Betwixt en between the lines are our true (true) stories, retold in (a video diary of) the ‘Q[/t]’ werd….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/22/football-south-africa-world-cup

we’ve said it before, in other places, and [most  symbolically] here….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3uvUU4roc&feature=related]

we’re doing the best we can with what we got to entertain, and re-educate not only ourselves but others, in the practice of freedom.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/16/mb-truth-reconciliation-event-winnipeg.html

 

http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/

(re)building coalitions

 and (re)building solidarity with our people…

hadithi? hadithi?

nipe mji…….

 

 

[re/posted]scribbles from the den

When the idea was first hatched to put forward South Africa’s candidacy for the 2010 World Cup, it seemed a far-fetched dream. And when FIFA actually awarded the tournament to South Africa, it was, in the view of many, a gamble destined to fail. However, after six years of turmoil, controversy and acrimony later, South Africa is finally set for the 2010 World Cup tournament.

For the next month, (legitimate) concerns about the financial toll of the tournament on South Africa’s economy, the absence of concrete benefits for large swathes of the South African population, or about FIFA’s stifling rules will be put on the backburner as the world enjoys the beautiful game.

Dori Moreno

Dori Moreno is one of those unapologetically afflicted by ‘World Cup Fever’:

I have been waiting for the World Cup to arrive ever since the announcement was made that it would be hosted in South Africa. It’s difficult to get excited about something happening so far into the future. But now, the World Cup is upon us, and in just 2 more sleeps, South Africa will face Mexico in the kick off game of the 2010 World Cup. And South Africa has woken up and is alive with energy, passion and enthusiasm.

 ‘Today, the Bafana Bafana team took to the streets of Sandton, Johannesburg in an open top bus. South African fans came out en masse to celebrate and get a glimpse of their national team. The vibe was indescribable and when the Soweto Marimba Youth League played the national anthem, I confess to being moved to tears from the sheer emotion and energy of the event.


‘I think even the die-hard pessimists out there will struggle not to get caught up in the positive energy that will carry us all on a cloud for the next month. To everyone out there, I say, ENJOY! To all the visitors to our awesome country, feel it, live it and fall in love. It’s time for AFRICA!!!!’

Jeanette Verster’s Photography

And talking about the June 9 ‘United We Stand for Bafana Bafana’ parade organised in Sandton to encourage South Africans to show their support for their national team, Jeanette Verster publishes a colorful picture essay that vividly captures the national excitement.

Brand South Africa Blog

Brand South Africa Blog hopes that the unity and patriotism demonstrated in the run-up to the World Cup will last long after the tournament:

‘The past few months have been an incredible sight. Road works, bridges being built and the most spectacular, the giant eye which watches over all of us from the entrance to the V&A Waterfront. To say I feel proud would really be an understatement, although true. Undeniably through all of this is the tangible feeling of patriotism, excitement and unified spirit in the air.

‘Flags, Zakumi’s (official World Cup mascot), soccer jerseys everywhere makes me feel that we can unite as a country, evident in the progress made.

‘*** I love SA ***

‘The feeling I hope for South Africa is that we stay this way long past the end game is played. Everyone is watching and can see that through working together and progress, we can be pushed into another league and be part of a set of countries people all of the world would like to visit sometime in their life.

‘So, Bafana, we are behind you 150%, make us proud and do your best.

‘Visitors to South Africa, our country is beautiful, take the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track you’ll be pleasantly surprised and p.s. don’t forget to shop!’

Constitutionally Speaking

Even as the excitement builds up, there is anger just beneath the surface over a number of (FIFA-inspired?) decisions which do not benefit South Africans. One such issue is the apparent blanket ban on public gatherings in many municipalities for the duration of the World Cup. Constitutionally Speaking argues that:



‘If this is true, it would mean that parts of South Africa are now effectively functioning under a state of emergency in which the right to freedom of assembly and protest have been suspended. This would be both illegal and unconstitutional. Other reports have suggested that such orders were indeed given, but that the police are now backtracking – probably because the police have realised that they are breaking the law and that the order, in fact, constitutes a grave breach of the law and the Constitution.

‘It is a sad day indeed when the police itself become a threat to our democracy and our rights because Fifa and the government want us all to behave and shut up for the next month and to forget about our democratic rights.’

