Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yet Another Crappy Post

When I was growing up, we used to refer to mitumba as marehemu George. We referred to used clothes thus because we believed them to have been pre-owned by white folks and shipped to us poor Africans upon the instance of their death.

Then we grew up, left school through means either foul or fair and joined the hordes of dispossessed urban youth sitting on stones waiting and talking; sharing halflifes and cans of napalm-like liquor. We had neither gainful employment nor leisure so we drank- baadala ya kazi- and shagged each other indiscriminately to while away the days. We had no money and our clothes grew more threadbare on our backs; our toes peeped then eventually began to stare through the holes in our shoes- holes that came to represent the widening chasms in our souls and dreams.

It was time to re-brand marehemu George!

Marehemu George…

Marehemu George became Marehemu Baba George. Marehemu Baba George because in those emerging times, if you saw a kid in the neighbourhood wearing ‘new shoes’, you knew that they had been previously owned not by some dead guy in Europe but by some unfortunate Baba so and so in Nairobi. And that Baba so and so would be at that moment lying at the City Mortuary wearing a toe tag: Unidentified African Male. If you were capable of reading the Government Pathologist’s formalin induced squiggles then you would see such things as: Multiple stab wounds… Blunt object… Haemorrhage and in more recent times, ‘anal trauma’.

But all that seems like a long time ago as I pause to stare at my shoes. My new shoes! My new shoes; not new as in newly owned Gikomba Deluxe but NEW-box fresh new! Shoes that haven’t walked all the way to the EPZ Complex just to see: Hakuna Kazi and back again to one love Licker store just to say baadala ya kazi. Shoes that came in a box with the clothes store’s logo and not in a bale stuffed with soiled underwear from a Salvation Army store.

I resume writing but my fingers fail me. Fingers! These fingers that cannot get the hang to create on my new medium-this spanking new laptop! These fingers that learnt their trade scribbling: I WaNT tO BE a wRritER! with crayons mother pilfered from the main House (That was way back when we lived in an SQ in Loresho and mum used to earn a living cleaning soiled baby bottoms and the equally soiled bottom sheets of their mothers’ boudoirs. And those sheets soiled as the mothers played such indoor games as bedminton and table penis and danced the Horizontal but not necessarily to the guttural humming of their baby fathers!)

Fingers!

The fingers caress the flat LCD screen marvelling at how all those angst filled words have taken on a mundane feel as this wordsmith begins to believe his own publicity.

These fingers. The self same fingers that picked up smouldering bits of charcoal out of Mama Samaki’s brazier, as I staggered home from One Love Licker Store. Fingers that used that charcoal to trace caveman-like representations of my dreams- a writer’s dreams- on the crumbly walls of my cardboard lean to. And then came the street days; the hustle; Five-Os and their stray bullets. These fingers stayed with me throw it all. These fingers explored new media even of the public toilet variety. What joy I derived standing in choo namba nane, dipping these fingers in constipated shit and using that to write: Hello World, I am still writing!

Hello World…

Hello…?

Shit!

I stop tap tapping and pat my shirt pocket in search of a nyongi. Is Bilas! Then I see a flash of gold to the left. A whole fucking pack of A-Band gaffs just for me? Dadi, which Jesus, Benson or Hedges died and made me king? I light up, take two hits and flick the cigarette onto the parking lot down below. A gaff that has barely lost its virginity; a gaff way off Beggar’s Point- thrown away by Potash, The, what’s the world come to?

I stare at the smouldering fag as it lies in the midst of the lovely jacaranda bloom that litters the parking lot- oh; I see trees and flowers and manicured lawns. Damn, soon I will be writing of African sunsets.

The muted sounds of a television reach my ears. I turn round and peer through a gap where two velveteen drapes fail to meet. Oh; I see God. Okay actually it is a pair of breasts that I see; breasts created in the image of God.

The breast owner spots me. She waves. Man, she fine no? That there dadi is my publicist. At two a.m. while I struggle with words, she is living the out Nairobi’s latest fad: 24 hrs of Prison Break!

Mhh… she lies there on the couch looking pretty. When she is done watching TV I will get on the couch…. Oh how I wish she didn’t have to go to bed. Well, didn’t have to go to bed and leave me the couch. I would love to go to bed with her but I have to settle for her couch with her lingering scent and my trusted right hand for company.

Okay now I am too fidgety to write. I meant to prepare some sort of speech for a panel discussion later on in the day. But I do not give a rat’s arse about speeches. I mean, what is there to tell people about the efficacy of blogs. Blogs are a powerful tool for writers, duh! I live on the ill side of the Digital Divide and yet I was discovered on the Blogosphere. Quod Erata Demonstradum. I am here talking about blogs, aih Kwani, si you jijazia.

That is about all I have or need to tell anyone about blogs, so I will hopefully be able to make the panel engage me in a more life changing discussion: How do I get to sleep with my publicist?

***
Damn I am on conference overload and this blog has gone to the dogs. Let me fly down to Lamu and rethink the shit I do. It has become bigger than me. Oh and yesterday some two girls from England said that this hood shit is bullcrap… that I am a reluctant rich kid.
What the fuck...?

I will blog when I can. I do not know when.

