Monthly Archives: July 2010

Section 27/4

Section 27/4 of the proposed constitution states:

“The State shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on
any ground, including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status,
ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief,
culture, dress, language or birth.”

I’m not gonna front. I really didn’t know what this section said verbatim before last week. Like most Kenyans, after the 1st read of the proposed constitution, I got fixated on the “contentious” issues. But last week, I heard one of our soon to be most expensive civil servants,  campaigning against the proposed constitution on TV. The MPig gentleman, claimed that Section 27/4 of the draft constitution will allow for gay marriage.  I wasn’t sure I’d heard him right so I waited for the next bulletin. And there it was again. I wondered how I had missed such a crucial part of this document. So I had to dig out my copy and confirm. As you can see, there’s nothing saying that.

Before I continue, lemmi first say this post is not about gay marriages nor is it an article arguing the merits or demerits of the proposed constitution. This is my plea for sanity amongst Kenyans.

The official month of civic education started 2 weeks ago, but the distorted views and half-truths from both sides had started way before that. I consider myself amongst the enlightened Kenyans.  I have a lot of access to documents that I can read for myself and make informed choices. And yet I wasn’t sure what Section 27/4 actually said.  Now imagine the guy in the remote village in North Eastern province who’s only source of info as far as such matters go are their local leaders.And some of these leaders are blatantly lying about it.

I also have an issue with the media. This clip was shown over and over. Where does the responsibility of a journalist begin? Fine, let’s say he/she was like me and wasn’t sure what that section said. What happened to research? What about calling out this guy for lying to the public? I had a conversation with a journalist the other day and I raised my concern. He told me that as much as they try to be impartial, journalists are like every other Kenyan with their preferences and prejudices. I understand that.  But I believe the media has a responsibility to the public. Good journalism demands it of them. But most importantly patriotism expects it from them.

We have come to a point where everyone has to decide their first priority is Kenya. In 2007 we all forgot this. Let’s not allow this to happen again.

Embracing my Inner Child

I have a confession to make.

I’ve never really grown up. Yeah I know, I may look like an adult, act like one (most of the time) and sometimes reluctantly partake in the responsibilities and obligations that are required of an adult but inside me resides a child. And this child rules. The adult in me is a helpless slave to the whims and desires of this child.

The child in me is an acne faced, shy and awkward teenager. I know, of all the stages of childhood to get stuck on, it had to be the most volatile stages of life!!  The pimple faced image stuck on me a long time ago, when I was in primary school, I think.  I went to visit my school mate on a weekend. Her house-help was new and hadn’t met me before,  but when I left a message for my friend I forgot to leave my name. Come Monday at school, she told me she had been told I had come calling. I asked her how she knew it was me and she told me she was told a  “pimple-faced girl” came and she automatically thought of me. Gulp.  So even if I outgrew that stage, the child in me will forever remain that.

The child in me is shy and socially inept. My friends will attest to my clumsiness. I’m the only person I know who can trip while standing still!! And let’s not start on dropping things.  I’m hoping that when I have a baby, my hands would have learned to hold onto something. The adult in me couldn’t quiet conquer flaw.

And yes she’s a shy girl. But this is one of the victories of the adult. You can hardly notice it when you meet. This confident, loud outgoing adult; perfect cover I tell you. Especially in this world of cut-throat everything. There is no place for being timid.

The upside of this child is that this child holds on to my dreams. Without her, I wouldn’t remember what it was like to believe that the world is mine to conquer. This child comes to me when the world has beaten me to a dark corner. And reminds me that I am not alone. That I have been through a lot worse and just like before I can beat it. She teaches me to hope. Without my inner child I wouldn’t know to stop enjoy the sunshine or the laughter of awesome friends. This child fills me with wonder and curiosity at life, and I continue to find joy in even the small things.

So I’m not going to grow up. Let’s face it everyone needs a child’s perspective and insatiable pool of optimism to make it through this life!!

Silent Scream

As performed at Kwani Open Mic July 2010

Sunshine, Sunshine, Shining Through
Lighting up, the sky so blue
Sunshine, Sunshine, is it true
The tears you cry are red in hue?

Smiling, Smiling, a cheery face
Shining through from a secret place
Hidden from view, beneath the surface
A twisted, painful ugly furnace

Crying, Crying, silent tears
The soundless scream that no one hears
Broken, Tattered, a heart that fears,
Shadows jeering, mocking her cries

Mirror, Mirror, reflect the truth
From within our souls’ depth
Let us see the rot and filth
And break this destructive myth

Celebrating Motherhood

Today I celebrate the most amazing woman I know. The first woman I ever met. The woman who has influenced me like no other person and she continues every single day. My very own Phenomenal Woman. My mother.

The value of a mother can never be measured and it can never end. Everyone’s mum is special and the greatest gift God gave to us.

I may not always show it, but I’m awestruck by my mum. There is no one in my (HUGE) extended family who has not been touched by her kindness, generosity and guidance. She only gave birth to 3 kids but at different times she has raised like 20 (I kid not). The full deal: feed, clothe, educate, love. Every time I think about the selflessness and capacity for love that is required for any person to do that,  it just blows my mind. My mother personifies the true African women who through struggle, tears, laughter and sheer determination continue to build this continent. Through her I have learned to never give up, never give in and the meaning of  true strength and integrity. I have learned the value of family.  I pray that I become even half the woman who my mother  is.

I appreciate her and love her beyond words. I thank God for my mother.

Happy Birthday Ma. Love you.