Scribbles from the Den (and betwixt en between the lines: a video diary of the ‘Q[/t]’ werd)

Scribbles from the Den takes us back 20 years to a memorable World Cup game which is now part of the football folklore and which credited to have changed the World Football Order in favor of African countries:

‘Exactly 20 years ago on June 8, 1990 at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium in Milan, Italy, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, “a humble team with an insignificant past” to quote the Miami Herald, defeated Argentina, the star-studded defending World Champions led by Diego Armando Maradona, in a thrilling Italia ’90 World Cup opening game that came to be known as the “Miracle of Milan”…



‘The victory over Argentina was merely the beginning of Cameroon’s Cinderella story which came to an end only after England ousted the Lions in an epic quarterfinal game that is also part of World Cup folklore. Cameroon’s brilliant run in Italia ’90 in general, and its historic win over Argentina in particular reverberated around the world and changed the Football World Order forever…

‘The aftershocks from that memorable Friday afternoon at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium would be felt years later first with FIFA increasing the number of African teams taking part in the World Cup from two to five, then with the “browning” of European leagues which opened their doors to players from the continent and in the process unearthed African football prodigies such as “King” George Weah of Liberia, Same Eto’o of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire.’

Up Station Mountain Club

As the football fiesta goes on in South Africa, Charles Taku, a lead counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, wonders whether Africa has any reason to celebrate as many states turn 50:

‘Africa is sick; very sick indeed. It is safe to state that at 50, there is nothing to celebrate. Rather than celebrate, Africa should be engaged in a moment of soul searching to find out where we went wrong and to generate ideas about how to resolve the myriad problems afflicting the continent…



‘There is no gainsaying that Africa is a victim of its colonial heritage. It is also true that many African problems are self inflicted. For that reason, according to Peter Schwab, Africa is its own worst enemy.

‘As Africa enters the second half of the century, there is a compelling need for it to eschew all pretensions to celebration and to use the opportunity of the moment to search for viable solutions to its plethora of problems. Our collective failure enjoins us to do a lot of soul searching at this point of our history rather than celebrate a failed past in anticipation of a bleaker future. Africa and the black race in general need to take their destiny into their own hands once again. Time has come for all black people of this world to invoke the spirits of Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, CLR James, the Osagyefo Mwalimu and others whose mere mention of name give us the inspiration, courage and hope to start all over again, in seeking a path of glory they once laid out for us.

The time to build and improve on what they started for our collective survival in a mercilessly competitive world is now. Waiting for dictators that preside over the destiny of most of the continent at present to pave that path to glory is simply foolhardy, if not suicidal.”



Kumekucha

Kumekucha explains how he believes the ruling elite plan to rig the August Referendum for the proposed new Kenyan Constitution:

‘Folks I am afraid that I have more bad news for you concerning the new constitution most of us are yearning for. Let me start by confessing that for a person with my years of experience I was rather naïve to believe that those who own Kenya would ever allow for an electoral system that they did not have any control over. The truth is that the so called “tamper-proof” electoral roll has already been tampered with and non-existent voters introduced. And since it is NOT the same electoral roll that we will go to the general elections with, the only conclusion is that the intention is to rig the August 4th Referendum.

‘The game plan by the powerful owners of Kenya is for the NO camp to catch up with the YES majority so that the difference is around 20% or less. What will then happen is that NO will win with a very slim majority. Enough to deny most Kenyans what they are yearning for so much that they can no longer sleep too well. Those wh o have read the document and realize the sweeping changes it will bring into the country and the deadly blow it will deal to impunity.

‘What really scares me is that so far these powerful forces have been able to get things done through the NSIS and have even influenced the judiciary to make certain bizarre rulings. To me that is evidence enough that they are quite capable of going ahead with their well laid plan even as the president tires himself crisscrossing the country campaigning for a new constitution.’


BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Dibussi Tande blogs at Scribbles from the Den.

 

here’s (yet) another article by my brotha (of another mama), simiyu barasa

Nairobi, KENYA – ‘Pornography is the theory, Rape is the practice’ -Robin Morgan

Pornography has, literally,been viewed from all angles. In universities, ladies have dropped from literature classes after reading Ayi Kwei Armah, D.H.Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and David Maillu’s After 4.30, claiming that they are pornographic. Yet in the movie halls films on sex are the craze, and one can’t visit any room without finding the roommates reading glossy porn magazines. One of the ladies, disgusted by all this, almost burnt magazines because the pictures used to advertise cars “expose too much” of the feminine body and thus are ‘pornographic.’ She claims that pornog raphy subordinates women, triggers and promotes violence against women, is immoral, dirty, perverted and bad. But is pornography really to blame for all this?

