Lessons from a taxi driver

I often hear researchers say that talking to taxi drivers is a good way to get a sense of the political atmosphere of any place. My experience with one tells me that Kenyans are angry and despondent at a political system that has completely failed them. While I was in a taxi today, the driver was very vexed, and I decided to hear him out. It turned out that he was so ideologically grounded, it felt like I was in a Sociology 101 class that was speaking to the realities of what is happening.  He spoke with a lot of … Continue reading Lessons from a taxi driver

We too shall rise, but how?

I started following the South African university students’ movement from March this year, when UCT students declared that #RhodesMustFall.  I have followed the movement closely and with a lot of excitement, because South African students are demonstrating that they understand the meaning of freedom, not just in its superficial form, but in its deepest and truest form. The students understand that ending apartheid is not enough, the symbols of apartheid must be destroyed, and they began doing that by demanding the fall of the Rhodes statue at the UCT Campus.  They understand that the remnants of apartheid must be destroyed, … Continue reading We too shall rise, but how?

I packed my bags and left

“I packed my bags and left.” That is the opening line of Dambudzo Marechera’s book, House of Hunger, a statement that I find symbolic, and perhaps indicative that this is Dambudzo’s way of preparing to share with his readers about his journey in life. Journeys are interesting because no matter how much you have, quite often you leave all that behind and take just what you need for a particular journey. I’ve gone on journeys with just a pair of pants, two blouses, a few sets of underwear, a tooth brush and toothpaste, because that is all that I needed … Continue reading I packed my bags and left

Is this really the Nairobi we want?

Guest post by d’Arthez.  Nairobi is a bustling city. People are always in a hurry – if not to make money, then to spend it. The lucky among us, on consumer goods and holidays abroad. The less fortunate among us on food and school fees. Like an army of confused ants, we’re marching to the CBD, Westlands, Kilimani, Karen. To Kibera, Dandora, Kayole, Kangemi or who knows where. The fortunate ones waste hours sitting in traffic jams. The less fortunate are wearing their shoes out, While the former go to gyms, or upmarket walking tracks to enjoy the joy of … Continue reading Is this really the Nairobi we want?

Can it end with me?

I have been sexually harassed for 20 years of my life. I have grown up and lived most of my life in a society where touching and talking inappropriately to women, myself included, has become all too normal, and in all spheres of society. My first experience with this reality dates back to 20 years ago. A certain green dress is etched in that memory. Not only because it was a beautiful dress, given to me as a gift, but more because the first day I wore that dress, at the age of 12 was my first experience with sexual … Continue reading Can it end with me?