So like we’ve blogged  en said before, dis’ documentary/series is a work in progress: like we have a summer’s worth of footage,  yet we’re still developing the storyboard, still deciding (the rest of) our core characters from the 32 (and then some) stories we collected, still trying to get another camera, laptop and editing software, funding, jus’ to start….the bigger point is we hustling to manifest our dreams of a video project and (going) back-to afrika movement/s

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke67lHxPf8A&feature=related]

So far we’ve got our ABCDE/Fn’G’s (H! ….to P will debut in November )

a is for afrika [is for anitafrika dub theatre! is for amai kuda is for audrey mbugua…..]

is the crux of dis’ here doc

En b is for black august [is for blockorama en blockobana is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity]

Are (some of) the visions of our quest

C is for colour spill productions  [is for cee swagger is for cea walker is for chan mubanga]

Some of the real/live legends of this doc

D is for Dini Ya Msambwa: our ancestral memories

En E is for (the spaces between) Elijah Masinde and Elijah Wilson

That’s wussup.

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo…..Sahani? ya……Giza? ya……

Kesho (kutwa) on the Q/t werd, F n’ G en people we’re learning from, who’re educating others in the practice of freedom and reclaiming indigenous afrikan knowledge systems.

[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.

 

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

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

John VIII, an Englishwoman.

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

 Scotus’s chronicle of the popes listed her:

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

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

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

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

Testiculo habet et bene pendentes,

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

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

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

Na bado, ni kweli kama hadithi ya……

 Juno

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

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

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

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

To be continued….

blogger’s note: (separating) fact (from history). truth is in the signs…..

1. His obituary in the NY  times on June 9, 1987

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8— Elijah Masinde, the leader of western Kenya’s Dini ya Musambwa sect and an opponent of colonial and independent Kenyan governments, died today. He was 75 years old.

Mr. Masinde, who regarded himself as a prophet, founded his fundamentalist sect in 1942 as a direct challenge to the authorities. He urged his followers to destroy their identity cards and not pay taxes. He spent much of his life in prison as a result of his activities.

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/09/obituaries/elijah-masinde.html?pagewanted=1

2. and according to Wikipedia, (Elijah) Masinde was

Born around 1910 – 1912 in Kimilili, Bungoma District , Masinde wa Nameme okwa Mwasame started out as a footballer, who captained a football team from Kimilili. He also played for Kenyan national team in the Gossage Cup [1] against Uganda in 1930. By the early 1940s, he had risen to the rank of a junior elder within his community in Kimilili area, and became increasingly anti-colonial. In 1944, he led a number of localised defiance campaigns against the colonial authorities, and was imprisoned many times as a result. At one time he was kept in Mathare Mental Hospital and in Lamu.

In his early years Masinde managed to light a fire over a Grass thatched fire and cook a meal that people ate. During his detention in Kapenguria with Jomo Kenyatta he managed to forewarn Kenyatta of an impeding assassination plot, the bullet missed Kenyatta by inches. Before Kenya gained independence, he instructed Masinde Muliro on the tin that contained Kenyan soil.

While in jail, Masinde claimed to have had a vision. In the vision Wele Khakaba(God the Provider) instructed him to tell the whiteman to quit Kenya for it is not his country], and proclaimed that a Blackman is going to rule Kenya in the future.That whitemen are sheep of God now turned into wolves that were feasting on children of Wele(God). When he was released, he revived Musambwa(Luhya word meaning The Spirit of a people”), and gained huge followings in western Kenya, Uganda,Pokot, Turkana and even Baringo District.

Upon Kenya’s independence, Masinde was detained by the government of Jomo Kenyatta for almost 15 years. He had been accused of fomenting religious hatred. He was released by the government of Daniel arap Moi in 1978, Moi also arrested him following his clashes with traffic policemen in Webuye and Kitale. Elija Masinde remained defiant and always questioned post independence Kenya government especially on the issue of land distribution and citizen rights. He died in 1987, a neglected freedom fighter.

Before his death, Masinde pointed out to his elder son the spot where he wanted to be buried – he wanted a huge sycamore tree uprooted to make way for his grave. The family decided to bury him elsewhere, though, but were thwarted when a spot they chose for his grave turned out to be a hidden grave. They took this to be an omen and proceeded to bury him in the spot where the sycamore tree had been.

He left a widow, Sarah Nanyama Masinde. She was still alive in November 2007 and was then reportedly 105 years old.

blogger’s note: it’s sad for me to admit that I know little more about elijah masinde than what I’ve read in books, and mostly just within the past few years. it’s sad, because it serves as a testament to how disconnected we are from our ancestors (read: it serves as a testament to how “I” am disconnected fromy my ancestors, for you see these are hadithi about a hero from ‘my’ hood, of  ‘my’ people…..I shoulda known more, but I can’t say I don’t know parts of the story now….)

