(ii) the ways of the tongue

My first (and only) boyfriend while in high school was a little older and already done with school. My family heard the rumors and my siblings couldn’t get enough of teasing me. I tend to be very secretive about my romantic affairs because I feel like the people around me begin to have high hopes;…

(i) touch and go

When I was young and we’d play with the estate kids at Sikujua Estate (Voi) we’d play a game called “Cha Kimama”. It’s basically playing House but some kids knew there was more to being daddy and mommy than just coming from work, cooking for the family or tending to the kids. Some kids knew…

Impressions of Wundanyi

Three things I always look forward to when visiting Wundanyi; the misty evenings, the library, great laughs and peace of mind. The library the tops the list. It rarely has people and has gems of books some of whose last-borrowed stamps read the early 90’s. This saddens me a little because I think books get…

​Faith in Jacarandas

At the flat summit of the caretaker’s pale green iron roof; that place it rises to before it begins to dip on the other side,rises a tree. It is blackish grey now and somewhat just a mass of barren branches swaying. On one of the rare sunny evenings in July, I sat outside facing that very tree and…

Growing Up Can Wait

I experience a very healthy respect for life’s unpredictability each time I think of my brother and how turbulent his job search has been. For more than five years, he went from job to school to complete unemployment to whatever job he could earn cash out of, no matter that it had nothing to do with…

The Important Things

Ever since I was told to move out of home at sixteen with no hopes of a career other than whoring, I’ve always wanted a place of my own, constantly. I have aunts whose places it is out of question to not stay the night and longer and yet, no matter how much they would ask…

To Eat My Cake and Have Yet Another Slice

Last year in December, I almost lost my mother to a home robbery with violence. The neighbors said they found her in a pool of her own blood and were shocked to find her still breathing. I never wanted to hear what exactly happened and each time my mum willingly recounted what had happened to…

Embracing My Nakedness

My second nude photoshoot wasn’t nearly as terrifying as the first. A friend who wants some of hers taken accompanied me- to get a feel of it- so maybe I was in the mentor mode and shit; but for the first time ever, I didn’t mind what shape my breast took. And they do take…

Stalking Swahili Poetry

Before 15, poetry wasn’t something I particularly liked; it was just an unfortunate thing I couldn’t avoid like algebra and matrices. The kind of poetry tested in exams was the complex type that was (I’m sure of it) trying to prove what a dumb teenager you were for not being able to decipher the mind…

A Portrait of My Depression

Before painting this, I always thought the picture of my depression would be a stark block of black; not even blue. Blue for me is a feeling; an ocean of water chilling me so I may shiver and keep my body warm the way it was meant to. Blue I came to realize is good;…

MY FIRST NUDIE

I have always wanted to pose nude for art. Maybe because I am a nude photography enthusiast or because there is something open and fearless and self-accepting about letting the camera capture all your insecurities. For me it was my boobs. A friend once asked me “If you could go under the knife to change…

Of God Arguments that Don’t Hold

Imagine a world where only one human lives, with trees and vast landscapes but no other creatures and certainly not fellow humans. One day this lone human after ages of wondering if others like him exist(ed), he stumbles upon a big book whose pages are blank. And yet in the middle of that book, is…