There has been controversy even in the feminist literary circles, where one group advocates for a total ban on pornography because it denigrates women and another group promotes pornography because they think that it liberates women. It is therefore important that all gender activists debate on the contemporary literary dialectics of feminism, female sexuality and pornography.

What exactly is pornography? Probably the best attempt at its definition is given by Andrea Dworkin, a feminist writer, and her lawyer compatriot, Catherine Mackinnon. Known as the Dworkin /Mackinnon ordinance, it summarises pornography as “. .. the graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and/or words” that also includes those in which women enjoy being raped, are seen as sex objects, reduced to their sexual organs, are seen as whores by nature, or as being penetrated by objects or animals.

When our girl says she walked out of the movie hall because the pornography shown there depicted women as sexual objects, she implies that a woman is a tangible object. Raping a woman indeed is treating her as a sex object. Is it the same as in Dambudzo Marechera’s streams of consciousness in House of Hunger, where it is the mental act of fantasizing about having sex with her, a similar case of treating her as a sex object?

By focusing on the ‘body’, we exclude the ‘mind’.

Linda Moncheck in Feminist Politics and Feminist Ethics recognises liberal feminists who see sexual objectification based on physical bodies as what has domesticated women, shackling them to domestic duties and making them mere sex objects to their husbands. They have to eradicate this and press for access to economic and political power that will emancipate them. This is through doing ‘mind’ jobs like astronauts, doctors, etc.

In literature, and especially writing by women, this creates a problem. Don’t women want to be treated as objects of sexual pleasure when they dress up nicely for dinner? Is this not a form of sexual objectification? What then makes one form of sexual objectification good and another one bad?

In the movies and drama, don’t the women want to hear their perfect figures praised? They surely do not want to be treated like philosophers and discuss Cartesian dualism in bed, neither would a movie having a Wole Soyinka discussing African mythiopoesis during foreplay sell.

Linda goes further to show how valuing the mind over the body is no liberation for the woman who enjoys physical sex. Patriarchal societies can even use the superiority of the mind, which such feminists want, to make them ‘sexual’ factors e.g. when a male worker finds his female senior a turn-on due to her brainy nature (“I find her attractive, not because she is beautiful, but because she is intelligent”)

Social feminists seem to offer an answer to this when they propose a rejection of the metaphysical distinction between the mind and the body, and hence a rejection of the moral and aesthetic evaluation we place on the mind at the expense of the body. However this use of dualism would be a paradoxical fall into the anti-feminist trap of using the same traditional values defined by the same patriarchal society they intend to free themselves from.

Our girl also said that pornography subordinates women. One wonders why, in the South African theatre circles, and even causing more controversy when staged here in Kenya, feminists put up a production of The Vagina Monologues that was, to some conservertists, nothing short of vulgarity bordering on pornography.

One is also reminded that in December 1985, Richard Shchener’s Prometheus Project was staged at the Performing Garage in the U.S, to critical acclaim by gender activists. Its central image was the link between the Promethean fire and the Hiroshima bombing. At the end, Annie Sprinkle conducts a masturbation show-within-show. Psychoanalytic feminism supports this as true feminism celebrating women’s genitalia.

When our girl claims that Maillu’s ‘pornography’ about bar room prostitution is for ghetto people and thus is not an art but dirt she invites Marxist feminism to task.

Some feminists see banning of porn as a class argument, where the middle-class identity in a bourgeoisie culture protects itself from contamination.

In Kenya, what people despise as ‘pornography’ are films shown in the Eastland area, while “Kamasutra” and its likes being shown in Nairobi and the Fox Cineplex are seen as ‘erotic’ movies.

Erotica is defended as High Art and as about sexuality (Florida 2000 cabaret shows, D.H.Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Jackie Collin’s Hollywood novels, Playboy magazines and a host of other ‘White’ publications).