Elijah Masinde, Omubichachi

KHU BUNG’OOSI BWA ELIJAH MASINDE, OMUBICHACHI.
By Prof. Julius Wangila Mukhwana
Australia, 2004

On the question of Elijah Masinde’s prophecy,as asked by some of our Lumboka members particularly Omukiyabi Mwalimu Kukubo Barasa, I have this to share with all of you and thereby contribute to responses by many members.

I hope you do not mind my lengthy explanation. I knew about Elijah Masinde when I was growing up in Kibingei. His religion “Dini Ya Musambwa” had intensified and gathered speed across our Masaaba community (Babukusu and Bagisu) and beyond in what is now Kibingei Location.

He used to preach to people that gathered on Kitayi Hill in our village. All herd-boys in the village would bring around “Bibiaayo” (grazing cattle, goats and sheep) to hear him along side the adults.

I was one of those who brought my maternal grand mother’s goats and sheep as well so to listen to his preaching. I believe, and presumably with the other boys of my age not yet attending school,the attraction was not what he preached.
It was rather the spectacular crowd of people that were all dressed in white, long garments. That fascinated me. The adults said he spoke in parables and told them about what the community should do for the days ahead in future.

His inner circle of followers, we told, used to go up-stream to the sources of Lwakhakha, Kuywa, Kibisi, Kibingei, and Kamukuywa rivers to pray and conduct traditional rites. They slaughtered sheep and supplicated to ancestral guardian spirits of our community.
He did the same thing in various caves and climbed the foothills of Masaaba (Mount Elgon) to worship Wele Mukhobe we Bakuka (the Almighty God).

His following grew and eventually all Christian churches in Bukusu shrank in membership because they had joined “Dini Ya Musambwa.” A religion that was described by colonialists and other Christians, the non-believers (who included our own Babukusu, Bagisu, and Batachoni) and those far away in Buluhya and Kalenjin as worshipers of devils.

Yet they were not.

Dini Ya Musambwa dedicated itself to ancestral spirits, and accepted the power of super natural force in the universe or the world in which we live. Something that our people traditionally related to well from time immemorial. Suddenly, we heard that Elijah had gone into hiding. They looked for him every where. As we were children, adults never told us details.
I started school a year after he was arrested. It was then that I learned more about him from my Quaker parents, villagers and other School children.

It was reported that the Kimilili police found him in a well dug out hole around Chesamisi.

As he left with them, he allegedly “cursed” an old man called Isaya and his family for
revealing his hideout. He also “cursed” Chief Namutala for accompanying and guiding them to that hide-out. It is well known that told him, “When I return you, Mayeku’s son, will no longer be around as Chief of Kimilili; Location.
Our religion as a movement for chasing away these evil people you are protecting will have assumed different dimensions.”

Chief Namutala countered that he was crazy and gave orders to his aides to give Elijah Masinde some more flogging. As he was led away and driven in an open police land-rover, flanked both sides by police men, throngs of our people stood by the road side from Chesamisi to Kimilili and cried. Elijah just waved all the way, as he assured them of his return and reminded them of undertaking the “Offerings and rites to rid themselves and the community off the bad spirits
(Mwihosia ki wele kimibii, mukheebilila ta.”

All these things have been said over and over in Bukusu. My father told me, and while working in Nairobi, Omukinyikeu Willis Wangila Wanyonyi told me after he returned to Nairobi to work as an accountant with Treasury in the late 1960s.
Also, mzee Isaya’s son who was kuka Mark Barasa’s driver when he was an MP, and stayed at my flat in Nairobi when parliament was in
session, told me, too.

As Omukananachi Elijah Masinde had predicted, when he was released from detention in Kismayu, he found mzee Isaya economically badly badly off. Omukolongolo Chief Namutala khwa Mayeku was no longer Chief of Kimilili (which had then split into Bokoli, Kimilili,and Ndivisi). The prevalent politics were of KADU and KANU demanding independence. All the protestant and and catholic churches were full to the brim with members as before the peak of Dini Ya Musambwa during 1945 – 1948.

However, our Bukusu Brotherhood East Africa (BBEA) based in Nairobi had split to
reluctantly create Bukusu Welfare Society that was based in Bungoma. The former received Omusakhulu Omukananachi yuno in March 1962 after he had been released from detention.
The split was as a result of the late Willis Wangila Wanyonyi going to Bungoma in 1960 as Treasurer of the African District Council of Elgon Nyanza.

As president, he believed that the association was best run from home in Bungoma. Ordinary members and the Executive disagreed. So from 1961 onwards, Bakokiwe Alfayo Wekesa Lurare from Muchi and his supporters refused and continued
to run the Bukusu Brotherhood E.A from Nairobi as before. The Bukusu young fellows, including myself, from various Secondary Schools and working in Nairobi, did not like the way it was run by the older generation. We felt that they were not radical enough.

