for a hub of CBO’s & NGO’s focused on sexual minority & gender rights in mi home town no.1 (or 2 depending on where you look at it from)…….

Mi intention was to root mi community organising in the spaces between de catalyst of a regional QLGBT movement & healing work, while finishing school on de continent. Many tings changed, much that was expected, like state criminalization, backlash & security interventions, homo&transphobic assaults, rapes & murders & hate propaganda in ‘dominant’ religions again, campaigning against ‘witchhunts’, all in a day job with boundaries of service provider, consumer, comrade & funder blurred…but this story is not bout that, check #To David With Love: Call To Action…..

I hold de hope, inspirashun & positive transformations witnessing en working with mo Bredrin and sistas in solidarity close to mi moyo, across oceans and rivers in transformative social justice movements….memories of intimate food days & nights of music wid family….

The dominating physical presence in Bukusu oral literature include the Red Sea, the Sahara Desert, Lake Turkana, Mwiala wa Mango or Tororo Hills, Mount Elgon, Cherengany and Sang’alo hils, and Sirikwa, Lake Victoria and Nzoia River and its tributaries. The sacred palms which the Bukusu carried on their way from Misri, their colobus monkey skins, their ear rings, necklaces and skirts that they wore around their waists etc., speak volumes about their material culture items. The pastoral quality of their literature, their gentle love for the fields and the land they tilled for their food, with all its groves and hills, characterized the terrain that informs that literature.

Will this deep embracing love of the land and all that covers it, continue to be a distinctive feature of the Bukusu cultural expression in days to come?

still remember 2 years ago, holding on to curriculums for pan-afrikan arts & civic educashun & wellness programs. Holding to proposals and dreams of returning home, split between what had evolved into the most complex polygamous engagements I had experienced yet. Mi primary relationship with Kenya & Uganda for all its lifetime, is still long-distance, had grown to include other country codes, West Afrika & de Carribean are so much mo accessible from Kobe Island and Tdot was evolving into a sweeter kinda lova. Plans changed agin, I stayed, have stayed, growing deeper in love with Tdot, yet inevitably counting down, because if home is where the heart is, then it’s only a matter of how many years? before we back again, or, what is the betta way to get there?…….

Who are the Bukusu anyway? Why is the elephant such an important animal in their folklore? They joke and say: “The hyena follows the testicles of the elephant!

“The elephants sing songs and say they were once human beings” Khwaba abandu hilili.”

Babukusu respect their proverbs which oftentimes are pregnant with meaning. They respect the artist, the “the saint ” who uses his/her words effectively to teach and entertain. They recreate the past.

How can we use their vision to create the future?

still remember 1 year ago, observing weeks of reflection & cleansing. Deep in grieving rituals with comrades, spiritual & extended fam around de dunia for David Kato. observing moments of silence en secrecy…remembering we were never meant to survive en still speaking….

ultimately t/here, in the crux of cataclysms & houses being dismantled, wid revolushunary vijiji growing & independent consultancies being laboured on, was fundamentally brought agin to finding mi soul with the potent reminders of all the honourable walimu & warriors not only I’m blessed to be surrounded with, the wealth not only I’m privileged to be immersed in, en the core of malaikas who came into mi life over de years that have my cup overflowing with love & nourishment.

For this and so many mo positive transformashuns, I’m infinitely grateful, as we walk with the legacies of warriors on de infinite possibilities in speaking truth to powah! en spreading love, hope & positivity in abundance……

[<object width=”400″ height=”225″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=33166619&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0&#8243; /><embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=33166619&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”225″></embed></object><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/33166619″>Call Me Kuchu Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3684126″>Greg OToole</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>]

The Bukusu of East Africa are said to have travelled from Egypt and settled in what used to be called North Nyanza and Trans Nzoia Districts. They call themselves LIRANGO LIE NJOFU because of the battles they have weathered against Bamia, Barwa Bakinisu, and Babangereza’. These battles spread their settlement in Eyembe and Masindi Port and culminated in their last stand against the Imperial British Company in 1895.

They enjoy a virile cultural and political history which needs to be urgently recorded and stored in print and electronic vessels…

In the spirit of honouring our roots & de diversity in our unity, you cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen &women of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those mad folks. We must dare to invent the future.

[Thomas Sankara]

….I still remember the trees alongside River Sosio, the woodland around Mount Elgon caves,the forest that my father and I invaded ever so often to get the suitable sticks for weaving granaries when the harvest season was around the corner, How many sounds have I been separated from since….I moved home for the first time to come and study in Nairobi?

