If Janet Jackson pierces her clitoris, she is liberated;
If wanjiku pierces her clitoris, she is mutilated...
The Fraternity boys were already in New York ‘developing’ Africa one jargon word at a time. In the Bible Belt, Special Air Mission Veni Vici Vidi was successfully returned from a Crusading Mission against the barbarous moors. In Ivy League, USA, the Anthropology class had long returned from the Cradle of Man and- with their war badges of primitive art forms safely on the mantel- were out angling for State Department Internships. Even George Clooney had been to Darfur and back (and that ‘war experience’ could hopefully earn him a bigger role in the sequel to The Thin Red Line.)
The suits on UN Avenue, had been yakking rhetorical for years. They had sustained a veneer of gainful employment formulating Structural Adjustments; Cliché Empowerment and sustainable gobbledegook programmes and all that in between calls to their stockbrokers and clocking frequent flier miles.
Across the pond, a Band had got Aid in overcoming the sophomore slump by once again- as Chumba Wumba used to say- using the pictures of starving children to sell records. They had had two awareness concerts; a low key one for the starving African artistes and the other, a huge one featuring I-am-free-to-starve-myself super models. (Graced by waif-like millionaires who cannot tell Marsabit from nose candy.) Suddenly later day Queen Marie Antoinettes had become the spokespeople for the peasants:
“Why would the bliks want food? Food is sooo…grosssss…. So fattening!”
Everyone had played their part in changing the world. Changing the world by churning out more policy ‘paper’ that the Congolese rainforests they were trying to save could provide. Everyone, well, almost everyone- the sorority sisters were yet to tailor their own agenda for Africa.
In truth the girls had set up a couple of shelters- in maasai land, obviously- but it was time for a real Feminist Agenda for Africa. You know, the type of Agenda that looks perfect in situ- as a college dissertation that is- but implodes upon initial contact with its prescribed banana republic. It was time for the Feminist Lobby to Globalise; to reach out to their (insert preferred synonym for deprived) Sisters in Africa. It was time to talk to Mr. Africa Consultant.
Ms. Femme books an appointment with the Consultant. Kenya sounds like a fair enough location to have the meeting seeing that it is the only non-rebel held province in South Africa. MS. Femme gets her shots- considers acquiring a bio safety suit? - and a Zulu phrase book and prepares for her flight into the Heart of Darkness. Naturally, she will not fly Kenya Airways; I mean the pilot could be this mung-ek-ey thing the CIA Handbooks talk about that hates women with clitoris. Then again, from what she reads, Kenyans are congenitally corrupt and ergo, a Kenyan pilot could easily take a bribe and land in uncoca-colonised territory.
Anyway, sooner rather than later, she finds herself at The Nairobi Serena- or is it The Panari sky center these days? She is in time for her appointment with the consultant and now one of two things is bound to happen:
A) The consultant is late. The reason, she will later learn, has to do with a road- or the lack of it- right through a migratory route for elephants. That will make much sense to her because as she will note sagely, “where else can one build roads in Africa while it is all untamed bush?” (A fair surmise informed by her favourite ‘me Karen Blixen- you monkey!’ movie.)
B) The consultant is right there at The Serena- at the Bar! It is about midday but the fellow is on his umpteenth Tusker. In response to her ‘how do,’ he goes on and on as to how “… inspite of all their peculiar ways, these kafirs can brew…”
Now you know our consultant, don’t you? He failed in everything from coal mining to garbage collection in his home country and took a one way ticket to Africa. Now he lives in Karen but drives a Range Rover with a sawed-off roof and a survival kit at the back. The Consultant cuts the image of a fellow who knows how to survive in a failed state- you jua- where the words coup and democracy are interchangeable.
So Ms. Femme sits down to listen and learn about the African woman. All this from a man whose experiences with African women begin: “you me...like jiggy jiggy…yes?” But what choice does Ms. Femme have? She cannot go into the bush to meet The People. There are too many risks involved; like encountering the business end of a Janja Weed militia’s, Ak-47 (or what is it the CNN Nairobi correspondent called the rebels, Banyamulenge?)
After all, the consultant has been in Africa for twenty years. He knows the lay of the land. He knows which cabinet minister is sleeping with what…
Yeah… this Africans are a queer lot!”
In a short while, she learns the reason for a high prevalence of HIV infection from Cape Town to Timbuktu. She now knows why the infinitely misogynistic Samburu man (“Samburu is what Maasais call themselves, here!”) circumcises his wife. She now has all the information she needs to change Africa one constitution at a time. And that is an easy thing to do, considering that the Africans have no constitutions or any understanding of such things as “we hold to be self evident that all men -and women- are created equal.”
It is now time to return to the air conditioned DC office and write her project proposal. But first she has to write a grant proposal because as she has learnt, all she needs in Africa is money to ‘lobby’ parliament.
Money is no issue, though; there is always Bill Gates types trying to earn a tax cut, a conscience or both. If the mega-rich aren’t interested,then, she can always count on the American Public. But she has to scare them shitless. Scare them like Dubya…”if you aren’t for the African Woman, then you is against them”
It is time to hit the Lecture Circuit running. Circumcise must of neccessity mutate into Mutilate….MU-TI-LA-TE!
“…imagine your genitals mutilated, America…!”
“…yeah… you can make a difference…
What… they don’t know it is Christmas…
Yes you too can give…
…Clitoris For Africa!”
This post Inspired by: Kibera Recolonised
The saga continues...