On one hand, Willis and Tom Katenya, who was Organising Secretary for the Bukusu
Welfare Society, had the enormous backing of the Chiefs and elders who mattered most in Bungoma district. They collectively promoted the Bukusu Welfare Society amongst our people. They argued that older generations preferred to have their own association. They claimed that Bukusu Brotherhood E.A suited mainly young and
urbanised Bukusus working in various towns of East Africa. In effect, that is how we
operated.

Anyhow, our BBEA executive met with Elijah Masinde, Israel Khaoya, etc in Nairobi.
We discussed the prevalent KANU-KADU politics. Masinde Muliro had already received him at home in Bungoma with a big party. He had bought Elijah a modern transistor radio that he loved so much that wherever he went he carried it.
I remember how he asked each one of us after the meeting started, “to first of all, state our clans and our fathers’ names and their circumcision sets, plus what side of politics we supported.”

After hearing what he requested and that all of us were for KADU, he looked at kuka Israel Khaoya, turned to us and said, “You must ask your fathers to tell you what I told them before Europeans imprisoned me. Tell Masinde Muliro and his friend from the Coast, near the Ocean, that their party will not win government.” All of us executive members believed in KADU and so his revelation shocked us.

There was silence in the room.

Then he added, ““Muliro should have no political association with Kenyatta because
this man had brought too much blood shed in the country.” He asked us whether we had u nderstood all that he had said. When we replied in affirmative, Elijah Masinde stood up and said that the meeting was finished.
We were kind of confused. However, after that meeting, Bernard Barasa Cheloti, who now resides in Cherengany, and I went with our visitors to Nimmi Photograghers Studio
at the corner of Duke Street and River Road to have a photograph with them.
I gave that photo to Wandayase Fred Makila in the late 1960’s when he was researching for a book on “Elijah Masinde and Musambwa.”

If any of our Lumboka historians need a copy of it, I suggest that you check with
him or Bernard B. Cheloti.

Admittedly, I have not seen a publication on Elijah Masinde by Fred Makila or
anybody since then.

Anyway, when the General Election results of May 1963, under the Lancaster House
conference Constitution were declared, KADU had lost. And KANU was victorious.
In effect fulfilling Elijah Masinde’s prophecy or prediction. I still recall vividly how Tom Mboya and Mwai Kibaki hugged each other and performed a bear-dance in
Jevanjee Street in jubilation.

Since the offices were opposite each other, those of us gathered in KADU office
looked like people at some wake and observing vigil. Despite that euphoria, KANU did not want to form government without Jomo Kenyatta.

Governor MacDonald asked KADU to form the required “Responsible Government” which ultimately brought Kenyatta Home Again.
Hence Ronald Ngala’s and Masinde Muliro’s cars, and a similar one given to Kenyatta
were registered with plate numbers KHA 2,and KHA 3, and KHA 1 respectively.

Prior to the General Election of May 1963,a number of elders and chiefs in Bungoma
led by my uncle Pascal Nabwana, had been urging Masinde Muliro to side with the
Luos on grounds of Arithmetic and Geography.
Uncle Pascal Nabwana used to tell me that he kept telling Muliro, “ Khuuba ne Barwa
nende Baswahili, Papa, aba olinga oweikame mumurongoro, efula nekwaa. Soli munju ta.”
Apparently these were same sentiments Elijah Masinde had expressed to Masinde Muliro when the latter sought his support for KADU policy.

Elijah Masinde refused to support any political party or endorse KADU’s policy.

Then in 1964, Elijah Masinde, who had fallen out with Muliro earlier before the General Election, stated that “Masinde Muliro naliowulila, Baana Babukusu, ahambane ne Bajaluo,nyanga balimuwa Bubwami.”

And in 1965/66 he said in Kimilili that “ Nabone omwana aselukhe mu
Babukusu. Omwana mwenoyoo aliamiha.” He continued
as the gathering grew bigger around him, “Omwana wefwe alichaa amihe, ne Muliro akhapanila bali ele khu sisala sya Kenyatta tawe. Alekha busa okundi elekho, eye kamafuki khundebe ng’eneyo.
Mala owililekho oyo, aliaahachililisia babandu barekane mumaya.”

At that time, Elijah Masinde also returned from his visit to Bugisu. He had gone to confer with his Musambwa flock and Omuyinga, the Bagisu ruler/king, and other Kombololo (County) Chiefs especially Wanambwa. But Prime Minister Apollo
Milton Obote ordered his arrest. Upon release from jail in Uganda, he was escorted to the Kenya border. He looked for “Sihuna” from the shrubs, uprooted it, and dragged it along.
It gathered rubbish behind him. Then he told those around and accompanying him “that he had gathered Obote’s power together that would soon end.”

