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


…….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

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


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)


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

Dear (wa)kukhu na abakuka,

asante for your continued guidance and protection;

haki iwe ngao na mlinzi, natukae kwa undugu, amani na uhuru,

raha tupate na ustawi, not only sisi, lakini wengine.

nawashukuru wahenga najua kama Masinde wa Nameme okhwa Mwasame,

asante for your sacred leadership in the quest for peace, truth, justice,

and reclaiming the wealth of our people.

Visima vya kale havifunikwi,

Nashukuru the magic of your legacy  &  anniversary

inayoendelea ku-spread upendo, hope na positivity in abundance


kuna hadithi najua kuhusu how the earth floats in space on the back of a turtle, au (or)

ilibadilika kuwa dunia hii tunayojua ilipoletwa kama loose earth in a snail shell, iliyochimbuka na kuku.

wapi mchanga iliguza maji, it became solid land na chikichi ilipandwa kuwa mikindani, na mnazi….

kila mara hii hadithi husemwa, inabadilika.

sometimes the change is in de details, of reclaiming pan-afreekan languages.

other times hiyo badilisho is in de order of events.

But in all the telling of the tellers, the world never leaves de kobe’s back, and de turtle never swims away.

hadithi njoo, ukweli njoo, utamu kolea…..

I been collecting en sharing stories for moons going on decades now for de love, survival en nourishment of mi soul en others. There’s a hadithi I know it’s about de earth en how it floats in space on de back of a turtle, I read it in The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King, one of the books that dis blog owes its existence to, not only for de full on embracing of his ‘beginning’ in dis series of ‘Hadithi Zetu’ but for de legacies en continued guidance en protection of his wahenga. In that spirit of intimacy or dis ting we call ubuntu..

as photographed by Toyin Coker

Kuna hadithi najua vile, hapo zamani za kale, jua na maji were great friends, en both lived on de earth together. The sun very often used to visit de wota, but maji never returned his visits. At last de jua asked maji why it was he never came to see him in his house. Maji replied that de sun’s house was not big enough, en that if s/he came with hir people s/he would drive de sun out.

Maji then said, “If you wish me to visit you, you must build a very large compound; but I warn you that it will have to be a tremendous place, as my people are numerous en take up alot of room.”

De jua promised to build a very big compound, en soon afterward he returned home to his wife, de moon, who greeted him with a broad smile when he opened de door. De Jua told de moon what he had promised de maji, en de next day he started building a huge compound in which to entertain his friend.

When it was completed, he asked de maji to come en visit him de next day.

When maji arrived, s/he called out to de sun en asked him whether it would be safe for hir to enter, en de ju answered, “Yes, come in, mi rafiki.”

De maji began to flow in, accompanied by de fish en all de wota animals.

photographed by Toyin Coker

Very soon de maji was knee deep, so he asked de sun if it was still safe, en de jua again said, “Yes,” so mo maji came in.

When de water was level with de top of a man’s head, de maji said to de sun, “Do you want mo of my people to come?”

De sun en de moon answered, “Yes,” not knowing any betta, so de maji flowed in, until de sun en moon had to perch themselves on de top of de roof.

Again de maji addressed de sun, but, receiving de same answer, en more of his people rushing in, de wota very soon overflowed de top of de roof, en de sun en de moon were forced to go up into de sky, where they have remained ever since.

Hadithi wa Ibibio-efik, via Best Loved Folktales of The World [ selected by Joanna Cole]

And there’s another story I know bout the Origin of Death as retold by de (wA)Kamba people of Kenya

 Asasi wa Kifo

And how did it happen?

It is God/dess who created men. And since God/dess has pity, S/he said, “I do not wish men to die altogether. I wish that men, having died, should rise again.” And so he created men en placed them in another region. But he stayed at home.

And then God/dess saw de chameleon en de weaver bird. After he had spent three days with de chameleon en de weaver bird, He recognised that de weaver bird was a great maker of words compounded of lies en truth. Now of lies there were many, but of de words of truth there were few.

Then s/he watched de chameleon en recognised that he had great intelligence. He did not lie. His words were true. So he spoke to de chameleon, “Chameleon, go into that region where I have placed de men I have created, en tell them that when they have died, even if they are altogether dead, they shall still rise again-that each man shall rise again after he dies.”

De chameleon said, “Yes, I will go there.” But he went slowly, for it his fashion to go slowly. De weaver bird had stayed behind with God/dess.

