At 16, I wrote my first poem. Then I ran from home 3 times. Then I was suicidal. Then I was a street boy. Then some Kenyans administered mob justice on me after I was busted shoplifting. Then I stole my father’s ATM card to get money that’d take me far away where nobody knew me and I’d go die there.
Let us stop telling women how to do their feminism and simply listen to them, if we expect them to listen to us. Let us stop expecting them to be the bigger people all the time if we aren’t ready to join in the work.
This is your life and shit happened to you. Shit that demands acknowledgment and space to heal. Your people are out here willing to listen. Whatever pain you’ve been holding on to for years on end, it’s time to release it.
I’m lucky I survived. It was after a week long stay in the streets having run from home because I couldn’t stomach the chaos anymore. The fighting and shouting. I wanted a better life. That night I stood against him. Told him he’s not beating me again. I was tired of abuse.
Men have a complicated relationship with loss. I was sharing space with a friend who visited yesterday for tea and conversation. We agreed that because of poor socialization for boys around emotions, they grow up to struggle dealing with difficult sensations that cause pain in their adulthood.
If we’re to cite the Kenyan constitution’s provision for abortion that says it’s only permissible when the mother’s life is in danger, heck a woman’s life is in danger everyday wherever she is in this world, pregnant or not.
What many men translate as their love for women they date/marry is a form of labour women perform for them. It does not make sense that love would seem to flourish in marriages yet women globally continue to be marginalized in all proportions of existence.
is an avalanche of secrets
leaking from your insides
Many men shall die
without knowing its trueness
Those who have touched you
may think they know you
One of the waitresses asks, “Unampeleka pale juu?” Which I assume is code for “fuck her in that dingy lodging”.
I did meet a man last night
Whose dreams come from the hills
Mysterious as wind
You know not from where he is
Not a clue where he goes
Sometimes she likes to be ripped apart
Whipped by angry hands
On her back
Causing fiery murmurs
Deep down her groins
Have you been loved
As a thief would steal-
As night marries day, secretly
That nature felt fooled
This poem is not okay
Because it knows it’s not fine
To die of silence with a heart full of ink,
Loud pain compressed in jail buds
It’s one of those nights the motions have come. You linger in bed thinking how people are dying around you. How probably you’ve been dead a long time but maybe this is your ghost living in a dead society that broke all the life out of you. It’s a night you’re not sure what love means.
The current reality is men grow up with little to no knowledge of reproductive health. We barely know how to support women around us during menstruation. I’m starting to see how there ought to be communal based support for women during this time.
Poor African women slave their bodies hours on end to reach ill-equipped health centres hoping to find help. But their social status ensures it doesn’t happen.
What we ought to rise to is the reality of male violence and patriarchy that have ravished this world. The barbarism of male on male violence that trickles down to our families, and that, over generations, has forced women to protect themselves and be indifferent to the pain of men.
Women are used as “symbols of success” in the world of patriarchy. Traditional relationships with women have provided men a safe place in which they can recuperate from the stresses they have absorbed in their daily struggle with other men, and in which they can express their needs without feeling that these needs will be used against them.
The more I’ve grown the harder I find it to tell anyone to forgive those who hurt them. It’s been easier to validate their pain, hoping that by doing so – maybe, and just maybe, they’d get some kind of peace. I don’t have the right to tell you what to do with your pain.
I started learning about sexual reproductive health at 28. This was shortly before plunging into full blown depression. It was dangerous because I almost relapsed into old sexual habits. The thing about depression is it creeps like a snake, by the time you hear the first hiss you’re already in its trap.