Pornography, in turn, is ferociously attacked as back-street trash that needs to be banned because it is about power and sex as a weapon (Mugithi nites in our pubs, Maillu’s After 4.30, and Okot P’Biteks Horn of my love). But where is the boundary between erotica and porn? Erotica is simply the pornography of the elite.

Other feminists, like Jacquelyn Zita in her article ‘Enclitic,’ see a ban on pornography as perpetuation of male dominance. It divides women into good ‘respectable women’ protected by their men (husbands, boyfriends and fathers.) The bad women are out there in the streets unprotected by men. This marks off the privileges of upper-class women against the economic and sexual exploitation of lower class women exemplified by Maillu’s Lili.

Even Susan Sontag, a feminist, is one of the best defenders of porn, for it is “extreme forms of consciousness that transcends social, personality and psychological individuality … because sexuality is the main force of humanity”.

To argue that Maillu’s works are immoral and full of perverse acts would force us to jump into metaethics. If literature is for freedom, then whoever says that pornography is bad has the right to give us advice, but not to impose it on us. Moral advice needs to have justification. Male chauvinists can argue it is an invention by females to serve their agenda.

If our hypothetical outraged girl searched for them in the moral market place that is religion, she can find it exists in all of us. If she links it to the deviation from normalcy because sex is for procreation not literary production, she steps onto the toes of radical feminists who view heterosexual relationships as essential in maintaining the oppressive phallic nature of men, for sex is seen as a manifestation of the anti-feminist violence implicit in the discourse of the dominant power structure.

The fundamental question now remains are we saying that pornography does not subordinate women? Are we saying that CAP.63 sec.181 (1)(a-e) of the Kenyan constitution, which says that anyone caught with pornographic material is liable to be imprisoned is obsolete?

Porn is not the subordination, but a depiction of the subordination of women.

Maillu’s After 4.30 does not subordinate women. It exploits an already existing misogynist attitude for commercial gain.

It shows how bosses exploit their secretaries like Lili after working hours, with one eye on literature and the other on the market value of this controversy. Such works, to quote Dworkin, show how women are humiliated until they finally realise that the ‘O’ in each of their body orifices is a ‘zero’ which symbolizes their nothingness in a man’s world.

These literary works do not encourage violence and rape but they reinforce the already existing negative attitudes towards women. It makes women fall into patriarchal mental slavery that makes them full of contempt for their bodies, so much so that they hate seeing themselves exposed in public. This confines them to domestic spheres.

Literature does not support this. It seeks to resist any systematic devaluation and humiliation of a spec ific target group, be it race, class, or sex.

It however accepts that this might be difficult to engineer if it were to involve tampering, not just with the circulations of magazines and books, but with the modes of thoughts and fantasizing which are not the prerogative of one sex only.

Our hypothetical girl should return to the Literature Department of her hypothetical university and learn that such works like Maillu’s tap into already existing stereotypes. She should also, by now, realise that Maillu, Armah’s and Lawrence’s works are not pornography for they do not fulfill the Dworkin/Mackinnon ordinance.

Literature does not condone pornography. Instead, we should all castigate some of those numerous movies and magazines that go further to represent such evil acts in order to gain financially from the amusement of others. We should condemn pornography and its businesses. It thrives by exploiting the profoundly pernicious enjoyment too many men find in the pornographic images of demeaning subordination.

Blogger’s note: as a pan-afrikan(ist)/feminist, I’d have to disagree with the premise and conclusions of my brotha (in another place, not) here, in his ‘literary’ analysis of the connections between pornography and feminism.

In my (not-so) lil’ ‘one-of-u-people’ position, najua that black feminism is intersectional and sex positive, fundamentally implies that we should not only condone [consensual] pornography but also educate ourselves en others about all the ‘good’ tings’ there are in our sex/uality, so that we KNOW  the difference between de good, bad na taboo.

So that we continue to legislate en support anti-oppressive (re)visions of  the current statutes on pornography, rape, sex work, sodomy, marriage, our right to assembly and privacy…

the bigger point is that , in (honor en memory of) audre lorde’s teachings, ni kama the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house……..na tukona de powah of afrikan fractals.

 Literature, like a gun, depends on the hands it is in.

You ended your literature, blood and doves article with that (poignant en) powerful line, and I agree/d with you in that other place, not here, ndugu…..

precisely because literature CAN and HAS been, like a (loaded) gun, we have to be careful about using it to encourage the criminalization of some of the very people we claim to be advocating for, and strive instead to emulate the ‘good’ in us, doing the best we can to educate in (and for) the practice of freedom, au siyo?

