My Final Death

 

I’m pretty sure that whoever reads this first will be expecting something rather horrific, gruesome even, at the very least, sad. Even I can’t place my current feelings as I wove this narrative, I’m kind of hoping it will all unravel as we go along.

It is not a pleasing tale; that much I know.

This one is one of deception, of lies, of imperfection, of pain and pain and nothingness. It is a tale of brash and whispered want; of misguided stares and souls bared to lovers who couldn’t be lovers. They fit together so easily, too easily.

So far this has taken me around twenty minutes to write.

The fear of who I was when I forgot myself is stronger than all the self depreciating humor I love to uphold, but secretly cringe at the actual person I am. It is easy to fade, and fade we must in order to learn a thing or two.

And tonight I will fight. I will fight the remnants of my past, the ghosts of insecurity, of lost love, of unwanted love and the ghosts that have built a home in my mind. The ghosts that only I can fight. I will fight to have your face in mind when the ghosts come.

Under 10 minutes. I’m beginning to feel something.

Everyone can love you with every single bit of themselves, but if you don’t love yourself first… well, that’s something else. I can feel all the little miracles happening, I can almost touch them. I can feel my liberation; can I tell you what it tastes like?

My final death will be when no more words leave my blood stream and leave a mark so strong on the paper that it effortlessly sees its ways down generations. But not today, that’s not today. I will write boldly, humbly, and fully.

I feel… enough.

 

 

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Of Banning and Regulations

Just when we are about to hit rock bottom as a country, someone steals the rock!

For us doe-eyed individuals in the media industry, our authenticity is being eradicated or shushed in order to uphold values of a generation that has, for the longest time, separated this country based on  ethnic extractions. Changing such views has proved difficult and I would like to believe that only the few who understand patience will win this war.

Banning.

We saw it in 2013 with the Paradise Love movie, which was based on elderly German ladies coming to the Kenyan coast to seek attention and affection. The year 2014 witnessed Stories of Our Lives created by The Nest Collective banned as it apparently promoted homosexuality and now it is happening again.

After a series of successful films such as; Supa Modo, Disconnect, Nairobi Half Life, and Watu Wote it feels like we have progressively moved a few steps forward only to be shoved and hurdled back fifteen steps. The latest Kenyan film to be banned is Rafiki, on the claims that it is another film that promotes homosexuality.

On that note it is also the first Kenyan film to be showcased at the Cannes Film Festival and is gaining its well-deserved popularity from all round the world. Wanuri Kahiu, the young producer noted that her film is “a story about all that is good and difficult about being in love so that for those fortunate moments we are lifted above our prejudices.”

It is almost comical to consider how as young Kenyans we were taught to stay away from that which the parent said was wrong, until we got burnt trying to break the rules. Is it this generation that will have to teach the older one the same lesson?

“Many present-day African nations have strict anti-homosexuality laws in place, but contrary to assertions by former President of Zimbabwe and internationally renowned insane person, Robert Mugabe, homosexuality is not “anti-African” – and far from it. Before Christian ideas of morality were introduced to tribal African cultures in the late 1800’s there was little to no stigma attached to homosexuality. Most tribes had unique words for different LGBTQ individuals and practices, and many tribes shared the belief that homosexuality was just something that adolescents engaged in, like a kind of horseplay (but not that kind of horseplay).

Additionally, there are records of long-term erotic relationships between women in Lesotho called motsoalle that were celebrated alongside heterosexual pairings – up until the missionaries came in, that is. It turns out that colonialism back then and neo-colonialism now, brings with it not just slavery, disease, and environmental exploitation, but also homophobia as well. That seems like a fair trade: we’ll take your people and natural resources, and in exchange, we’ll teach you to hate the gays. Very Christian.” Said David Sharp.

Banning films such as this gives them all the attention they deserve, and would they even need banning if our president believes gay rights are of ‘no importance’ in Kenya? Not only does the statement make it difficult for entrepreneurship in the film industry to thrive within the borders, but also chokes hopes of it thriving internationally via online media sites.

It is a cause of concern because, those in positions of power and with the ability to make things happen are seemingly very disconnected from the society they are meant to serve. Moreover, it is worrying that lawmakers put in place systems that stifle creativity and innovation. This is not only evidence of retrogressive leadership, but a lack of competency among leaders in this day and age.

Empty Broken Souls

I despise hello’s.

A person can never really say, ‘I’m having a really bad day and my social anxiety is deafening whilst my need for isolation is slowly becoming unbearable and it is only 9 am.’

No.

We developed a culture of masks, charades and silence.  We do not listen to other people’s responses when they tell us how they are doing, and as such no one says much anymore.

Today when we say hello, we are slowly becoming a generation of individualists who forget the blanket of warmth that collectivism has to offer socially.

Depression is the grand hello.

It is an intricate pattern of multiple small paper cuts every day. Depression isn’t one big thing as people tend to assume, and no, neither is it a ‘white people problem.’

We need to kill the depression stereotype that the lonely emo kid who sits in the corner and listens to rock music and writes poetry has a 80% chance of being depressed. It might as well be the cheerleader with a perfect life and perfect eyebrows, you know?

Whatever your religion or background, you have no right to judge another for how they choose to silence their worlds when it gets too loud. You cannot judge another person’s pain or struggle.

It’s funny how depression can fluctuate, one day it is rainbows and sunshine and another can be pitchforks and thunder.  Can I also say that happiness levels aren’t a determinant for depression levels.

A little kindness, a little friendship can go a long way.

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To Remember How To Human

You know the hardest thing about being an only child and being away from home?

