[Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….]    OUR BIRTHRIGHT AS A CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSE

If we view reality from de angle that we come to Earth to fulfill a particular purpose, birth can then be looked at as a contract between dis world en de dunia of the wahenga or other dimensions. This contract is agreed to in different ways. For some parents it is a conscious choice; for others, it is unconscious, but for the incoming soul the choice is always a

conscious one. In all cases the choice to be born is welcomed by all wahenga, spirits, and community. And in this sense we are all part of one large, interwoven community, ever growing, in this dunia en in worlds beyond.

We must remember that our position in respect to dis contract determines de quality of life our spirits will live in our

bodies. After our spirits are in human form, the difficulties of keeping de contract unaltered are always present.

Some people understand these difficulties as important landmarks are able to use them as maisha/life lessons, allowing the difficulties to remind them where to turn when they experience them. Many don’t realize, however, that de circumstances we experience in our lives are things we chose – we could even say “programmed” – prior to being born. And, because of dis state of ignorance or rejection of de idea that we actually plan our course, we often miss de lessons contained in de difficult experiences, en we continue to live in the dark.

If we believe that our greatest wounds are actually our greatest zawadi/gifts, we can embrace de idea that the hardships we experience in our families of origin are no accidents. Whether we are born to loving wazazi/parents, or abusive wazazi, born by natural childbirth or by Cesarean, born into or without a community, born with disabilities, or found in a trash yard, we all have unique zawadis to bring to dis dunia.

Our wounds are not only our landmarks, but our lessons – tools from which we must learn to draw our strength and wisdom. For example, if you find yourself irritated by the lack of true community, chances are that part of the reason you chose to be born in your environment is to bring an awareness to others that community is needed for our spirit and our watoto(children)’s spirit to blossom.

Ofcourse, we would like to assume that we did not have any part in such a contract so that we can blame others (such as our wazazi) or circumstances (such as a lack of time or affection) for our difficulties. Lakini ukweli ni, truth is,we signed up for de obstacles we experience, en when we reject dis ukweli, we spend most of our time feeling stuck and frustrated.

Our spiritual growth becomes stagnant, and our zawadis are not delivered to the world in a way that liberates us. As this way of life continues, our lack of spiritual growth and gif giving can turn into a toxin, a sickness that can destroy our lives.

When people do not fulfill their life purposes, they have to come back and try again, bringing different lessons to help them on their journeys. The question then becomes, How can we move forward in this life and do wot we are here to do? My sense is that we start to take responsibility for signing the contract, and then find, or create, the appropriate community in which we can then deliver our zawadis en be receptive to other people’s gifts as well.

The understanding Dagara people have of pregnancy, birth, and the purpose of incoming souls to Earth makes them take pregnancy and de birthing process very seriously. In fact, they make sure they prepare themselves for the incoming soul in a way that allows for a healthy and welcomed arrival. This overstanding is at de root of preconception, pregnancy, na afterbirth rituals…..

Hadithi-telling as a Ritual

There is a mythical and a ritual dimension to all hadithi/stories. Many rituals have been kept alive through hadithi. The simple fact of telling hadithi takes us into a ritual where we commune with de divine. In my kijiji, there is a prayer made at the beginning of each hadithi session to open de gates to de divine. Storytelling is a communal event (particularly in dis world wide web).

In my kijiji, there are days when the elders tell hadithi, en other days, de watoto tell hadithi. Sometimes watoto start the hadithi en de elders finish it or vice versa. By telling hadithi in this way, everybody is heard.

This is valuable because when a hadithi is told, you can tell wot is happening in the maisha of de person telling it, and it points out wot kind of ritual is needed for that person. And telling a hadithi to a group, family, or community can bring everyone together

Ndotos as a Ritual

Dreaming is one of the places where we dive into rituals without resistance. We can use our ndoto to do healing rituals for ourselves or other people. Again, you need to use and focus your intention, to ask for guidance and answers with an initial prayer before going to sleep, and be willing to receive the information you are seeking.

Often, ndotos send us valuable messages without our asking. Pay attention to your dreams – they just might be trying to tell you which ritual took place and which one is yet to happen, or simply tell you things you need to keep your eyes on.