One can play Russian roulette with a loaded gun, kill oneself or an/other (son of a bitch), en you can also remove the bullets, continue to play pretend, jus’ so everyone can continue to ‘think’ you’re tuff’, you can try to hide your darkness, buried deep within.  And ofcourse there’s always the (other) option of Jus’ change/ing and embracing our true true stories, spread(ing) love, (to) gain over/standing.

dear ndugu, literature does actually celebrate, glorify and pathologize sexuality in so, so many ways, WE  all know, because we see, hear, taste, embrace en witness this around us, so what about reflecting the light of sex/uality and decolonising methodologies?

Literature does not condone pornography. Instead, we should all castigate some of those numerous movies and magazines that go further to represent such evil acts in order to gain financially from the amusement of others. We should condemn pornography and its businesses. It thrives by exploiting the profoundly pernicious enjoyment too many men find in the pornographic images of demeaning subordination.

So your conclusion may be way off base [depending on where you look at it from ofcourse], pornography does not equal images of demeaning subordination, and it is not only (too many) men who find profoundly pernicious enjoyment in consuming these images…..the issue may be in jus’ what you glossed over, the consumption of….and these new ‘pernicious’ traditions of debasing [fe/male] sex/uality.

 if we weren’t living in a white supremacist capitalist partriarchal society, and instead in say an indigenous afrikan martriachal society, then there might be way less consumers than actors, lovers, priestesses, freaks, hos and those old couples needing to spice tings up..in that kinda world, everyone would be free to enjoy consensual sex, with guidelines and rules to all relationships influenced by the individual, the ‘village’, and principles (based on something) like maat/ubuntu…..

Look at all the sex/ing around us…why do you think it ain’t that simple to jus’ reclaim (philosophies on) sex work and build bath houses (and temples) for the ‘chosen’ ones?  And why is there much less good porn than there is those straight ‘lesbian’ or cheesy ‘gang-bang/er’ ones?

Maybe we need to advocate more for the institution of affirmative action policies in the sex (work) industry, which would eliminate a lot of the ‘oppressors’ (strategically mis-identified as mostly) straight.white.men (!)

Our (kinda) feminism advocates consensual Sex acts for anyone, anytime they want it, no cop harassment, and as much sweaty, positive sex as you want or can afford instead.

Where [sex]workers are employed in safe spaces and paid fair wages.

 In other words, our kinda feminism practises the vision of a society that respects hos and mamas for their priceless gifts and ancient legacies.

So, dear ndugu, why don’t you listen to what your SISTA has to say on the issue of pornography, if you ask me nicely, I might even introduce you to some delicious, dangerously profoundly enjoyable, totally feminist porn flicks, like champion or crash pad, and there’s many more that (not only) I(‘ve) enjoyed, so I know the differences between good, bad en nasty porn out there, and I gotta confess I quite love the jood stuff,

dear ndugu, asante for writing out and sharing your thoughts on what is necessary to rebuild solidarity with OUR  cause, the liberation of not only all afrikan people, but all oppressed people , may we move forward ever with our growth and unity! The bigger point is, dear brotha, can we be friends and share resources?

Tags

flagkenyai’m on a blog roll today, like i wrote before, on the tip of organising and not agonising… there are many possibilities of sharing resources.

canadafor example, even with me, being all the way on turtle island… there are alot of privileges I have in this first world, that I can subvert and focus on supporting grassroots activism in Kenya. I may not have money but that too shall come, en what’s more important is  I have my/self ( en comrades, friends and allies)

 

although, it is significantly telling that (I felt) I had to come back here to get the necessary resources to sustain my activism (read: money….

read:when you can’t pay rent or buy food or pay for matatu fare then it’s time for you to get more money anywhere you can).

My efforts at building solidarity here in Toronto and getting allies to support the queer/trans movement in East Afrika have been an exercise in critical analysis.

I’m glad that I came back, I don’t feel guilty anymore about staying on (the reality is that if I had stayed I would have had to compromise some of my radical politics and strategies that I’m not ready to give up jus yet, so I’ve compromised by going where I can try to walk the talk, where I can revise strategies and still be able to survive) en this time I know I’ll get more out of this shitty in 6 months than I did in 6 years….

don’t read me wrong, I ain’t knocking Toronto, (too much)… I love this place.

