The first time a boy asked me to have sex, I was five years old. We were playing hide and seek, and the two of us ran off to hide in a bush. We were so excited because we had found this spot, that we thought was so hidden, we wouldn’t be found. But it turned out my friend, who was six years old, was getting a few ideas from the fact that the place was so hidden, and took the opportunity to tell me that it was a good spot to “dinya” each other. I didn’t know what the … Continue reading Please teach us to use condoms
Following the US Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriages, coupled by the fact that Obama will soon visit Kenya, there are fears and concerns among Kenyans that the US may want the rest of the world to follow its example. The Kenyan deputy president, William Ruto has therefore issued a stern warning to President Obama not to talk about gay rights during his trip to Kenya. He has further declared that there is no place for gay people in Kenya. This homophobic sentiments have been lauded by many Kenyans, who have taken upon themselves to spew homophobic messages largely through … Continue reading What if my child was gay, lesbian, intersex or transgender?
Recently, I had the pleasure to talk to my grandmother. Though 84 years old, and displaying the frailty we commonly associate with old age, she spoke eloquently about her experiences living under the colonial regime. She recalled the memory of how Kenyans were driven off their lands, tortured, killed and raped, in such detail, depth and clarity. At the same time, I realise that her story is of a life that did not happen: due to being born a black girl, in colonial era Kenya. From talking with her, I get the sense that she possibly would have made a … Continue reading Why every woman and black person should support gay rights
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?
Every time I take a new book to read, I hope that it will be one that will engage my senses and emotions, consume my thoughts and heart away, and make it extremely difficult to put it down. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen to me that often. I have read many good books, but they often fail to grip me or rip me apart the way I expect, want or need them too. In a desperate attempt to find that book, I have been asking myself, what kind of book will it take to give me this kind experience? I have … Continue reading A book for every crisis of my life