There is no question that we all, at times, don’t remember our ndoto. This happens when we are agitated, frustrated, ungrounded, defensive, resistant to the work being done in our ndotos, or when we do not find value in dreaming.

If you awaken abruptly before things can be solved in your ndotos, you can carry the nervousness or anger from the dream into your waking hours. Try to wake up slowly and roll back to the side you were dreaming on. Lay down a few minutes and think about your ndoto. Keep a ndoto journal by your bed and write in it as soon as you wake up. You will be surprised by how much you remember and how much work you did during your sleep.

Be creative, and always remember that rituals are serious and should be taken earnestly. Most people practice some form of ritual in their lives without thinking about it. When you celebrate a life-strong, graduation, or marriage, you can turn them into meaningful rituals by bringing spirit, intention, and purpose to them. Think about the joy you receive when participating in a friend’s or family member’s birthday, graduation, or wedding. You can experience the same sense of joy, healing, and connectedness by incorporating rituals into your daily life…..

read mo from the source “Welcoming Spirit Home – Ancient African Teachings To Celebrate Children And Community” by Sobonfu Some.

Asante mama.

[i,S.I.S  note: reposting this obituary from Philo Ikonya with big love, respekt and humility, in honour of the legacy of yet another warrior in the struggle for Afrikan liberation……]

His serene face of concern, always brightened with a smile, was his signature. His words were always that he could give more. I am going to talk about how he always moved for us, always made greater space.

Something is not going right. Someone has been arrested or some people have been arrested in Nairobi. Or, there is a moment to stand up against corruption and be heard. You blow the whistle. Some people drop everything and turn up.

Odipo arrives early. He does not mind whether he is in front or behind the others, Odipo is there. He is not the kind of person who pushes for space for his body. But you can see his mind is focused. He moves it away for you to sit comfortably. He does not move his mind from you and the topic. I can see him move for me and others in a sitting at Kikwetu Restaurant, for a cup of tea that we need badly. I can see him always shifting for someone else to be happy. Odipo listened deeply and looked broadly. Odipo thought carefully through things. He saw himself as a link within a chain that must not break.

I have to share something deeper with you. Odipo has gone and left us but already he has proved that he has seen we are his living body. I mean it. And that means he is our spirit. I say this because after much anguish, the happy man I heard sing in my dream. He says, ‘I have seen my body.’ I cannot hide that from you. He has seen how you moved as Wabunge as a people, human rights defenders and others.

Odipo had seen and spoken about how important it was for all of us to be connected. I know that many amazing heroes of the Kenyan struggle have a history of remaining backstage, remaining the ones who do not get the accolades and wards and I feel pain. I also see signs that this will not always be so. I know it.

When Odipo was arrested with me, he immediately started taking care of me. He moved for me. He told the police off.

I will go into details here.

On 9 September 2009, just a year and two months and nine days ago, Odipo arrived early outside the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission office. He found Kingwa Kamencu, Khainga O’kwemba and Philo Ikonya outside the offices holding up a poem. We were waiting to read it to the anti-corruption board for we wanted to support them in their bid for Ringera to leave office. The president had tried to hold on to Ringera and Ringera was overstaying his welcome and not working against corruption in a convincing manner. We know the history.

Facing the offices, we had not looked behind us but when we did, there was a policeman, walkie-talkie in the air, striding down the street, the cars having been parked behind our backs. I said to Odipo, ‘Let’s go!’. We did not want to be arrested. Odipo told me, ‘Yes, Philo you are right.’ I heard the policeman say ‘those two’, and he was looking at us. We walked up quietly on the side of former CID headquarters and left the scene. We walked towards Heron Court Hotel and went past. We then came back and noticing a small police van driving slowly near Heron, we hid in some flats higher up the street. We knew the office and we chatted up the secretary nervously. We did not have phones on us and really we had no reason to seriously believe the police were waylaying us for almost half an hour. We left the flats and police cars moved out of the parking fast, and in minutes we were arrested.

I was grabbed first with the words, ‘Get into this car!’ I told them they could arrest me, not beat me and only if there was a woman cop and that he could not touch me. Odipo supported me and asked why they were arresting us.

We also said that if Mr Mugwai – who had beaten me up in February – was in the car, we could not get in.

