A Kenyan Revolution? We Must Wait Longer. Unfortunately

What is common in all revolutions is the existence of threats to citizen’s dignity and humanity and the willingness of citizens, in their numbers, to do something about it. Not blueprints, nor clarity on steps and milestones; nor any definitive leadership; nor hard consensus about how the revolution’s results could look like.

It’s fury first, and then urgency to act followed by a series of actions aimed at neutralizing the the threat and its source. Revolutions don’t even begin as revolutions.

Revolution is not the realm of managerialism, gentrification and Project Cycle Management. It’s not a neat affair, fuelled by energy or isotonic drinks. Neither is revolution defined by auras of deodorant and exquisite parades of a nation’s notables.

Revolution is never announced. When its moment comes, it sweeps the land and its leaders emerge organically to consolidate its energy into a force that creates new realities to correct the overthrown system.

A Kenyan revolution? We must wait. Unfortunately.

Because the endemic socialisation of seeking private remedies to public threats and indignities caused by the state is still strong and intact. It’s beloved and occupying.

That’s why your uncles and aunties are angrier with you for not sending them money in time for their next hospital visit than they are with the kleptocracy overseeing the death of the public health system. That’s why you’re probably struggling to please them more than you’re trying to find a way to strangle a lonesome looter at the Intercon, Stanley, Norfolk, Serena or Panafric urinals where they safely frequent – same places where some of your ‘community patronage and salvation’ breakfast meetings take place.

We, the self-declared change-makers of Kenya must live, for a long time to come, with our strategic plan or annual report or capacity building or position paper or concept paper or op-ed or or social media or workshop or seminar or conference or retreat or NGO or CBO or donor or network or Whatsapp group or occasional half-hearted and fearfully planned public protest revolution for a long time to come. And sadly, the bandits in power know that these are our only ‘revolutionary’ spaces and they know how to indulge us.

Our public fury, rage, urgency and agency are all anaesthetised, some euthanised by permanent mental and intravenous injections of a self help, mchango ethos for public problems and threats designed, executed and maintained by the ruling bandits.

So we like remembering Mau Mau and other heroes of our liberation struggles but continue to hide from drawing meaningful inspiration from their courage and rage. We refuse to adapt their tactics and enrich them with present opportunities to topple a small bunch of thieves ruining our country. We detain their memory again, as artefacts and add slabs to their graves by paralysing ourselves to preservation, postponement and voluntary foolishness that somehow Bunge or DCI or Mahakama or EACC or ODPP or Uhuru or Raila or, or, or will be our liberators.

Why are we still asking Uhuru Kenyatta and the intergenerational organised criminal system he manages for solutions to the many national problems and crises they’ve built since so-called independence?

Look at us…

That Night

That night when we found love from our wounds

The night when our tears birthed hope

Under the yellow moon that gently lit that pond

The pond into which we held and tossed in a pebble together

From one little rupture on the soft silky golden waters

I remember the ripples that formed and spread and enchanted our eyes

How they smoothed our souls and warmed our young bodies

Smiling at us from the center of the pond to the edges

Little, soft, too strong and numerous for the little pond to take in

I remember how our eyes smiled

How our lips met hungrily

And kissed urgently to satiate a waiting of a thousand years

How our bodies heaved and craved for each other

How we desired what we had only heard of but didn’t quite know what it was

I remember how we silently made our vows and prayed about them

Our wounds healed

Our tears inked the love we’d stumbled upon in our guts and hearts and minds

I remember how we held and walked in the night as if to find more secrets

As if leaving a holy site we’d just anointed

It was time to part

I remember the resistance

The wishes

And just like that

Our love and journey together had started

That night I will never forget

When we found love from our wounds

When our tears wedded us

And the yellow moon and still waters of the pond witnessed and smiled

And the ripples the choir that sang and danced and cheered

That night was a special night

That night is special

I miss that night

That night is all we needed

That night is all we had

Keep resting and smiling and dancing

That night is all that matters

Rain Therapy

Today it rained heavily my end of the city.

Looking outside I marveled at the nourished raindrops. A sense of nostalgia about the rainy days of my childhood set in and quickly overwhelmed me.

I wanted that downpour on me. And it was urgent.

So I decided to get out, embrace the rain, kiss it, hug it and get wet and totally drenched.

I dressed down to my shirt and track pants, then stepped out excitedly and strolled into the rain. No inhibition. No turning back.

The nourished rain drops, interspersed with feebler companions greeted me in a decisive frenzy of direct hits and passing smooshes.

The larger drops hit me like forgiven stones recently turned into water in their new sin-free life. The feebler ones touched my clothes, face and hands like tiny angels guarding the water stones for triumph on occasion of sin.

Initially the hits on me were loud, rowdy and bouncy. Within seconds, I was all wet, shirt and pants clinging onto my body in an indecisive copulation of shock and excitement. The hits changed tone and manner and they now fingered my body like a distracted lover.

I stood in the middle of the small field outside and let the raindrops have me and soak me all they wanted, how they liked.

Oh the strokes. The nourished ones hit me with oomph. The feebler ones caressed me with gentle sprays of wetness that appeared to merge and disappear to irrigate and resurrect any dying cells and nerves deep inside me.

Or may be the feeble raindrops were just tricking me into forgetting their hopelessness and failure in delivering the kind of strokes that would leave me gasping in awe and pleasure. But their gentle manner actually worked.

My body quickly noticed and danced in tipsy swings from its warmth a moment past to the cold hugs, kisses and strokes from my beloved raindrops.

In the rain, the child in me took over. The rain drenching me triggered ticklish sensations from head to toe. I soaked it in gracefully and relished in the delirium spreading all over my inner cosmos.