 I think it could be the most (theoretically en structurally) diverse city in the world.

a lil world on it’s own, without the harshness of New York…

but that’s exactly part of what got me bugging, this time around…..

folks can tend to live in a bubble here (i think it’s symptomatic of the schizophrenia induced in urban city/developed world dwellings)…..

I tried to settle into the bubble, travelled the contours, en embraced some of the illusions, but there was always a nagging feeling…..

 

6 years is not that long, it’s not even one quarter of my life. but it’s enough time. En in many ways I did come into myself in Toronto, and had distinctly more “privileges” in carving out space for myself en my dreams.

I learnt how to re/build community, I came into political consciousness, and widened my horizons, so to speak.

When I started going to UofT, in fall 2002, I was enrolled in commerce, switched to communication, cultures and information technologies (CCIT) & philosophy, flirted with women&gender studies and eventually found my way to sexual diversity studies……now if I could get into african studies I would…but….but this post is about nairobi and kenya, not school in toronto and canada…..

coz that’s where I had to revise most of my strategies, en I’m not going to forget the struggle(s)…..because, for me, it’s leading back to and for the continent. that’s my base.

so allow me to share some more correspondences on list servs I’m on, in the spirit of growing, with liberatory focus, together….

technically I’m not outing anyone, (my position on that has changed, as much as I think that every queer & trans person should just come out of that NEW closet, as long as it’s safe to do so……I wouldn’t out anyone, other than hypocrites en murderers.)

but to maintain some “copy/right”….

let’s call these excerpts, chosen fictions, characters in a narrative, (refer to Q is…..), either way these are people you should know about, like audrey (the warrior) en the organisation she founded in December 2008.

 

the subject on the listserv was the launch of gay & lesbian african safaris

(for me this launch is a  frightful harbinger of the state of queer/trans rights in Kenya, there only if you have enough money to buy them. As adamant as I am about access to resources, I don’t think capitalist solutions are the answer if we’re resisting more than homophobia, transphobia, sexism and heterosexism. and this queer revolushunary is devoted to resisting all forms of imperialism.)

 
GAY 2AFRIKA, INC., Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Kenya Airways join forces to
launch a 16-day Memorial Day 2010 Safari to Kenya and Tanzania "exclusively"
for the Gay and Lesbian Community
flagamerikka 
NEW YORK, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- GAY 2AFRIKA, INC., Virgin Atlantic Airways,
and Kenya Airways have launched a fully escorted 16-day safari to Kenya and
Tanzania for Gay and Lesbian singles, couples, and families, departing from
the United States on Tuesday, May 18, 2010.

COME SEE THE PARADISE visits Nairobi, the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Lake
Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park, Lake Manyara National Park,
Serengeti National Park, Olduvai Gorge, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire
National Park. 

Scheduled round-trip air services with Virgin Atlantic Airways and Kenya
Airways routed New York City (JFK) / London / Nairobi / London / New York City
(JFK) are included in the unbeatable price of $4,699 p/p + tax of $295. At no
additional price, passengers can join COME SEE THE PARADISE from Newark,
Boston, Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

All transfers and accommodation, 36 meals and 17 safari game viewing drives
are included and COME SEE THE PARADISE will be accompanied by a GAY 2AFRIKA
Tour Manager from New York City.

Apart from no add-on fares from Virgin Atlantic Airways gateway cities in the
U.S., there is no single supplement applicable, making COME SEE THE PARADISE
an attractive safari for Gay & Lesbian singles who prefer the privacy of their
own accommodation.

Fully escorted from New York City, GAY 2AFRIKA permits passengers to depart
ahead of time if they wish and break their journey in London for an additional
charge of only $95 p/p per stop. In addition, passengers should consider
extending their safari and visiting nearby Zanzibar for a short "beach-break"
before returning back to the United States. 

"Finally, a fully escorted safari to Kenya and Tanzania for the Gay & Lesbian
community," said the company's Founder and President, Kenneth R. Hieber. "At
this unbeatable price, I would hope that Gay and Lesbian singles and couples
take full advantage of realizing their African Dream with like-minded people.
Since space is limited, I encourage passengers to sign-up as quickly as
possible," Hieber stated. It is Hieber's hope that Gay and Lesbian families
take full advantage of this exciting offer. "I can think of no more exciting
safari than one made up of Gay and Lesbian singles, couples and families," he
concluded at today's press conference in New York.
amerikkka_invades

About GAY 2AFRIKA, INC.