We were in the vehicle that turned out to be as dark as night, especially since we had come from the light of a bright day. We were told to stay in the middle of the vehicle holding the bar on top. It was uncomfortable. As our pupils dilated and I began to see, I realised the vehicle was filled with helmeted riot police. It was just as well I had not made a dash for the hotel. It had crossed my mind but I had looked at the arresting officer’s own club, unaware that the vehicle was filled with a team.

I could not see Odipo. Suddenly as in the arrest moments someone loses some perspectives; I asked where Odipo was. He answered me he was there in the front of the back part of the van. I realised I still could not see well except for the dark shiny helmets – no faces. He consoled me. He had moved his body right up – and at once we realised this intimidation was too much. We tried to sit down, not realising that there was a person everywhere we could sit, and they threw us up from the bottoms – ‘Simama!’, they shouted. We sang. Odipo started off the tune. It was of the Kenyan national anthem. But the words were ours:

‘Eeh Mungu nguvu yetu,
Ilete Baraka kwetu
Haki yetu iwe ngao na mlinzi.’

The policemen started to taunt us. They asked me if I get a million shillings for wearing a sack. I told them they had done their job – to arrest – and that they could now keep quiet. Odipo went on: We sang three lines and changed to another tune. We sang to ourselves to stand firm and not be shaken.

‘Eeee iyayaya ya weeee!
Philo wetu, weewee,
Eeeh Odipo!
Simama simama simama imara!’

Odipo was roughed up. He gave up his body whilst his mind looked at me. At Kilimani police station, he told the policemen and the inmates to respect me. He was coughing badly. He got sick. He kept on looking out for me.

I was very surprised by that dream I had the other day. But why should I have been? Odipo always gave up his body for the spirit to grow. I feel he should have lived, but he tells me he wants one body and that he has seen his body. Odipo has not died so that we might be weaker. He has died so that we become stronger.

I feel very challenged. One, it is hard to share dreams in public. It is so easy to be ridiculed when you speak about dreams. But two, they must be shared if they are about us. I draw a lesson: We must continue to dream on and work together. We must heal the divisions that are brought to us.

I know that later that day, I realised Kenya was not so divided, including in civil society in 2007 especially, by chance. We have people who watch us all the time. They work even when they do not arrest us. Today, they will tell you who am I to speak dreams when I am so far away; yesterday they said, do you not see who gets all the attention and even awards, those big guys who speak on TV.

OUR SOLIDARITY

In 2007, they spread to Kenyans that some tribes were this and others that. A village woman spoke to me about communism in a political competitor and her age and all that showed me that this was pure government propaganda. Have you stopped to wonder how even the churches came to be so divided? There is an intelligence that does not like our unity. We have a choice to make. Odipo tells me to insist on the issue of solidarity and not just to say pretty things about dreams. Can we do this together bearing in mind that solidarity is not about uniformity? We must learn to see the wedges, the knives that they run between us and hold on together for real change! I note that Odipo’s great friends had no ethnic code; they were just Kenyans. Let us keep a real Kenya in focus. Let us know our enemies. They know us.

Odipo,
I will not sing a dirge to you
Son of Ramogi,
And of Kenya.
On Mt. Kenya,
Son of Afrika.
My dirge is challenged-
to sing victory
To a child of truth.
To a man of strength,
To a man of commitment.
Of freedom.

I come bearing not flowers picked along the road,
But words you spoke and sang.
I come bearing pain too.
Mama Odipo is crying still
The whole clan in tears but blessed.
I want her healing to be Change in Kenya.

I have not come late Comrade,

I come to say you are calling.
You are calling us for greater
Freedom and growth.
I come to say you debated
democracy and rights,
Even on an empty stomach,
in the cells and hospital bed.
I come to say you cared for us.
I come to say your friends were Kenyans,
not tribe. I say too you made my spirit grow.

I feel pain, I do. But you urge me on.
You tell me you have seen your body.
That your body is ours.

Comrade Odipo,
I salute you.
Beyond the grave you still challenge us.
Peacefully and with searching glance,
You urge us stand as one!
Bless your tenderly loved ones,
Bless your loved Kenya.
Bless us with growth.
Tell ancestor Ramogi,
And Kenya on Mt. Kenya,
That,
we still stand.