He travelled peacefully to his home in Maeni, Kimilili. Later when briefing his flock, he
declared that it had been revealed to him in the previous night that “Omulang’o emwalo sye e Matore, mbone karurire khu Bwami. Lundi mbone karerire kamafuki musibala. Chia mwekesie baBefwe e Mbale.” Indeed, our people went and
communicated the tidings to Bagisu elders and Omuyinga together with the County Chiefs,and returned to Maeni. Obviously, you all know what happened to President Obote of Uganda when Major General Iddi Amin Dada staged an army
coup in 1971.

That fulfilled Elijah Masinde’s prediction. Prior to this stage, our leaders had dismissed
him and called him names just as they did in 1948 before the colonialists subsequently
arrested and detained him in Kismayu.
Everywhere Elijah Masinde appeared, our political leaders and some of the elders in the community avoided him. These leaders described him as psychotic and called on the Administration to control his movements. Suddenly he was restricted to Maeni village only and not allowed to meet with people from other villages. Some
leaders outside the community did not heed this government requirement.

Notably Jaramogi Oginga Odinga maintained his close contact with him. So did uncle Pascal Nabwana who had not gone along with government restrictions. Pascal Nabwana argued that Elijah Masinde was once more being persecuted for his views by an independent Kenyan Government as the colonialists did. The parliamentarians
in our community from Bungoma to Trans Nzoia distanced themselves as Elijah Masinde snarled and yelled out insults at President Jomo Kenyatta publicly.

After all, he had not liked Kenyatta since he came out of detention. Eventually Elijah was arrested and charged. Like before, he would tell the magistrate trying him,

“Ewe omwana wananu. Ne rarao singilo si? Niko nabolelanga bararao wenywe nebakhawulila ta. Bona wesi solikho owulila ta. Ngosile sina Papa, kila wunjimia ano. Sowolaana khukhumbocha kumuse tawe. Ndekhenjengo.”

To those enforcing the law, they took this to mean Elijah had no respect for the
law and Government leadership. So he was additionally charged with “contempt of
court.” He was jailed for a bundle of these petty misdeeds at Kamiti maximum security prison. He was then later transferred to Mathari Mental Hospital in Nairobi where he stayed without treatment.

For he was not mentally sick. Cosma Makhanu’s young brother, who was a Spdt.Officer of Prison at Kamiti, was very understanding.
He treated Omusakhulu kindly, and at times gave him tea and bread, and cigarettes.
This gentleman used to allow us and other special visitors enough time to converse
with him.

During this time, Bakananachi Kuka Israel Khaoya, Omukitanga khurura e Matili and
papa Wekunda, Omubichachi we e-Maeni, and their Secretary, from Ndivisi, visited him regularly at Kamiti and Mathari Hospital.
I hosted them on each visit. Later they told me that he had demanded that I accompany them whenever they visited on weekends since during the week I was unable to visit with them on account of my employment.
From that time onwards, they empowered me to be visiting him on their behalf and
convey messages both ways including messages to Odinga and Pascal Nabwana.

They had travelled to Kisumu and informed Jaramogi Oginga Odinga of the arrangement.
Jaramogi told them that him and I had been friends for a long time and he knew that
I was a nephew of Pascal Nabwana. Every time I visited Omusakhulu Omukananachi at Kamiti or Mathari, he showed concern all the time for our people. He repeatedly told me his previous advices to Bukusu community that have come to be known as or referred to in Kimilili,

“Elijah Masinde sekwaboola. Elijah, wase, kang’oola khaale busa.”

I wrote to Chairman Michael Wamalwa reminding him of “Elijah’s sayings or prouncements” when he became Vice President.

In short, to me, based on what I outlined earlier, Michael Simiyu Wamalwa fulfilled
Elijah Masinde’s prophecy. It would have been complete, in this regard, had he been
around with us now. Obviously he would have succeeded President Mwai Kibaki.

Balii ka Wele sekamanyikhanga, fwana khuliba nokundi.
Those of you who pore over his archival records, you are bound to see my correspondence with him. Previously, I had shared with him over the phone on many occasions before anybody knew that he would be a V-P in Kenya one day. This was during my usual chats of advice regarding the politics in our community and Kenya at large.

Despite this constant communication with Mike, he apparently paid inadequate attention to viewpoints from various Bukusu friends and colleagues both at home and in diaspora. They include people like omusakhulu Omubuya Zephaneah Wekesa with whom I coordinated effectively the “Sichikhi & Lumuli” politics from 1975 through the demise of President Jomo Kenyatta in 1978 up to the end of 1980.

Undoubtedly, none of you would ever know what that refers to or means within Bukusu politics.Not even the present or the previous politicians
know it save one. You will need to ask Zeph and
I about that in future, God willing.