I just wanna fucking get back to the hood. Oh and by the way, I wrote this post on Monday but just couldn’t get it out. I do not really think I care abut this blog anymore. So all the new readers read the archives- that’s where the tight shit be at!

Monday, December 11, 2006

SERMONS OF THE 'ANGLICAN'

A few months ago, the good Lord appeared to me in a dream and inspired my piece: Homosexuality and the Bible. When I wrote it I promised to follow it up with a sermon but the good Lord went mteja all up on me. After months of drinking, walking and talking awaiting divine intervention to no avail, I have decided to take matters in my own hands… so help me God!
****

In the beginning God made man. God put man at the centre of the universe and gave him dominion over every plant and every beast. And then God leaned back in his stellar throne; his right leg over his left one and his joint burning brighter than the lights down at the Sarit Centre or Moses’s bush. God looked over his creation and thought that it was good.

And thus God rested. (I can imagine him lounging on a silver lined cloud reading the Science page of the Heaven Trumpet trying to figure out how his E turned out equal to MC2. Or even sitting behind his desk, golden quill pen in hand and his waste basket overflowing with early drafts of his memoirs- memoirs that he would later have ghost written by an excellent array of writers and published as the world’s best selling book collection for centuries till a boy magician called Harry some-shit-or-other arrives to rival him.

I can see him struggling with writer’s block and pulling out a copy of Lucifer’s newly launched porno rag- Angel Dirt- to read under his desk. Many centuries later, an eccentric mortal by the name of Hugh Heffner would acquire all terrestrial rights to Angel Dirt, gentrify it and reprint it as playboy. And all of God’s self-appointed spokespeople would vilify him for it on their pulpits before retiring to the holy of holies with virginal altar boys.)

But God’s rest was interrupted because man, like the youth in today’s ghettoes couldn’t find gainful leisure and was starting to act all agitated.

Adam- as that was the man’s name- it seems was demanding a playmate. God being younger, available and bubbling with the thrill of novelty at his prototypes, in those days, was quick to oblige man. Besides, God had been considering a new design concept: an improved man, with more curves than a race track and less testosterone- the H. Sapiens 2.0, an upgrade to the veritable beast that Adam was.

And so God made Eve- out of Adam so his memoirs say; so madam go burn your bra elsewhere! God made Adam and Eve. So what about Steve?

Well not everything in the world was mad by God. At some point God got too busy ghost writing his autobiography and quelling Lucifer’s coup attempts to supervise what man- with his hitherto unknown design flaws (I mean God had no peer reviewer!) was up to. And so man, being like God, albeit without his infinite grace and good sense, started making his own toys driven by his most basal instincts.

But all that was a long time ago- way before Sigmund Freud and ‘Penis Envy’. I have not read Freud but I am told that, besides playing with the minds of deprived and thus seemingly depraved women, he managed to tell us everything about sex we thought we never knew. Suddenly there was a name for each of our darkest secrets. (Apart for maybe technophilia which wasn’t possible until the invention of what Dubya refers to as the Internets.)

***

And Freud vindicated the “Anglicans”- or Episcopalians depending on which side of the pond you are on. He argued that we are all born homosexual and it is the much vaunted process of social learning that determines our sexual orientation when puberty comes calling. Such social learning being biased towards the internalisation of behaviour and or actions that propagates the species, it is no wonder that the only way we must turn out is heterosexual. Anything else is sub-normal and, even in a democracy like ours- illegal, nay criminal.

Criminal? I have been told that every crime has a victim- I agree. But doesn’t it logically follow, then, that there is no crime committed where there is no victim? Ergo, under what circumstances does homosexuality qualify as a punishable offence under our laws? I consider it an abuse of the civil liberties of two consenting adults to legalise against their sexual preferences. Preferences indulged in behind closed doors and thus in no way constituiting what we- society that is- define to be a public nuisance or indecent exposure.

Some self righteous individuals lacking a concrete scriptural basis for their nay saying will hide behind the clich├ęd: “… Homosexuality is un-African…” So what is African, their dog-collars and leather bound Bibles?

Religion and culture are mutually dependent and the cultural heritage of a people emanates from their dominant norms and values and especially the dictates- and observance- of their peculiar belief systems.
[… cont. …]




Due to Copyright issues and syndication strategies initiated for this blog, this post has been broken into two parts. The later part will be published towards the end of the week. For purposes of humouring the fun cub, we insist that we got too drunk to complete the post.

Monday, December 04, 2006

KWANI? LITFEST




As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility- ahem we corporate now, no? we interrupt normal transmission to bring you a public service message from our good friends at KWANI?

For detailed Information, visit the Kwani? Litfest Blog

Further on in matters Kwani? This blogger has learnt that in a special (RED) edition of The Independence to mark World AIDS Day, the Kwani? Editor- Binyavanga Wainaina- was named one of Africa's Leading Artists. Yes, one of the fifty greatest cultural figures shaping the continent.

Uncomfirmed reports say that this Blogger sent his congratulations and wondered whether Binyavanga was our new Bono; it is time for a black one, really. Binyavanga is alleged to have responded: "...am somewhat horrified and thrilled."

So we still do not know if he is going to London anytime soon- not to collect the Caine Prize, this time but to adopt a white baby.