Go well Odipo.
Go well.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/obituary/69012

by michael hureaux perez

We must build a militant grassroots movement rooted in the working majority that is completely independent from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.”

 

How good it is to know that if the world were burning to a crisp, the owners of society would let us know before we were completely toasted. First the oil spill from the late Deepwater Horizon was spewing out at a thousand gallons a day, then it was five thousand gallons a day, and today it is quietly admitted that it may be upwards of a hundred thousand gallons a day. Not that I’m shocked, you understand, I expect nothing from the ruling class of this country after Hurricane Katrina was used to purge better than a thousand black people from the planet five years ago.

What does intrigue me, however, is the banality of corporate thugs like British Petroleum, who announce such news with the demeanor of a waiter letting you know the short order cook burned your toast. As for the so-called democratic government of the United States, which should be arresting these criminals at this moment, we are treated to yet another display of Obama’s stentorian skills.

Un(/)fortunately, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/eshu%E2%80%99s-blues-make-them-drink-it 

 The current ruling class of the United States of America is the most corrupt, bloated and incompetent group of gangsters to oversee this country since its founding. Their public face may be sleeker and wary of its “carbon footprint,” they may drink green tea and jog with their kids seated in ergonomically correct strollers through city parks, but they are as venal – nay, they are more venal than the top hatted, cigar puffing fat cats that were lampooned in the socialist press a century ago.

The robber barons of that era at least had enough social consciousness to know that public libraries and public hospitals were a needful thing. The current generation of new age merit class capitalists daily configure new strategies for selling off the public sector, lock, stock and barrel.

Market efficiency will take care of all, na?

 

So welcome to the new efficiency under the predator drone-guarded skies. The new generation of market gurus couldn’t foresee the depth of the banking crisis, they couldn’t foresee the endless nature of their atrocities in the Near East, they couldn’t foresee the disaster that has befallen the Gulf of Mexico. (Gaza, Johannesburg, Mtwapa, Ayiti…….)

Amazing, isn’t it, how people who were allegedly elevated through the magic of the marketplace can’t see a speeding train when they’re standing in front of it? The truth is that our new ruling elite do not care what happens to the economy or the ecology so long as their investment portfolios are yielding high dividends.

 

Certainly the charismatic they put in the White House this last go round wasn’t about to cop to how bad the mess in the Gulf of Mexico is until just a few days ago.

Obama’s response was his usual pursing of the lips, “cluck, cluck, cluck,” and a stentorian reminder to the hup-ho that from now on, they’ll have to play nice. Who needs manatees or pelicans anyway?

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend. Even people who never thought he was about much are perpetually astounded at what an opportunist and bloodstained piece of work he’s actually become. He is, in essence, the sort of black politician that all too many white folks – and unfortunately, a great many black people – have come to love and cherish as the best of all possible worlds under the current social order. He’s so obviously disgusting that many of us have grown tired of the topic. He’s just a symptom of our eighteenth century geniuses, Panglosses talking endlessly about their best of all possible worlds.

Our new age Panglosses have basically declared that what we have leading us in this country is the best that anyone can possibly do under the current arrangement. Unfortunately, if this daily grenade range is the best they have to offer, then I can only chime in with the terrible Leon Trotsky, when he observed seventy years ago that if global warfare and the common ruin of nature and humanity were required for the capitalist system to thrive, it’s time it perished.

A triad of transnational behemoths with the appellations Transocean, British Petroleum, and Halliburton have birthed an environmental catastrophe that will in turn imperil the hardwon economic gains of working class people in the deep southern United States for generations. The spill in the Gulf poses a menace to the economies of people of the Caribbean basin: Mexico, the Central American nations, the north of South America. The people who are responsible for this mess are vicious, and we must prepare to make them answer for their crimes against the planet and its peoples.

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend.”

So once again: There has been enough “skinnin’ and grinnin’,” and enough group deception around the actual intentions of the so-called “democratic” party. As usual, even as rivers of oil daily threaten not only the crabbing and shrimping industries that have fed our peoples along the Gulf Coast for generations – and not only as such irreplaceable creatures as the brown pelican, the blue fin tuna, and the manatee are threatened with extinction – the “democratic” party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate. Never forget: our ruling class knows that an unspeakable atrocity is palatable when it’s trotted out and played in minor chords.