(first) Posted by Lumboka Star

http://mulumboka.blogspot.com/2004_11_01_archive.html

Additional reading

Elijah Masinde: Rebel with a Cause – Ezekiel Alembi

Elijah Masinde: a biography –  V.G Simiyu

Elijah Masinde and the Dini Ya Musambwa  – James Bandi Shimanyula

It’s been a hot minute since I shared my ‘personal’ thoughts, all contradictory en straight up as they’re evolving….the reasons ain’t too deep, I’ve been distracted with searching….I’ve been looking, en I mean  REALLY  looking for a really good job; the kind with benefits en at least a 6 months contract, that’s the dream, en as new as it is, it’s true to my surroundings

the other reality is that I’ve been hitting the streets, offering myself for ‘service to others’ through any pimp running a restaurant, so at least I could start getting cold hard cash at the end of each shift put in, the kinda dollars that will get my debt/s repaid, travel fare, en school fees saved up again…those dreams that are so close, yet so (seemingly) far away….

(but) I have a feeling, this week is gonna be IT…..the pundits have declared that we’re climbing out of the recession (though many more are still unemployed), the birds en bears have officially christened the ‘spring’ (though I prefer the transition of seasons in East Afrika), en even this reality doesn’t come close to capturing the hope that has seen me through surviving en the rewards that have sustained my growth, en are instigating (my) thriving….as simple as one project, one documentary, started out of necessity, en growing in scope en tenacity…as comforting as conversations with God/dess en communion with the earth en holy werd..

I’d been digging myself into deep holes with resistance en worry, making mountains out of road blocks, when all I needed to do was, simple, change….myself, before I even tried to think about how I could do better for others.

I did, change….I have had no choice but to…..one of those beauties of the universe. Everything that happens really is jus’ so, for a reason, en now that I’m happy again… I know that this is where I’m supposed to be (it’s not new)…. where every day gets better, en we get a lil’ closer to our visions.

 The truth about (our) stories is that they’re we all we have, en they’ve changed over centuries, but the fairy tale script remains embedded in our realities.

In the beginning, there was……en then there was a spark, fast forward to boy/girl meets cute. Linger in the chase & drama that ensues, mandatory finding one/self/ metamorphosis, en ….they live/d happily ever after. The end.

That’s one version. Another is where the years stretch with experiments, en settling in foreign cities. Where girl questions hir gender identity and rebels the only was s/he knows how, by any means necessary.

Re/inscribes language on hir body, en grows into the woman she had never imagined, dramatic segue to where woman meets wo/man.  Linger in the ‘cycling’ en metamorphosis that ensues, en they go on to marry several more queens en a king, en….live/d happily after. The end.

En an even older story goes that Oba en Oya vied for one man, Chango, who like Osun, loved many wo/men…en had a couple of loves of his life, en their descendants are scattered all over the world. En this is not the end, or anywhere near the beginning….

The beauty about stories is that we can have our heart’s desire in them, en with just the right amount of faith, magical dust, prayer en work, they come true. En if it’s true…..chant with me now J

So, for the next couple of moons, this blog is dedicated to dadas in solidarity.  Stories of researching afrikan hirstory.  Documenting the evolution of our film project, The Q werd. We’re collecting stories of queer/trans wo/men of afrikan descent, en going way back in time to re/cover what has almost been forgotten, all the betta to move forward (with)…..ever!

starting from the beginning, with indigenous afrikan creashun stories…from gulu en ngai to olodumare….hadithi! hadithi?!!!!!!!

Nilienda eldoret, isiolo, kaimosi, kiambu, kimililili, kisumu,  kitale, lamu, malindi,  nakuru, ngomeni, osogbo, thika, wajir, webuye……nipe mji, nitakupatia hadithi……leo ni ya mashairi kama makmende, en memes bigger than Wikipedia 😉

Recommended listening for this post  (songs of stories in the brewing pot called The Q werd)

  1. Asa – fire on the mountain
  2. Nneka – Africans
  3. Lamya – black Monalisa/empires
  4. K’naan– take a minute/waving flag
  5. Miriam Makeba – Mayibuye!
  6. Stella Chiweshe – mutambazve
  7. Daudi Kabaka – mchumba wangu
  8. P square –  no one like you
  9. Gyptian – butterflies
  10. GidiGidi MajiMaji – many names, many faces
  11. Queen Ifrica – lioness on the rise
  12. Ukoo Flani ft. Nazizi – hiphop halisi
  13. Weird MC – Riranwo
about the q werd.  An experiment in resistance and pan-Afrikan creativity

Concept Note

The documentary/serial soap/tragi-comedic depiction of the drama, politics, sex, loves and scandals that follow a group of young-ish (en older) queer/trans Afrikan friends.

