A few days ago, I experienced this euphoric feeling that I get when I get intensely absorbed in writing. I do not know whether I can describe it, but I will try. I feel a warm grip around my stomach, as excitement builds up, my heart beats faster, my focus sharpens and my heart experiences this near-explosive sensation, and when I put a full stop to a sentence, I take a deep breath. The deep breath is followed by feeling of deep satisfaction, leaving me elated or in tears. Whichever emotion it evokes, I call it my writing high. When … Continue reading Mutumia
When I was 16, I began to write a novel about Wambui, a girl who was born with a rebellious spirit. In my story, I depicted Wambui as a girl who constantly questioned and defied gender norms. Her grandmother was constantly lamenting that Wambui had inherited the rebellious spirit of her grandfather, and often wished that her younger brother, Kiarie had inherited it instead. She worried that a girl with a rebellious spirit would never find a man to marry her. One of the highlights of the novel, was when at the age of 15, Wambui was required to help … Continue reading Why was my womanhood not celebrated?
I have never experienced poverty, and so I will not claim to speak for the poor. That said, I have experienced the indignity of poverty, and will therefore speak for the dignity of the poor. It was in the streets of London, where a“beggar” with a container approached me and asked for a donation to “save Africa and other poor parts of the world”. My contribution would send a poor child child to school, and provide a meal for a starving family. He looked tired from all the talking and efforts to convince passersby. I imagined the smirk on his … Continue reading Skip Lunch and Save an African
If I fail to be a “good woman” it is not for lack of training or aspiration. I grew up surrounded by messages of the “submissive” and “virtuous” woman. I wanted to be a “good” woman, because like many girls, I aspired to be happily married, and I had been taught, that successful marriages were made up of “submissive” and “virtuous” femininity. I knew the hourly time schedule of the Proverbs 31 woman, because I aspired to one day, “bring honour to my husband in the towns”. That was not my only dream though; I also aspired to travel the … Continue reading I Refuse to Shrink
When I met Tino, I wanted to be her. She was everything I imagined was an embodiment of success. She was intelligent, well-spoken, confident, and accomplished. Her dread-locked hair and African clothed body spoke of self-assurance and comfort with her roots. I could tell that she was just about my age, and that made me slightly jealous and curious at the same time. I wondered what it was that had moulded her to be that way; was it her background, did she go to the ‘right’ schools, or just a case of very high intelligence? To sum it up, Tino … Continue reading Tino’s soul is dead