Our peoples in this country must be made to understand that the destruction of a maritime industry that has kept the Southeastern states in the U.S. relatively solvent for generations and the slow immolation of an entire aquatic ecosystem is a crime against all of nature and all of humanity.

  

We have to stop fooling ourselves. There is a class war going on against our peoples and against the natural world, a calculated gamble that is being pursued by the ruling classes of this country.

If we are to survive, we are going to have to see this game, and raise the stakes………….

The eternal question is: who’s got the plan? There are lots of planners, there are lots of ideas in contention. At the very least, each respective strategy we adopt must retain as its watchword the complete independence of the political organizations of the wage earning majority from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.

But I would like to modestly suggest that we begin by conducting a militant defense of the public sector of the economy through whatever grassroots community and labor organizations at our disposal – once again, with the notable exception of the “democratic” party, which is not an organization that belongs to the wage earning majority, nor will it ever be. Let’s get clear on that. A lot of us are going to go weak in the knees when the “democrats” break out with their usual “the monsters are coming!” show two years from now when the GOP rolls out creeps like Mitch Romney and Sarah Palin. Let’s declare their agenda irrelevant and organize differently. Let’s build upon what we do as a militantly independent grassroots movement.

The ‘democratic’ party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate.”

Obviously the only ideas that are excluded are racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, shapist, or anything else the capitalist system has come up with to get us to kill each other. No more false unities with people who clearly hate us. Let the polarization that actually exists be open, and let it declare itself openly under the rubric of a political organization rooted in the wage earning majority. There are beginning efforts like this happening in Pennsylvania and North Carolina right now, and there can be no doubt that this will be a long arduous road. All the same, we must get started.

We have to build a grassroots political movement that bases itself upon the energies of the wage earning majority, one that conducts a militant defense of the public sector in this economy. The ruling elite don’t want us to have any political power. Not any. Defend our unions, defend our community organizations, build, defend and expand the public sector of the economy.

The terrible Che Guevara used to say that to accomplish much, one must lose everything.

But be very clear: there are things we have no business losing, and the natural world is foremost among  them. We live in a moment when the ruling class of the most technologically advanced country on the planet is willing to flush all of nature down the toilet in order to preserve its imperatives. We cannot allow that. If all I’m talking about here is what amounts to an existential choice for most of us, maybe that’s going to have to be enough to get some people going. The choice is one of being or nothingness.

As for the fools who are destroying the Gulf of Mexico, who believe as the fool Ayn Rand used to argue, that pollution is good for the global economy – make them drink it.

 BAR columnist michael hureaux perez is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in southwest Seattle, Washington. He is a longtime contributor to small and alternative presses around the country and performs his work frequently.

 Email(s) to: tricksterbirdboy@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe mji…..nilienda isiolo na kampala, kiambu na malindi, nilirudi nyumbani, for the truth about stories is, they’re all we know, and (where) our heart is,

Leo ni leo….kweli si….

[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.

 

for the 5 th installment of this series for 16 days of activism…..

we’re using werd on the ground to re-examine the necessity of safe spaces,

and the particular responsibility that allies bear in creating and maintaining positive space….

like the kptj listserv for example, one of those where I maintain a dubious silence.

I’ve only ever posted one piece on that listserv, and the backlash I got was silent and pervasive,

but at least there were a few that voiced their support for the issues we were advocating for….then,

still many more remained silent, and, reiterated their solidarity in our ‘private’ conversations,

it is always ‘u people’ or them that’s the problem……

that was then…

now, with recent events, more are voicing the shift in the boundaries to be drawn,

it’s the ripple effect in the story of that butterfly that flapped it’s wings, and like a bill that was drawn by bahati,

it seems the winds are changing,

even though this statement is from one of our strongest allies in Kenya, and thankfully, to be expected, it’s posting needs to be examined in the context within which our rights are being re-shaped….there has been much more public debate on sexuality,and unfortunately, on the ground, it’s still being led by homophobes & well-meaning ignorant folk…..so everytime our rights are re-asserted in a simple & direct way, it’s something to acknolwedge and respect.