[parabola treatment: the first release focuses on the stories & lives of not-so-random folks involved in putting this together, and all the people that have been influential and we’ve crossed paths with in life. These are the diaries and interviews with Akinyi, Alix, Anne M, Audrey, Blessol, Faith, illo, Kasha, Karie, Leslie, Nikki, Patricia, Po, Roxie, Sylvia, Valentine, Victor, Zawadi….to start….there are more interviews with womyn & trans folk of Afrikan descent in the second ‘season’]

Q werd positions itself in conversation with the (Western) L word in acknowledgement of its pioneer status in breaking through in/to mainstream consumer culture conscious.ness as a named/branded entity. It locates itself with/in a dialectical exchange of the construction of identity & the power of resistance & self determination.

It addresses the problematic and turbulent politics of race/ethnicity/sex/class/gender variations/ religion(s) in our society and interrogates the white/western/capitalist/imperialist/lesbian hegemonic thought that the L word (seems to be/) is based on. It explores the ruptures inherent in the U.S shit-stem, and neo-liberal petit-bourgeoise discourses in Afrikan countries.

[parabola treatment: the first documentary is more than Kenya, Uganda, or Canada…which is where the main stories are told…it is locating the political &pan-Afrikan in the personal. It is a direct result of working with what we got…we warn you, ladies & gentlemen (and those of you yet to decide), we have only jus’ begun…]

Q werd is a work/shop in progress. It is organic and collective. It is a living story.
These are the diaries of warriors en queer/trans rights activists (of colour/ed shades en vivrant revolushunary ideologies).
The stories of survivors & hustlers. Of youth en (not-so) single mamas.
These, are the days, and the night/scapes of our lives.
Of contradictions, in/hyper/visibility and fear.
This is nothing more than an attempt to share our realities,
For the purpose of Art (for social change)…
This is more than jus’ a(nother) video…these are our testimonies,
Documenting and archiving Afrikan cultures.

Firmly grounded in (pan) Afrikan/black feminist thought it acts as a portal and reflection of the diverse realities of black and Afrikan women and is being re/created in resistance to the marginalisation/exploitation and distortion of black/Afrikan experiences fe/male experiences.

This ‘conversation’ with the L word is a matter of talking back. Taking back and reclaiming our identities. It examines the (many) gaps and fills them in with what we think should be.
The ‘werd’ charts the process of the embodiment of particular/queer identities that are inhabited/rejected/disavowed/subverted and portrayed in (public) consciousness.

Like Bette, the ‘bi/racial/black’ one, being blacker……and, Papi, being there. It is more black butch women. And many different kinds of trannies. It is the Birkenstock/vegan/second wave white feminist, and the stereotypical ‘community’ worker. It is the activists and the freaks. The many, many, many, many people in the closets.

It is parading myriad identities. It is family and lies, and the truth of (the need for change en) compromise. It is fighting degrading influences, like the fascination with the West we grew up with. It is learning to love ourselves (again). It is masturbation and bi/dykes doing non-monogamy. It is education as the practice of freedom and listening to the lessons of the streets, and the village(s).

It is war. It is resistance. It is every day and every other thing that concerns as as queer women and trans folk. Ni mtaani. It is black ghettoes. Growing class divides. It is Fanny Ann Eddy and Audre Lorde. It is abuse en violence. Unreported hate crimes. Fucked up ‘behavioural practices’. It is self.defense. It is (about) freedom now. Tracy chapman. The ‘invisible’ face/voice of the WSW. It is reality. (necessarily) phantastical.

[parabola treatment: because as the story develops, as we get to more about the womyn in the Q word, we recognise that there is alot that can’t be revealed. We are bound by fear of the repercussions of ‘outing’ others and so we put ourselves on the line(of vision), so to speak, and alter/hide the names of those we’ve loved, fucked, worked, or crossed paths with…and yet, we speak…..)

The Q werd unashamedly tries to be many things for many people and it is singularly focused on the black/Afrikan experience as the central concern of it’s stories.

It is a multi-pronged political act that is about sharing the process of self-recovery, healing and positive living. It is about love. Mama Afrika. It is about loving ourselves, more than hating (on) any/thing else. It is about critical/reflective thinking and mostly it is about change.

The ‘werd’ responds to the paucity of re/presentation of queer/black/Afrikan brothas in the L word. It brings in more positive stories of darkness and being real. It re-politicises the commodified characters.

It does this through the subversive use of the resources available (to the writers/participants/theorists/actors, and, producers).

The L word. A few cameras. Many hours of interviews with many different Afrikan womyn, men and trannies. Lots of gossip and drama. A collective of womyn creating a tv show. Different media. Pen and paper. Cartoons. Private space & public ground. And all this ‘fiction’ is the Q. werd.