De chameleon travelled on, en when he had arrived at his destination, he said, “I was told, I was told, I was told……” But he did not say what he had been told.

De weaver bird said to God/dess, “I wish to step out for a moment.”

And God/dess said to him, “Go!”

But de weaver bird, since he is a ndege, flew swiftly, en arrived at de place where de chameleon was speaking to de people en saying, “I was told…..” Everyone was gathered there to listen. When de weaver bird arrived, he said, “What was told to us? Truly, we were told that men, when they are dead, shall perish like de roots of de aloe.”

Then de chameleon exclaimed, “But we were told, we were told, we were told, that when men are dead, they shall rise again.”

Then de magpie interposed en said, “De first speech is de wise one.”

And now all de people left en returned to their homes. This was de way it happened.

And so men become old en die; they do not rise again.

Hapo zamani za kale, not far from the city of Accra on de Gulf of Guinea, a country man went out to his garden to dig up some yams to take to the market. While he was digging, one of de yams said to him, “Well, at last you’re here. You never weeded me, but now you come around with your digging stick. Go away and leave me alone!”

The farmer turned around and looked at his cow in amazement. The cow was chewing her cud and looking at him.

“Did you say something?” he asked

The cow kept on chewing and said nothing, but de man’s dog spoke up. “It wasn’t the cow who spoke to you,” de dog said. “It was de yams. The yams say leave him alone.”

De man became angry, because his dog had never talked before, en he didn’t like his tone besides. So he took his knife and cut a branch from a palm tree to whip his dog. Just then de palm tree said, “Put that branch down!”

De man was getting very upset about de way tings were going, en he started to throw de palm branch away, but de palm branch said, “Man, put me down softly!”

He put de branch down gently on a stone, en de stone said, “Hey, take that ting off me!”

This was enough, en de frightened farmer started to run for his village. On de way he met a fisherman going de other way with a fish tarp on his head.

“What’s de hurry?” de fisherman asked.

“My yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ Then de dog said, ‘Listen to what de yam says!’ When I went to whip de dog with a palm branch de tree said, “Put that branch down!’ Then de palm branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ Then de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’ “

“Is that all?” de man with de fish trap asked. “Is that so frightening?”

“Well,” de man’s fish trap said, “did he take it off de stone?”

“Wah!” de fisherman shouted. He threw de fish trap on de ground and began to run with de farmer, en on de trail they met a weaver with a bundle of cloth on his head.

“Where are you going in such a rush?” he asked them.

“My yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ De dog said, ‘Listen to what de yam says!’ De tree said, “Put that branch down!’ De branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’ “

“And then,” de fisherman continued, “de fish trap said, “Did he take it off?”

“That’s nothing to get excited about,” de weaver said. “No reason at all.”

“Oh, yes it is,” his bundle of cloth said. “If it happened to you you’d run too!”

“Wah!” de weaver shouted. He threw his bundle on de trail en started running with de other men

They came panting to de ford in de river en found a man bathing. “Are you chasing a gazelle?” he asked them.

The first man said breathlessly, “My yam talked at me, en it said, ‘Leave me alone!’ And mi dog said, ‘Listen to your yam!’ And when I cut myself a branch de tree said, ‘Put that branch down!’ And de branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’”

The fisherman panted, “And mi trap said, ‘Did he?’”

De weaver wheezed, “And mi bundle of cloth said, ‘You’d run too!’”

“Is this why you’re running?” de man in de river asked.

“Well, wouldn’t you run if you were in their position?” de river said.

De man jumped out of de wota en began to run with de others. They ran down de main street of de village to de house of de chief de chief’s servant brought his stool out, en he came en sat on it to listen to their complaints. The men began to recite their troubles.

“I went out to mi garden to dig yams,” de farmer said, waving his arms. “Then everyting began to talk! Mi yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ Mi dog said, ‘Pay attention to your yam!’ De tree said, ‘Put that branch down!’ De branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take it off me!’”

“And mi fish trap said, ‘Well, did he take it off?’” de fisherman said.

“And mi cloth said, ‘You’d run too!’” de weaver said.

And de river said de same,” de bather said hoarsely, his eyes bulging.

“De chief listened to them patiently, but he couldn’t refrain from scowling. “Now this is a really wild story,” he said at last. “You’d betta all

go back to your work before I punish you for disturbing de peace.”
So de men went away, en de chief shook his head en mumbled to himself,

“Nonsense like that upsets de community.”