It’s those times when you feel slightly homesick and you badly want to talk to your mum but you know her mother spidey senses will kick in and she’s gonna start asking what’s wrong and you can’t exactly tell her you have boy issues because she won’t understand that small things happen that you can’t fix but according to her all answers are in the Bible and you say okay, but can the Bible tell you why love, humanity, peace aren’t all they are hyped up to be?

Has this happened to you? Yeah. Me neither.

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All the good things aren’t what they are hyped up to be, I’ll go with love.

Of course God’s love is everything. It is patient, it is kind. It never withers but endures the storm. His love lasts forever. But like everything else, there are two sides to the coin.

Love is reckless, it is scared, it is shy, it is faulty, it is jealous, it is obnoxious, it is childish, it is selfish, it is mean, it is rude, it is harsh, it is vague, it is impatient, it is frustrating, it is extremely ugly.

And now that I’ve run my mouth, what meaning have I bestowed upon you?

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I’d like to think we walk around giving love too much credit and place it on such a high pedestal such that we don’t give it any room to mess up a little bit. We tell ourselves love is the divine power and that it is perfect. Maybe that’s true, it must be the ultimate force, so we are the problem?

If we are then we need to learn that the way we give love and expect it in return has to change. We have to be open to actually seeing how we receive and give love. And when it can’t come to us the way we’d like it to we have to change the way we give out our love.

We have to learn that we mess up a lot from time to time, but these broken pieces are part of us and when the people we love, in any kind of way, fail us, we need to forgive them because we love them and as much as we’d like to hate them for a minute we will always come running when they call.

To love is the best thing you can do for yourself, it sets you on a journey that lets you discover bits of yourself you never knew. It brings to light so many colors of yourself and it feels like coming home and seeing youself, slightly surprised as though to say ‘I wasn’t expecting to see you here, but oh am I glad!’

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And sweetheart, this isn’t meant to kill your Valentines vibe, by all means please go ahead!

Go forth and prosper!

But as you go enjoy yourself, I’d like you all to check out @self_made_east_african on IG as she shares and brings to the forefront cases of our girls who’ve been sexually harassed and are finally coming out with their stories. Let’s be a part of this and help stop sex without consent.

To all my goons, keep it 100.

In My Bloodstream

We met in a dream.
We sat down for coffee.
We both smiled and talked like there was no tomorrow.
It wasn’t like the time I sat down for coffee and ended up losing a friend.
This coffee date was different.
The person across from me was nicer, gentler like they couldn’t afford to hurt me.

They said-“In another life, you are my number one.”
They said- “I genuinely do miss the heck out of you.”
When I don’t respond they watch me intently: curious and intrigued.
But when I stretch out my hand, they don’t touch it.
It’s like a shot of poison that doesn’t kill but intensifies gradually.

So we smile at each other and choose to live on memories.
We choose to remember the days we were happy together.
The times we silently fell in and out of love.
The times we believed silence was the key to freedom.
The stupid way we hurt each other because we could.

Before I get up to leave I begin to spot the changes in them.
Their love is stronger but stealthier, they won’t show it.
Besides, we are worlds apart at this point in time.
We are two souls split in half trapped in this moment.
Before I leave, I turn back and smile.

I smile back at myself.
The old Me.
My coffee date.

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Dear African Parents

Good evening.

I understand I’ll have to keep this brief and precise lest my family tracks me down and takes me to church for my ‘insolence’.

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I simply wanted to state and inquire whether my fellow African offspring can relate to some of these ludicrous habits African parents seem to pass on to each other for our supposed ‘greater good.’

For any parent reading this, kindly don’t skip a line, this is to save you from any heinous decision you might make that will only push your child further away from you.

Privacy is IMPORTANT to every individual. There’s no such excuse as “he is hiding something from me” or “she could be doing the wrong thing”. Do not read your child’s journal, or go through their messages because you eradicate the notion of ‘safe space’ for the person. Sadly this transcends parenthood to relationships too. How hard is it not to snoop? Halafu swiping left or right when someone shows you a photo on their phone. Stay in your lane and let people breathe.

African parents, why are y’all so self conscious on how our actions may reflect your parenting skills such that you also readily label some of our experiences as ‘phases’ and choose to act mute to avoid the situation as though the silence expels the problem? They don’t seem to know that depression is a real thing or homosexuality has a funny way of lurking in one’s DNA. Sure, it’s not legal in Kenya, but the world is already mean enough, why make it a harsher place? They are ready to take one to church and pull all-nighters if need be to remove those demons.

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And lastly, we see through the bullshit.

We know when things aren’t working out for you, we know when you had a bad day, as we get older we know how you also fail as humans and parents, so give us the freedom to make our own choices and pick ourselves up. African parents know how to throw insults that one rarely recovers from and are quite unnecessary. African parents can destroy your self esteem while thinking they are building it.

But all in all, mad respect to the folks who beat you up and still manage to ask you why in hell you are crying. Cheers to the mad childhood, and to my friends who are now parents, don’t forget yourselves!

The Human Flaw

It’s quite scary.

How easy it is to leave.

Being alone is less,

But a less toxic less. 

You never know what’s

entirely good until

you’ve handled entirely

bad. 

Entirely good has its

bad days too.

Mother failed to see

the ultimate flaw.

She failed to see that

he would always retreat

into “alone-ness” 

whenever threatened. 

She is a force he still cannot

Handle. Too brave and kind.

She outshines his light.

So he sought familiarity in the 

arms of a woman who was lesser

than he, because she couldn’t judge

the man he chose to be. 

He could’ve grown, 

but he loved his comfort,

in being unreprimanded 

that he left before he was asked.

How do I know?

I am his child.

Clarity prevails as one grows.

I guess I’ve seen,

many a man like him. 

To remove an adult 

from a child’s heart pedestal 

is to strip love bare

and provide no aid

For the bleeding wound. 

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May this generation produce a better batch of parents.