The Q werd is about womyn loving wom(b)en en trannies loving wo/men en men loving women. It is normal. It is troubled by all the shit. It is ‘other’ than. It is (some of) ‘the people’. It is about re/membering the past and using our reality to a portray a true picture of ourselves. It is rastas en beautiful (dark) dread lock sistas. It is tomboys & brazen femmes. It is immigrant/emigrant and migrant bodies. It is prisons and boarding schools. It is the girl(s) you (knew who liked other girls who you) played with in high school.
It is the chief’s wife and your aunty from ushago. It is the ho on K-street. The ones standing on the secretive corners of Arwings Kodhek. They are the ‘lesbian’ cliques of dandora, umoja, jamhuri & hurlingham. The old man (?) of the village of N It is ‘western’ gays and lesbians and conflicted Christians. It is queer muslims and Al-Lat worshippers. It is kinky. It is bourgeoise safety/urban privilege in just being ‘out’ and passing life’s existence in sharp contrast to other queers & trannies around the country. It is the contradictions of those ‘in the life’.

It is sh/itty living. Escape. Safe refuge(s). it is the (lack of safe) shelter(s).
It is endless conversa-shun. Specu-la-shun. It is ‘such-a-lesbian-ting’ processing.
It is fights and (adamant) denials. Its bruises. death. sacred ‘interverntions’ and being saved (again). It is something by an ‘other’ name. it is not lesbian. Tho many of the women innit are…

(repeat)
it is not the L word.

It is a parody of the parody of a parody of queer reality and re/presentation in film.
It is multi-dimensional.

The show (also) places itself firmly with/in the contradictory position of refuting the existence of lesbians. This is it’s ‘achilles heel’….so to (western) speak. It might be it’s death ultimately.
It refutes the existence of lesbians – naturally in Afrika; where wo/men were loving wo/men from ancient (times) en we knew different….
where Great Gawdess was prolly a dyke hirself too, somewhere in the beginning. Same-sex. And n’way that woman sappho only went over to that isle of lesbos not even a few centuries ago…

There was a light and then there was the (q) word.
(the) Qore
(of new beginnings and endless repetitions).

It is re-inscribed,
from (Pan) Afrikan landscapes
and the L word…
this diction/stories/poetry of life/death/life cycles.
It is controversial.
and as much as it tries to give space to the largest number of views and interpretations of the state of world politics and (oppressive/necessary/positive) relations with each other.
It is (avowedly) revolutionary.
It is anti-capitalist/pan-Afrikan/anarchist in it’s narration of the issues as (the collective) and ‘particular’ oppressed people(s) see them.

It is hip(s). sex in the afternoon.
It is cook(s)in. steamy kitchens.
Mchuzi wa samaki na mahamri.
It is mango kisses and ejaculating cunts.
It is locked on the floor, reading poetry to each other.
It is the mundane.
The clothes that need to be washed.
It is work. It is necessary.
Unfolding quest of (re) building (communities).
Growing (old) together.

It is beauty.
Incarnate in sistas loving each other,
(re) learning our groove(s) and
sticking up for the ‘other’
sista…
more fiya \sista….

en brothas loving each other,
questioning dem (much) maligned (dark) selves and
looking out for the ‘other’
brotha…
more fiya/brotha.

It is hip(s) rocking against each other. Tight embraces..
It is activism. Battling conformist tendencies.
Shunning the ‘politically correct’ in favour of ‘the truth’.
It is the soul of (queer/trans) folk.
People’s movement.
Searching for a new soul.
Gathered to the beats of (wa akina) mama (wa) Afrika.
Young and old, black and proud (new) Afrikans.

Indigenous.

It is reflective. Reflexive. Introspective.
Remembering the sacrifices of our ancestors/their lives/once/shattered,
From glorious (inter) connection(s)/peace (pipes)
Ruptured from (the) connection with (the) divine,
Distracted by petty wars and insidious presences.

It remembers the prophecies.
The sangomas and (wota) priestesses,
(earth) healers en magic(k)al herbalists,
the warriors who fought and died for (our) freedom.

It is…
(repeat) not the ‘L’ word.

It is…
(tinged) perceptibly with (self) consciousness.
Ni ma kucha na ma sagana…..
Ni ma shoga na mabisexuals.
Na ma pansexuals na MSM.
It is questioning and curious. Womyn. Men. Trannies.

It is conflicted.
Working on self/social acceptance and fully involved in the struggle for (Afrikan) liberation.

It is…
(repeat)
Pan-Afrikan(ist). Black nationalist.
It announces it’s feminist/wom(b)anist/anarchist intent in the shots of contested terrain(s).
It is talking (sharp) with each other.
It is not about (hating) the (white) man or excluding the white woman.
It is just that we need to talk amongst ourselves. Put ourselves first.
It is blood.(claat.) shedding and (shifting) public spaces.
It is subjective and communal.
It is bedrooms and the state(s) of (dying/thriving) nation(s).
It pokes its nose into every oppre-shun.
Doesn’t (necessarily have to) stick to the script.
The stories are old, and many of the characters (un)predictable.
All are contradictory and all a dem harbour (not-so) secret fantasies and wild dreams.
Some of the womyn have learned to ground themselves, are eager to share with others;
Others run (like luna-tics) in those ‘mythical’ red shoes.