“Fantastic, isn’t it?” his stool said. “Imagine, a talking yam!”

[Ongea=Talk is an ancient hadithi from de Ashanti people, via The Cow-Tail Switch by Harold Courlander & George Herzog]

Msimulizi: Paukwa!

goddesses I love respekt, en admire so

Hadhira: Pakawa!

Msimulizi:              Kaondokea chenjaga

                                    Kajenga nyumba kaka

                                      Mwanangu mwanasiti vijino kama chikichi

                                      Vya kujengea vikuta

                                      Na vilango vya kupitia

 Up to this point, dis blog has been dedicated to sitting studently at the rivers of de feet of honourable, inspiring mashujaa wa mashinani, en sharing their/our hadithi kwasababu wanayofundisha si mpya… words cannot describe how infinitely grateful I yam for the continued guidance of malaikas en all ur zawadis, bless you akina dada, ndugu, mama, baba, watoto na wahenga wa Afreeka, nashukuru ukweli wa hadithi zetu ya zamani hadi leo na kesho……

Up to this point I have described the life of de Nubians who live south of de marsh-country; those who inhabit de marshes are in most tings much de same as the rest; and they also practice monogamy, as de Greeks do; nevertheless they are peculiar in certain ways which they have discovered of living mo cheaply: for instance, they gather the wota-lilies (called lotus by the Nubians), which grow in great abundance when de river is full en floods de neighbouring flats, en dry them in de sun; then from de centre of each blossom they pick out someting which resembles a poppy-head, grind it, en make them into loaves which they bake. De root of this plant is also edible; it is round, about as big as an apple, en tastes fairly sweet.

There is another kind of lily to be found in de river; this resembles a rose, en its fruit is formed on a separate stalk from that which bears de blossom, en has very much the look of a wasp’s comb. De fruit contains a number of seeds, about de size of an olive-stone, which are good to eat either green or dried. They pull up the annual crop of papyrus-reed which grows in de marshes, cut de stalks in two, en eat de lower part, about eighteen-inches in length, first baking it in a closed pan, heated red-hot, if they want to enjoy it to perfection. The upper section of de stalk is used for some other purpose. Some of these people, however, live upon nothing but samaki (fish), which they gut as soon as they catch them, en eat after drying them in de sun.

Gregarious fish are not found in large numbers in rivers; they frequent de lakes, which they leave at de breeding season to swim in shoals to de sea……When de Nile begins to rise, de hollows en marshy ground close beside it are de first to fill, de wota from de river seeping through de banks, en no sooner are these low-lying bits of ground formed into lakes than they are found to contain a multitude of small fish…..The Nubians who live in de marsh-country use an oil extracted from de castor-oil plant. This plant, which grows wild in Greece, they call Kiki; en de Egyptian variety is very prolific….

The Nile boats used for carrying freight are built of acacia [?] wood – de acacia resembles in form de lotus of Cyrene, en exudes gum…De boats have no ribs and are caulked from de inside with papyrus. They are given a single steering-oar, which is driven down through de keel; de masts are of acacia wood, de sails of papyrus…

When de Nile overflows, de whole country is converted into a sea, en de towns, which alone remain above wota, look like de islands in de Aegean. At these times wota transport is used all over de country, instead of merely along de course of a river, en anyone going from Naucratis to Memphis would pass right by de pyramids instead of following de usual course by Cercasorus en de tip of the Delta….

Up to dis point I have confined what I have written [en restored] to de results of mi own direct observation, research en memory ya ndoto, en de views I have formed from them; but from now on de basis of dis hadithi will be de accounts given to Herodotus by de Nubians themselves-though here, too, I shall put in one or two tings which I have seen with mi own eyes.

The priests told me that it was Min, de first king of Egypt, who raised de dam which protects Memphis from de floods. De river used to flow along de base of de sandy hills on de Libyan border, en dis monarch, by damming it up at de bend about a hundred furlongs south of Memphis, drained de original channel en diverted it to a new one half-way between de two lines of hills.

reclaiming maktabas

To this day the elbow which de Nile forms here, where it is forced into its new channel, is most carefully watched by de ‘Persians’, who strengthen de dam every year; for should de river burst it, Memphis might be completely overwhelmed. On de land which had been drained by de diversion of de river, King Min built de city which is now called Memphis – it lies in de narrow part of Egypt – and afterwards on de north en west sides of de town excavated a lake, communicating with de river, which itself protects it on de east. In addition to his de priests told Herodotus that he built there de large en very remarkable temple of Hephaestus….

