It’s 3:00am, and I can’t get back to sleep. My mind is preoccupied by young faces from yet another FGM Kenya documentary I put myself through yesterday.
It is not a hidden fact, that the age for circumcision is getting younger and younger. Perhaps its in order to combat the increasing awareness of its detrimental health side effects.
The procedure is so excruciating that it makes illegal torture practices look like childs play. It is often practiced in places so remote, that emergency health care is an impossibility. Once pregnant, if by the grace of God, both mother and child survive, post natal complications are dire. I won’t go into those details (watch the Untold Stories three part documentary on You Tube if your interested. I cried.). The whole thing makes me feel completely helpless and worthless.
Why are we not shouting about this insanely detrimental practice? Maybe its not entertaining enough. Maybe it doesn’t come in a package with dinner and a raffle ticket.
One of the most common replies I have gotten when I bring this up in conversation, is that the girls themselves want it to happen. Talk about sticking your head in the ground! If an eight to twelve year old girl told you that she wanted to have sex, would that make it ok for her to do so?
Children are not responsible for their own safety. Adults are. I am more disgusted by the lack of political incentive to stop these statutory butchers than i am by the perpetrators themselves. The executors of this ceremony are uneducated and have known no different for their whole lives.
What’s your excuse?
When these girls become women, they are expected to bear children through an orifice that was stitched closed specifically to allow only the flow of urine.
As Kenyans, we defend our country ferociously. Woe unto the foreigner who spots a problem within our borders and speaks publicly about it.
Instead of attacking the problem spotter, attack the problem. It’s about time we turn our glass house, into a safe and sturdy home.
I have the opportunity, once a month to ask people what they think about Kenya.
It’s an anticipated pleasure.
I was surprised by how much we agree on.
Last night, there was a coincident of a sentiment that has been bouncing around my mind with it’s resonance.
Our politicians represent us, reasonably accurately.
As a working nation, we tend to get on with our lives with resilience. Caring with little commitment for our own sentiments. We seem to think about the problems that affect us in a detached theoretical way. As though everything around us is SEP (Someone Else’s problem) and someone else’s fault.
We wait until it’s literally too late to feel motivated to a point of action. Consequently, the only action we end up taking is raving discussions behind theoretical closed doors within which we feel safe to be blatantly honest (in our siting rooms, bars or online). A process which reinforces stereotypes, serves to propagate propaganda and heightens negative emotions rather than pursuing reconciliation or debating solutions.
Rather than meet the problem, we beat around the bush chanting messages that are intended to ward off ghosts of imaginary scapegoats.
Really quite sad.
All in all, We are selfish, in nepotistic, cronieistic kind of way. I believe that stems from the shadows of our helplessness, which entirely understandable. I do it too.
Trouble is that, that won’t do. Not if you hope like I do, for better roads, constant water,effective drought management, etc.
For any constructive goals to be achieved, we have to be the change we want to see.
Last Two TIK editions have given us some statistics.
Our Top Hates are:
In First Place: Polititians
3rd: Corruption and Tribalism Drew.
Our top loves:
1st: The Kenyan People
3rd: Kenya itself
4th: The weather, the countryside, the diversity of Cultures and the good life all drew.
So We love each other!
Come and represent, we want to know what you think of Kenya, while we listen to Kenyan Music, and songs we love thanks to Nthiweezy and have a a good week wind down with spoken word.
This Thursday, We also have a treat appearance from Kennet B, who just released his new album – New Earth!
Stand up and fight for me,
Don’t we, drink the same coffee?
We come from the same place so please,
Stand up and fight for me.
Stand up and fight for me.
I paid your daughters high school fees.
Treated your son, when he couldn’t breath.
Gave your pregnant wife good things to eat.
Stand up and fight for me.
Stand up and burn for me.
Light fires high for all to see,
Convince the world that I should lead.
Without you no one else perceives,
That you stood to burn for me.
If fire catches your roof too, breath.
Not to worry, I’ll still succeed.
Cos you stood up to burn for me.
Stand up and rape for me.
Her brothers will understand the deed, you see.
It’s wasn’t lust, you are agree.
So you were forced to
Stand and rape for me.
Stand up and kill for me.
So that diplomacy won’t touch me.
Because we are of the same creed.
So, even if I fail, you’ll bleed for me.
And our blood flows together.
We stood up tall, when you killed for me.
So stand up and fight for me.
Ndio, lugha, tunazo nyingi.
Neno zinge kuwa shillingi,
Tunge kuwa zote matajiri.
Tusi jilinganishe na mti,
Mwenye tuna muona kwa runinga,
Ati matawi zake na zangu za fanana rangi.
Jilinganishe na Jirani.
Mwenye ana eza kutunza watoto,
Siku ijayo, nikikosa.
Ndye atanisaidia chumvi.
Bega kwa bega,
Tunayo nguvu ya kuhakikisha uhai ya amani.
Tusikubali kuwa nyasi,
Ndovu zikipigania Udume.
Vijana tuungane, wewe na mimi,
Ili kesho tukule, leo, tulime.
I write because this country!
So full of strong hands and legs!
Has not enough roads on which to provide
for the needy, enough flour or bread.
I have to write! Because this land!
Of flowing milk down drainage pipes,
where officials must murder and dispose of innocents to earn their stripes.
Is also filled with beautiful babies,
whose eyes inspire their parents to do what’s right.
Whose clothes hang on the orifices of claustrophobic stone cages that rise,
to contain quietly tomorrows unknowing sunrise.
I have to write, to be who I am.
To let others know that they can.
On paper, I can reveal dove or ram.
I can hope for a better tomorrow.
I say it stood, not sat, not lay.
On one flat tyre, four steadying stones,
Heavy laden, but stable.
It stood, arms outstretched, none to reciprocate.
a centre piece in itself,
It stands open with promise for a new day.
Green, glimmering apples, bananas fit to bite,
Mangoes, Skuma Wiki, fresh pineapples, the like.
It stands offering these timeless delights.
Although, itself not entirely upright.
It displays this tantalising beauty
without justification or resentment.
It simply stands, each item placed
perfectly against the next.
Articulately positioned as though, they arrived
through appearance, not on
tired backs, and sweat tainted brows.
‘Admire me’ he whispered, ‘come buy from me’
I could only admire, at that time, his blatant brilliance,
framed by mud, smoke and cement.
The picture stays on with me,
I did not meet its creator that day.
I did however, meet his art,
However unlikely it is, that he thinks of it that way.
And I do wish, that I had what it would take.
To buy him a new frame.