[excerpts in bold from Prof Chris L Wanjala, Director, Nakhatama Research and Literary Agency.]

for mo on de Grand Bukusu Oral Literature Public Discussion, check

http://ar-ar.facebook.com/WesternKenyaFiesta2012/posts/312025355515159 ]

give thanks for today, yesterday & tomorrow, for intimate/sacred spaces. For those among us who carry the sage secrets of loving that challenge & inspire me with their words & actions, en remind we to go back ever so often for what I/we forget that is necessary…. A certain amount of madness, en the roots of our tribes in conversation with each other.

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

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

I pray that the blessings of yesterday carry into tomorrow…

Bless my family, friends, comrades.

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

(Eshu, carry my prayers……)

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

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

Ifa, bless me with marriage and children….


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

Bless the homeless…..

Bless our freedom fighters,

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

Bless all those all who spread love and positivity in abundance

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

 

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

I pray for the healing of mama dunia…..

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Ase, Ase, ase…..

 I remember, once when I was looking for mangoes somewhere on the way to my aunties place as a lil’ pikney, being chased by a huge crowd of boys, in various states of un/dress….. I was terrified, half running en mostly examining the ‘spectacle’ of peers crossing thresholds, screaming after me en waving assorted ‘objects’.

I must have been very afraid, I remember my heart beating fast, or so I fill the memories of the spaces between the evolushun of our traditions, now, in a place far away from where my father’s ancestors lived.

That was my first direct introduction to bukusu circumcision ceremonies. I eventually got back to my grandmother’s homestead safe, missing not much more than a number of mangos, and one slipper, with plenty o’ juicy stories.

As I grew older though, my visits to papa’s village en the number of ceremonies paying homage in my kukhu’s homestead lessened, by the time I was 17, my return to ushago had dwindled to funerals, which meant that at least once a year, I couldn’t miss the ‘big’ one, the truth is I haven’t been back, now,for a decade…….

Sasa, my deepening en growing knowledge of the ways of my ancestors, is creatively sought through google, you tube channels, and decolonising diasporic tongues, there, in the tales of gran’ nanny maroon n’ harriet tubman, of elegba en nana buluku, here in my hoods, sharing knowledge with other afrikans, I found spaces to pay homage to my kukhu again. Ase…..

Kesho, on the q/t werd, vlog#2: thank Gawdess for tdot

dear toronto,

If this open letter to tdot is to stay true to its mission, it has to start with (re)acknowledging where we’re at, on turtle island & where we coming from, mama afrika. It’s also only natural that in speaking truth to power, we share that we are in our final stage/week of developing & organising for

  1. The Spaces Between [produced by the Peace camp],
  2. Peace is Possible Parade &
  3. summer workshops at Crescent Town Public School  with Full Circle, Regent Park Camp, Balmy Beach, Learning for Life, Seeds of Hope…..

The ‘official’ werd on the ground is

The Children’s Peace Theatre of Toronto will be holding its 10th annual Summer Peace Camp from July 5-24, 2010. Under the direction of Liz Pounsett and musical direction by award-winning jazz artist Brownman with the artistic direction of Karen Emerson.

A group of 60 children and youth will work alongside professional artists to create a theatrical collaboration called ‘The Space Between’.

This is bound to be the most provocative of Peace Camp productions as the children explore faith and reason and how these concepts affect our lives personally and globally. It confronts head on the issues associate with the interplay of faith and reason with the level of honesty, humor and energy only children and youth can impart. The Space Between is sure to be visually stunning, thought provoking and full of surprises].

http://www.peacetheatre.org/

We’re inviting Tdot, all our friends and visitors, to come with their pikney and friends, join us on Friday July 23rd and Saturday July July 24th in the PIP Parade and the gala performance of the Space Between.

So ofcourse we should first tell you the story about the source of this peace theatre.

Hapo (si) zamani (sana) ya kale

In 2000, the Hannon-Shields Centre for Leadership and Peace reclaimed parts of the Massey Goulding Estate and under the ‘official’ leadership of Robert Morgan, launched the Children’s Peace Theatre (PT)

As Robert has said: “We place children and youth centre stage, not because they are cute or candid, but because they display humanity’s capacity to evolve, even in the harsh conditions of the current times. Young people are demonstrating an instinctive desire to move away from the dominant culture of self-interestedness and aggression, and are moving instead towards building relationships and community due to an innate desire to seek stability, safety, and peace.