GAY 2AFRIKA, INC. is the only African-gay-owned and operated Safari Specialist
Company in the United States. The company's portfolio has been meeting the
discerning taste of the LGBT Community for 14 years and is fully conversant in
the likes and dislikes of the Gay and Lesbian traveler. That combined with
Founder and President Kenneth R. Hieber's African nativity makes for a
flawless African Experience. GAY 2AFRIKA is the pioneer of LGBT travel to
Africa and has been "out" there for 14 years.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

    Kenneth R. Hieber
    Tel: (212) 385-9770
    Email: kenneth@gay2afrika.com

SOURCE  GAY2AFRIKA, INC.
what's interesting to analyse is some of the responses to this, which is the subject of this post,
where art thou? and what are your politics?
 
EXHIBIT A
Well, the local queer community should also capitalize on this opportunity then and organize a party at the same time,
and look at other ways to connect with and benefit from this trip.

> Thanks for sharing,

> Zawadi

 

[i digress......herstorical note on LGBTTIQQ  activism in East Afrika...
flaguganda
flagtanzania
 

there are several circulating stereotypes among queer/trans activists and org's in East Afrika about

the state of organising in the different countries.
Kenya is party central.
Uganda is the bread basket. 

Tanzanians only have 2 activists that can speak english well.....
a mine field for reflection.

 

what I can tell you is that there were many parties I went to in Kenya,
there was at least one every month,

adn when I first staretd volunteering at the centre,
there were spots I could go to in town almost every day,
that queer/trans folks frequented.

my experience in the night culture though left me disillusioned even faster than my initial foray into the
 queer/trans community in TDot.

then, at first, all i heard about was church street, so that's where I went,thi time last year, I was missing even church street.

even though church street was the brutal site of my
 discovery that jus coz you both queer doesn't mean you share much else in common,
it still holds for the promise of family,
that is what I went there for,
(though if I am to be really honest,.I was relaly just looking for sex and some friendly dykes,
not much more....
but that's another story....the point of which is to make the bigger point that I, for one, 

in full advocacy for creating more positive and safe spaces for LGBTTIQQ communities,
don't think that parties should be our priority.
neither are many of the conferences that queer/trans activists on the conference have been to.
ofcourse that's just my opinion, the reality is that , even I, who'd stopped 'going out' so much,
hungered for those spaces where I could hang out en socialise with queer/trans bredren,
I recognise and acknolwedge the political imperaitive andnature of organising parties for queer/trans folk in East
Africa.
and even I, for my insistence on working our unity first, had to acknowledge the meagerness of our resources.
many of us are po people,
most of the key activists have middle class privilege,
but I diress, yet again (consider it a literary ploy)
the bigger point is what re/building community looks like. and where i'd like to meet people.
when i was younger, I liked clubs, I loved the thrill of the chase, loved casual sex with juicy pussies.
i loved the thrill, and the closeness.
i love the rainbow identities.
I would jus prefer to meet all those people at the centre, at film screenings and readings,
at football matches en Afrikan Liberation day events,
basically, at many other places than the "night club" or the "resort".
i'd much rather have a potluck at my place, commune en reason with sistren,
en share ideas in a political think thank,
other than wax celebratory
in response to what big business and HR organisations are doing in the realm of
economic and constitutional matters.
coz I don't think they care about us, they may say they do, their actions might benefit us,
but I/we always gotta question, to what end?
there's so much (more) that needs to be done on the ground,
ask any queer/trans activist in East Afrika and they'll give you a long list of areas and programs
they need support in......in advocacy, education, employment, health care, service delivery
I don't think we can afford to be co-opted or distracted,
because tell me, who's going to do the dirty work?
pouline kimani ccould easiy have been a fanny ann eddy.
audrey mbugua is Venus, (in Paris in Burning)
brilliant women, all a dem...
half of the group mentioned is dead, and the other half have a few lives left yet.
but they're both struggling and r5ising above their limitations.
the cancerous sores of society's wilful ignorance.
these are some of the survivors.
there are many more.
 