These sensations got me laughing freely as I started strolling across and around the little field to interact with more diverse raindrops and experience a more pluralistic drenching and stroking.

I laughed at my foolishness of thinking that I could collect all the rain in the palms of my hands and create a lake to water the seed of revolution.

I was lost in the bliss of being rained on. I did not notice neighbors wondering if their fellow earthling had an issue of an undisclosed type.

My present joy hypnotized me. My childhood soul with all its memories of being rained on from school filled me. I am a child of the nourished rains of Kericho and the kinkier ones of Koru Farm in Kunyak.

Spending ten minutes under the spell of the kisses of a heavy downpour was the best way to end my day.

The wetness, the internal warmth of my body and heart and the cold caresses of nature outside. The spread of these sweet sensations all over my soul and body, the which I have no words for.

My teary laughter in the rain remembering my childhood, and the blending of the tears and the raindrops, streaming down my cheeks to find the edges of my lips and tempting my tongue to a tasting festival.

I walked back to the house feeling refreshed, cleansed and happier.

Rain therapy. That was my evening.

A dream and a fight

In my dream I felt a sharp itch on the side of my rib cage. When I reached to scratch I noticed the source was a wormlike lifeless creature that was leisurely nibbling away on my skin. A painless uncomfortable sensation is what I felt, spreading from the surface of my skin, inwards and sideways in all directions.

Then I tried, urgently, to pull out the lifeless wormlike thing. I believed this would end the itchiness and discomfort. But the wormlike figure reacted fast, it’s mouthlike end spreading like a gush of jet fuel on nylon all over my body. I kept pulling it off my skin but its reach already effortlessly clung all over my body like a cocktail of a wet tee shirt, lubricated latex and a kitchen cling foil.

I escalated my urgency to peel off the cocktail that had now engulfed every inch of my skin. Nothing was spared, even the difficult contours and folds and intrusions and extrusions that capitalism discovered clothing for.

At once I arrested the wormlike figure in a good grip in an effort to peel off the clinging film off my skin. Then the film suddenly broke at my elbow where for the first time I realized it had been a constituent of my skin. I was left with a mass of film in my hand as I reacted to the shock of my now bleeding skin, painless at the point, on my elbow where the transparent film had broken.

Then right before my eyes, scales, like those of fish or snakes or lizards started forming as if to instantly repair the bruised, bleeding skin. But the scales formed fast and moved in a frenzy to cover all the parts of my body that I had liberated and firm up those I had not reached yet.

Hurriedly, I pinched a yet to be scaled up portion of the cling film on my loins to launch a new liberation attempt and zone. It snapped quickly and bled, this time more viciously but still painlessly. My loins were attentive. But fearful.

Then I woke up in a feat. I quickly explored every touchable inch of my body to ascertain its state. Was there cling film anywhere? Scales? Bruises? Bleeding? A wormlike creature? A cocktail of anything?

Nothing. There was nothing. Except a generous spread of perspiration. May be out of fear or I had overestimated the state of the weather outside before I surrendered to sleep. Also a full bladder from my devoted hydrating habits even when there’s no apparent reason.

I jumped out of bed and off to the cloakroom with the sole objective and urgency to empty my bladder. But not so soon.

A spider and a cockroach were in a vicious fight, roiling and tumbling over each other in murderous rage right there before my pressed self. I had never seen this before and probably will never see such ever again. The creatures fought, each taking turns to disentangle for a fresh maneuver or for flight. But the determination was of equal measure.

Did these two creatures have a mutual desire to make a dinner meal out of each other depending on who succumbed first? Or was it a mere flexing of muscles by two idlers? What would they be fighting about? Territory? Water points? Access to poop? What?

I watched in creepy amazement as the duelers schemed, angled, attacked and tried disentangle for a fresh round or surrender.

Then suddenly the two dashed off in different directions as if ashamed of being caught in a stupid fight, in a loo. Was it my shadow? Was it my sweaty odor? Or was it the smell of my own adrenaline being as it is that I had just come from a weird, clingy, scaly, bruising and bloody dream, nay daymare?

The two desolate fighters scampered and vanished before either could win the duel they seem to have promised their all until one was minced and dispensed of with. Is this what they always do in the loo when I’m away? Was this one a chance encounter or was it a sign?

What if my loo is also an arthropoda gladiatorial arena although capitalism sells it to me as real estate square feet? What if that’s the ruling party and the opposition in their arachnid forms roiling for access to public resources? Don’t they always stampede away to hide and reposition whenever citizens stumble upon them in the act?

In Your Eyes

In your eyes I have seen the universe

Its dazzling brightness and sombre gaze

Its good and its bad

All woven in one

A tidy messy roll

Deep in your eyes I’ve seen the universe

Its threesome of black, white and grey

And soothing music and drunken growls

And caressing whispers and stinging rage

All dripping in one gush

A cocktail of love and hate

Sweet, sour and bitter

Desire and disgust

Hope and despair

Truths and lies

Laughter and sobs

I’ve seen the universe in your eyes

The which I want

And the which I don’t

In these your eyes

I see the universe

But I miss me

– nduko o’matigere –

A hidden reason

On the day he bought a sex toy from a hawker on the street he arrived home happier than usual. He had bought it from the hawker because it was easier. Incognito. Transactional. Cash out. A pleasure you in and homebound.

When he got home that day he was happier than usual. She asked him why he had been unusually jolly that evening. He offered no reason. Just happy. And jolly. Excited. Just like that.

On the day he decided to try the sex toy, it jammed right after he had started. It did not function as promised by the hawker and the packaging. It injured him a bit. Just a bit. All this before