Red (black & green) is the motif.
Blood. claat present in every episode,
Coz as the opener declares….

[opening quote subject to change]

‘as long as (one of) my sista(s) and brotha(s) is oppressed then so am I…
to be a true revolutionary one must understand love.
Love. Sacrifice. And. Death

(sonia sanchez)

This is the poetic capsule of a conversa-shun with the L word.
This (en so much more) is the Q werd.

This is the product of a collective imagin-ashun.
The dreams, wishes en collected conversashuns,
Of super sistas, queens en kings,
struggling to rebuild their communities.
These are the challenges and achievements of (all) the people.

This a proposal and a call (out) to join the process of participatory research and co-operative publications.
the (living) framework that guides our search for truth, justice, peace…
En freedom…..

To speak in our languages,
Mould the cultivated tongues,
This used to be the master’s language, en the mistress’s tools,
This English version of a plea to burn all dem lies,
En rediscover (black/dark) self/communal love.

This is for the ancestors,
In memory of great gawdess,
I pray,
I release all disappointments,
Coz I know that spirit guides me
And love lives inside me,
That’s why today I live life as it comes,
Trusting in each moment,
That Jah, Al-Lat, Asiis, Yemoja provides,
Authentic love.

What I’m searching for,
This feeling in my heart,
That brings joy to my soul,
I found it…

This prince(ss?) that me want/ed in me life.
I found you,
Quite unexpectedly,
love was ntense/a sweet surprise,
So good,
So everything that I’d been looking to be(come)….
You changed me…

This is a tragic (love) story,
[and not even]
Translated into (not so) convenient fictions.
It is the diary of one luna/tic warrior,
The ravings of a cheated/lover.
This is hot, hot, hot off the press of current reality…
You want to know what it’s like being queer in Kenya….
It’s mostly hell,
Borrowed terms & radical inclusions.

It can be (like) heaven
Found in secret places,
And growing communities
Mis/placed with (little) knowledge & obscured intentions.

We’re still in the process of finding ourselves.

You want to know what it’s like?
It is a contradiction in itself,
Being queer
(and writing about it)
In Kenya

And, dear viewer, to waste no further no time in introducing the plot of this story,
My conversation with you, this guided tour of the complexities and boundaries of the communities across my country and the continent…

This is the q word, yeah, and yet really, if we’re going to be (about the ) truth/full here, it’s mostly my werd, see this isn’t some fanciful/bourgeoise/western interpretation of what it means to live as a ‘sexual minority’….this is best practices in implementation…if there are so many people in the closet, if it’s so un-african, as most of these religious/fundamentalist brain washed bigots keep foolishly repeating (being little aware or posturing ignorance of the weakness & glaring Achilles heel of their oft repeated argument – there could be possibly nothing more borrowed, distorted & un-african than the modern version of Christianity: the very same agents who were trekking into heathen lands, not far away from the explorers & the anthropologists & all the hungry prospectors, carrying the bible in their hands and proclaiming divine justice, if only one believed in jesus Christ, the only son of God……those are (some of the) ones responsible for our fall and rapid destruction….

We were among the first to fall,
Which is why the best i could come up with for myself,
So far,
The most fitting and convenient,
Remains to be queer – i can move within the contours that were shaped in resistance to hate & oppressive language

The ‘q word’, like I told you before, is not what you think it is, it’s really just about me, and my group of friends, revolushunaries and lovas, allies & enemies i’ve made along the way…
To keep this simple and submit to the dictates of economics & available resources, I’m gonna try not make up (too much) of the gist & chronology of events….
To keep this simple, i’m just gonna walk you through my journey in the last year…

I have officially been back for (just over) a year….
And I am still one of the few people that I’ve met here,
That even call/identify themselves as queer,
A radical/questioning/anarchist/
Fervent afrikan liberationist.

I choose to stand on the fringes,
All the better to see the crowds, and the capacity of….
Resistance, and the people,
with….

I have under gone a meta-morphoses in it/self,
Sacrificed many privileges,
And the truth is I’m struggling,
And I’ve had my heart broken, adjusted to ‘pseudo’ po living,
And working mostly alone,
Battling with a few brave others,
And finding allies where I hoped I would….

I warn you,
we have only just begun…

living document…….amai, blessol, cindy, nadine, nina, po, krys, akinyi, anne, anyone else who’s interested…..let’s continue with the editing…. we’ve got a bunch of interviews collected….we’re going to have alot more in toronto…..we want all this to be participatory and tied in to other educational & arts initiatives…..how can we work together? what are your ideas? how can we help each other share our stories, for art, for social change…