 I don't think we should be celebrating all that much about this memorial day launch "safari"
 we should definitely see how we can use it to our advantage,
but we should be critical of who we want our partners to be.

and we should always ask, in the words of one of the MWA steering committee members,
"how is this going to help us?"
 
how many of us will really be able to afford to go?
is our movement being co-opted by capitalism and western imperialism?
can virgin atlantic donate some tickets for activists?

there's an  LGBTI philanthropy conference happening from Nov6-8 in Toronto,
could they sponsor some kenyan activists to attend?
should someone to take the lead on writing a proposal to GAY2AFRIKA,
to help implement an exchange program for queer/trans youth?

that way they could add a social responsibility component to their business?
should we create an action framework for building anti-oppressive, creative and productive networks of support?

many many questions.]
en here's another response to the GAY2AFRICA launch

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

Wonderful. God sent.
But, I wonder why people talk of LGBTI then leave out trannies and intersex people.

 [braap!!![(my emphasis)]
For example: "Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Kenya Airways have launched a

fully escorted 16-day safari to Kenya and Tanzania for Gay and Lesbian

singles, couples, and families, departing from the United States on

Tuesday, May 18, 2010." 

 

The music then turns to LGBT: "GAY 2AFRIKA is the

pioneer of LGBT travel to Africa and has been "out" there for 14 years."

 

I kindly urge LGBTI identifying individuals not to use this services till

they include the T and I.
Burn their aircrafts if you can. 
They hate us all

and they are pretending to like L and G and they just want to rip you clean.

They want to finish us.

 

If we don't do the right thing we will end up having minorities within

minorities. We need your help L, B and G.

 

We are one.

Audrey.
[i digress.herstorical note on audrey mbugua.
audreymbugua
i love this wo/man. she's a warrior. one of my s/heroes.
I love her coz she's committed to the struggle for queer/trans rights and speaks it as she sees it.
i love her coz I'm comfortable with her. she'll tell me what she feels.
she's difficult and mad intelligent.
i love cause i hear where she's coming from. 

coz I know that anger that she holds,
when s/he's one of the few, out there, publicly and privately battling for trans rights....
i love her coz s/he's a powerful woman.
and I tend to surround myself with powerful people, truth seekers, all the betta to learn from en grow with.
i love her coz as she says we are one. (inter/connected).
gayafrika.z.me.audrey. this list serv we're on.
en yet we are all different.
the challenge lies in achieving harmony.
but i digress, this section is particularly about audrey.
she is an example of the sorta person I want to cultivate a working relationship with.
she doesn't jus talk about getting involved. she's doing the dirty/necessary work.
because we have alot of organising to do and we need to organise (more) en agonise (less).
and there will be many times where it seems like we're doing it alone,
but we never are.
who gives a fuck what someone else think?
is that entitlement. yes.
it's easy to share those words on blog. behind a screen.
in another place, not here.
but then again, it ain't so easy.
I could make another choice.
I could choose to write about something else.
I have a wealth of indigenous herbs to explore for healing.
there is the matter of reclimaing indigneous afrikan knowledge and socio-political systems.
there is the revolushun,
en revolushunary living.
my life hasn't been easy and my choices aren't frivolous,
I have doubted my work before but I know that this work will continue to generate discomfort in many areas.
like with all the times that durey visisted doctors in hospitals,
endured intrusive tests, and ignorant, obnocious trans phobic questions,
all in the name of science.
en she went on,
I can tell this story, becase Audrey is willing and ready to share it
It is important to repeat that beacuse there are not many who are able to, or actually do, exercise that privilege,
of publicly advocating for queer/trans rights.
  my chosen occuption has come from several years now of being involved in working within and for queer/trans communities.
because if we don't then who will?
cleary the church is interested in us.
the state is invested in controlling and patrolling marked individuals.
and the people, well we're all busy living en surviving, right?
yes, and we are also resiting.
I yam onna dem,en there are many more of us.
like audrey.
she's fierce and loud and won't take complacency and compromise as an answer.]
 
en on that note, you should google her, read one of her articles, get in touch,
DO SOMETHING!
(en then some more.....watch for the continuation of this piece soon.
pt.II will be about the AUDREY  documentary project.
and a revision of the original treatment.
email me for more details on how to get involved and donate to T.E.A  and GALCK