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) Position on Rights related to Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
 
 
The KHRC is concerned by ongoing expressions of prejudice about and stereotyping of Kenyans due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Prejudice and stereotyping, when not consciously addressed, feed the discrimination, harassment and violence experienced by Kenyans because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
 
Some sections of Kenyan media, particularly uninformed radio presenters, have led this frenzy of disinformation and hate speech. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersex is not ‘un-African’—Africa’s history is replete with examples of how those of different gender identities and sexual orientations were named and addressed by various communities. Even if it were not, the fact that some Kenyans now identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersex openly makes being so African.
 
Being lesbian, gay or bisexual is simply the sexual orientation of some Kenyans—nothing more than where some Kenyans happen to be on the continuum of human sexuality. Being transsexual or intersex is simply the gender orientation of some Kenyans—nothing more than the fact that some Kenyans find themselves at odds with the biological binary of being ‘male’ or ‘female’. Kenyans who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersex continue to be, as all Kenyans are, subjects of legal protections provided by our Constitution and African and international human rights standards we are signatory too.
 
All Kenyans are entitled to equality under the law—and to be free from discrimination in education, in employment, in health care provision, in housing and so on. All Kenyans are entitled to security of the person—and to be free from violence. All Kenyans are entitled to privacy—and to be free from arbitrary and illegal intrusions on this privacy. Regardless of what prejudices and stereotypes persist about Kenyans who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or intersex, these entitlements stand.
 
Yet some sections of the media—supported by some conservative religious organisations—continue to bombard the Kenyan public with messages implying that those entitlements exist only for some Kenyans. In declaring themselves defenders of “authentic” (though often invented) African cultural traditions, they pit “culture/African family values/morality” against human rights and attempt to subject sexuality to restrictive state control.
 
The KHRC strongly opposes efforts to reduce this debate to one of “culture, family values or morality.” It is a debate about human rights—freedom of expression, equality, security of the person and privacy in particular. The KHRC strongly opposes discrimination against, harassment of, violence against or prosecution and punishment of all Kenyans, including on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.
 
Kenya is at a critical moment in our construction of a democracy inclusive of diversity and based on respect for human rights. We urge all involved in drafting the new Constitution to take all the necessary measures to ensure all Kenyans full citizenship and protection from non-discrimination—by including gender identity and sexual orientation as protected grounds in the equality rights section. We urge all public service providers, the police and the judiciary to act with respect for the Constitution to protect gender and sexual minorities from discrimination, harassment and violence.
 
The KHRC firmly believes that dialogue is key to understanding gender identity and sexual orientation. We urge the Kenyan media to enable such dialogue while desisting from prejudicial and stereotypical hate speech. The dialogue is not about creating new human rights, but about acknowledging that all Kenyans have the same human rights, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
 
Makau Mutua
Chair
 
Board of Directors
Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
 
The KHRC works towards the observance, protection and support of all human rights for all people irrespective of sexual orientation, ethnicity, social origin, economic status, gender, political belief or because of their religious or other conscientiously held beliefs. 

and while we’re on the tip of acknowledging, how’s this for direct response from allies?

this piece is also taken from the kptj listserv

Dear Beatrice

The issue is not whether we agree or not. The list has always been open to the expression of diverse opinions.

But expressing diverse opinions is one thing. The expression of abuse, violent language, and other forms of attacks on people of other persuasions is not acceptable on this list. The right of Omtatah and others to express their views has to be assessed in relation to their call for the repression of those of different sexual preferences to organise and live without fear of aggression or calls for the suppression of their views.

I have no hesitation therefore in banning such antisocial behaviour from this list.

Firoze

this song is dedicated to the government of Kenya, en (most of) our leaders who have bertrayed us

 (read:poor,rural, ‘mis-educated’ people),

the CID

(read:bunge la mwananchi),

flying squad (read: all human rights defenders & whistle blowers),

Kibaki’s bodyguards (read:Frederick Odhiambo is still fresh in our memories)

and all other “renegade” police & corrupt/ed arms of the state (of east afrika)

…………

kweli musa ulinipooa,

sura yangu haikuwa na alama hata moja…

 

 nilikuwa na afya nzuri.

nilinona kama ngoima ya kirike……

(one of my favourite artists of all time…..)

daudi1daudi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg2_pxNRB7o