It is also evident that young people have the imagination and the energy that will be necessary to establish a new culture of peace. Watching young people from very different backgrounds cross paths, encounter conflict, and find creative ways of making the conflict evolve in positive directions, gives me the audacity to believe that peace is possible.”

http://books.google.ca/books?id=hfBaL4-ei2AC&lpg=PP1&ots=wjbLnY-b6-&dq=once%20upon%20a%20time%20there%20was%20a%20little%20girl%20healing%20power%20of%20fairy%20tales&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false

[10 years later, the ‘un-official’ werd on the ground on the opening ceremony  is: join us in a prayer circle on Friday July 23rd @ at 7:00am , in the heart of the peace forest.

The ‘official’ plan of the day is the Peace is Possible parade @ 11:00am, and the 2nd matinee of the spaces between which will begin @ 1.00pm, in the outdoor amphitheatre of the Peace Theatre @ 305 Dawes Road.]

[this subjective perspective on the process of manifesting justice, truth, reconciliation en peacemaking; is after many moons of ‘unofficially’ re/claiming the grounds of the peace forest,  since I came back from ‘home’ [aka. in another place, not here…], en in the years before, with osain as my colleague, en his home as my office. Close to eshu, obatala, ogun, oshun, oya en all the orishas.

I am deeply grateful for now ‘officially’ being part of that divine, growing team that is blessed, honoured and privileged to work here, [job soon dun, but it’s a contract with possible extensions of renewal nonetheless, and all the fertile spaces between metarmophoses, healing rituals & building solidarity with people of all faiths, all nations, with one prayer.

I give thanks for the artists, caregivers, comrades, elders en youth, peer educators, healers and peace makers, friends of PT, who contribute their energy, talent & time to rebuilding our communities, with our children, using arts for revolushunary social & spiritual change, sharing our healing stories with the 3c’s of PT]

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others. I pray for humbleness, for myself and others. Please forgive my sins, those that I know about, and those that I don’t know about, those I am yet to commit, and those of others. Inspire those without hope, and strengthen those without faith. I give thanks for the cool wotas, the sun, moon, and stars, for the birds, and our trees. Bless all our living relatives.Onikpite]

I give thanks for our continued re/learning of faith in the true (true) ways of the ‘natives’ of port credit Mississauga, for our deepening connecuns with egun,

Bless taylor creek park en all our neighbours en visitors. Bless the ancestors betwixt en between, all around  crescent town, goodwood, thorncliffe, dentonia park, jane&finch, parkdale, regent park, in all our enclaves, trees, en living relatives, in these diverse hoods.

PIP song

I give thanks for the burning, metamorphoses en (for) the spaces between spreading big love en positivity in our communities.  I give thanks that the fiya this time feels like ‘the revolushun’ is with our breaking bread, making arts en crafts, playing, praying, reasoning and replenishing not only ourselves, but with our families and friends, en ‘others’.

Bless the motherless and fatherless, those sick in hospital. Bless the homeless, and those who ignore them. Ifa,  I pray that you continue to guide us in coming to our right/full destinites. I pray that the circle may be unbroken. Bless our wotas en granmama earth. Ase. Ase….

[blogger’s notes: It’s, only officially, been less than a moon that I’ve been working on programs at the peace theatre, there’s still many pieces of the past that I’m not familiar with, but I give thanks that this place, in another space, not home, is exactly where I need to be,….naushukuru that the blessings of yesterday, manifested today en I pray for them to carry forward to tomorrow…..

85 days 16[+72]hours 25 minutes – the caps finally contained the oil spill, and we are bound to pray for our continued healing en self recovery, to learn from our mis-steps, and continue changing the destructive path we’ve been on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor-Massey_Creek

Taylor-Massey Creek is 16 kilometres long. Its headwaters are near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues. It flowed diagonally through Wishing Well Park and under Highway 401 at Pharmacy Avenue. The original headwaters were diverted to Highland Creek when the highway was widened to 12 lanes, so the creek now starts at a stormwater outfall just south of the highway.

The creek starts in Terraview Willowfield Park, a restoration project, named after a nearby public school. It flows through two medium sized ponds with naturalized channels. From there it flows southeast through a series of concrete lined channels and drains. This section runs along an abandoned hydro right-of-way before entering a residential and industrial section that is closed to public access.

South of Eglinton Avenue East it enters a shallow ravine and flows south passing through Pine Hills Cemetery. It exits the cemetery travelling west and enters a small park on St. Clair Avenue East. At Warden Avenue it turns southwest, moving through a park called Warden Woods. West of Pharmacy Avenue it enters a city run golf course. At Victoria Park Avenue it enters Taylor Creek Park and continues uninterrupted to where it empties into the Don River East Branch, just north of the forks of the Don.

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…..