[Je, hii ni ukweli au uongo?

p.63 – ?] source: The Histories by Herodotus

Nitamaliza na haiku mbili,

Memories of, nyimbo za Uhuru na #Hadithi Yetu


Coming Soon,  #To David With Love

kama ni ukweli…..

how can we harvest de wisdom of where we come from to create new possibilities for the United States of Afrika?

There’s a story I know bout de earth en how Kintu lived on it alone with his ng’ombe, until Nambi came, en everytime someone tells de hadithi it changes, some versions say she came with her ndugu, others say in the beginning, there was de fikra; she came alone, en then took him to see her baba, some modern Kenyan versions are reincarnated as Makmende, Abscondita Amerudi & Britannia Zimeisha.

Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi njoo, Uongo njoo, Utamu kolea….

Who among us carry the sage siri(secret)s of loving?

Leo ni leo asemaye kesho ni muongo, na asemaye ya wahenga ni?

Kuna another hadithi nakumbuka bout’ how…it was de Nubians who originated, and taught the Greeks to use, ceremonial meetings, processions, and liturgies: a fact which can be inferred from the obvious antiquity of such ceremonies in Nubia, compared with Greece, where they have [in comparison] been only recently introduced. The Nubians meet in solemn assembly not once a year only, but on a number of occasions, the most important en best

attended being the festival of A…st at Bubastis: second in importance is the assembly at Busiris- a city in the middle of the Delta, containing a vast temple dedicated to Isis, the Nubian equivalent of Demeter, in whose honour the meeting is held. Then there are the assemblies in honour of A….at Sais, of the Sun at Heliopolis, of Leto at Buto, and of A…at Papremis…

De kiboko (hippopotamus) is held sacred in de district ofPapremis, but not elsewhere…..Otters, too, are found in de Nile; they, and the fish called lepidotus, en eels are all considered sacred to de Nile, as is also the bird known as the fox-goose. Another sacred ndege is de phoenix; I have (not) seen a phoenix myself, (except) in paintings and (twice in d’bi young anitafrika’s play- benu)…it is very rare en visits the country (at least they say in Heliopolis) only at intervals of 500 years, on de occasion of the death of de parent-ndege.

To judge by de paintings, its plumage is partly golden, partly red, en in shape and size it is exactly like a eagle. There is a hadithi about de phoenix; it brings its parent in a lump of myrrh all the way from Arabia and buries de body in de temple of de sun. To perform dis feat, de bird first shapes some myrrh into a sort of egg as it finds, by testing, that it can carry; then it hollows the lump out, puts its baba inside en smears some myrrh over de hole. De egg-shaped lump is then jus of same weight as it was originally.

Finally it is carried by de ndege to de Temple of the Sun in Egypt…..

Such, at least, are some of de stories re/membered in dis series. How can we go out en plant these seeds (as ‘new’ year resolutions)?

[it is not coincidence that]…The Nubians were also de first to assign each moon en each day to a particular deity, en to foretell by the date of a wo/man’s birth, character, fortunes and the day of hir death – a re/discovery which Greek poets have turned to account. The Nubians, too, have made more use of omens en prognostics than any other nation; they keep written records of the observed results of any unusual phenomenon, so that they come to expect a similar consequence to follow a similar occurrence in de future.

The art of divination is not attributed by them to any man, but only to certain orisha….The practice of medicine they split up into separate parts, each doctor being responsible for the treatment of only one disease. There are, in consequence, innumerable doctors…..The Nubians are unwilling to adopt Greek customs, or, to speak generally, those of most other countries. There are however, notable exceptions, like in the case of Chemmis, a large town near Neapolis in de district of Thebes. In this place there is a square of enclosed ground sacred to Perseus de son of Danae; palm trees grow round it, and there is a stone gateway of great size surmounted by two very large stone figures. Within de enclosure is a shrine containing a statue of …guess who?

[multi-layered readings from The Histories by Herodotus]

How do we frame IT as we bring other people into the conversashun?

What other conversashuns if begun leo (today), could ripple out in a way that created new possibilities for de future of the United States?

Kwasababu, kama ni ukweli si mpya….na we are the mashujaa we’ve been looking for, au siyo?