Saturday, November 21, 2015

Highly Educated

".....nakwambia, mimi wasas walikufa niko miaka tatu.
nilifikiri sitasoma. Lakini sasa, I'm one of the highest learned people in Kenya..."

I turn my head slightly to see how high learned people look like.

"Mimi maisha yangu imekuwa nzuri, mungu 'mesaidia.."

He walks past me and glances at my shopping bag.
I've been getting stares.

-What is the smart lady doing here, yaani amekuja all the way kunua mboga,,enyewe sida 'mekuwa nyingi- they seem to be thinking.

 I'm carrying my shopping bag in-front of me. A bunch of kunde roots (cow pea plant) covered in earth are sticking out. I bought them from a pick up; they didn't have a knife to cut off the root and stems so now I'm carrying them like french bread.


   "Hata kama sina mali, maisha yangu mzuri, na ni kanisa...." I hear him say.

 He is carrying a  black briefcase, weak at the handles, and a long umbrella. He wears a shabby coat . The stripped ones that go out of shape with pockets seeming to sink inward.
He is wearing white sneakers that have a brown discoloration between sole and body, sign of a leak.

"Hivyo kijana yangu, 'sijiharibie maisha na pombe, I can give an example of myself. I have never drank alcohol in my life..."

The proverb, pombe ni kejeli comes into my mind. Pombe; alcohol, laughs at you. Nice, I could explain that  to someone.

We have come to a particularly wet part of the path, and both of us join three or four other people trying to balance on unsteady stones to get to the drier side across.

"Sasa umenielewa...mimi nimesoma....." he continues.

Though I'm not sure if he is still connected. He seems to be addressing me, and anyone else that overhead the conversation. A justification for his imperative statement.

Perhaps he meant, "I'm quite educated."
or, "I did get an education,"
but in a moment of desire to be convincing, the statement "among the highest learned" had escaped; and been overhead by audience who wouldn't care if he was Steve Jobs resurrected.

But all the same requiring an explanation for we humans sometimes say more than we need to, especially on a lone long walk home.

I would have liked to ask him, how many highly learned people are there in Kenya? What did you learn?
Do you have a club and meet every Monday for lunch?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

domestic revelations

After jaw dropping at his work, I said to the metal artist;

" I love the metal butterflies, and the dragonflies, and the metal insects."

"Aaah, women choices," said he.

'I mean, the concept, I've only seen paper butterflies before." I explain.

"These are more durable," he stated.

My heart sunk, but I moved on thinking, oh well, I've come to an art shopping mall, nkt.

Until I met the artists, not art sellers.

There was this painting by a young man, at the brush tu stand, I forgot his name. The painting was -fortress of solitude-  I didn't take a picture, it described my feelings too much.
He told me he painted emotions.

As the artists patiently explained their pieces, I felt I did the right  thing to come.
Like the -Domestic revelations- which were deeper than I had experienced, just looking..
when you dig some more; you see the real color- David Thuku




When I started blogging on the literary folder I had the firm belief that- it's a writer that knows his story, it's his business to write it-
The stories I write, they want to get out. If I don't let them out I get stuck, and impatient.

 An artist exposes himself to criticism; when in a moment of clear thought, his brush and paint pair and move in harmony. It is a gift to be able to paint what is in the mind, I have wished I could.

My stories, my babies,
No one can get within me and understand the formation of words. The way at times words, phrases and expressions go zip- zapping in my mind like discordant music. Only I can collect, sort and align them.

And not without difficulty.
For each story demands its own set of thread, canvas and frame.
this one got it right; it is impossible to dream without a feline about.

 Some stories come out in sighs, some need lots of visuals,
 some are enveloped in  many tears.
 While some form in the mind for months.
 Planted, needing harvesting.

 Otherwise they get thick undergrowth and make me edgy.
 On my way out I saw a talking T-shirt- Rasta ni wewe it said- we smiled at each other.

You sing, I dance

I was feeling like  I needed a hug, but it would be weird to walk up to someone and ask to be hugged.

made me smile right away, it was by Clavers

So I decided to go to the Kenya Art Fair. The alternative would have been to walk round Karura forest until I dropped, but it rained all morning.

I'm looking at John Silver's paintings; An animal that could  be a goat or a zebra with the neck of a giraffe..

"Come to my studio and you'll get even more disturbed."

He says, when he sees the kind of faces I am making at his art.
He is a talker, pleasant guy. He was lecturing a fellow young artist, a girl.

"Don't let your mother stop you from painting, kana akwĩraga ũtĩge gũthaka na marangi?

"Ee, wanasema hivyo."
"Hii marangi ndiyo inanilisha, na mimi ndiye nasaidia mamangu hata zaidi.
Stick to your art, kama una kipawa, ni mungu ameweka ndani yako. Let them sing, you learn the chorus and help them sing, or dance to it."

John Silver:  I'm an artist, no apologies.
 Wakiimba,-Tigana na marangi-

“Unaimba -Iĩ nĩngũtiga- na unaendelea kucheza na marangi yako."
In and out of the stands, my brain was blinking telling me, this is it.

 All the restlessness of a few weeks, lots of writing but the  struggle; should I post this?


Friday, November 13, 2015

hiding behind a language


"Ukiona  mwanamke amekaa na wanaume peke yake na haogopi, huyo ni mwana siasa.”


Said the man to his fellow, who looked up from his standard and regarded me for the first time.

‘Inaonyesha hawashuku,’ he said and went back to his news.

"Ni kama Karua ama Ngilu, the first man continued.
They assumed I was deaf.
So I played along.

 But wondered, don’t women ever sit by themselves, among men? Unless they are  into politics?

 The second man handed the  newspaper to the man of opinions then left.

“Eh, Waigũrũ. Acha tuone nayeye huyu ana hadithi gani leo.”

My mind wondered in and out of our discussion.

There is some truth in it. I’m not really intimidated among men, I might even be at most ease among them I think.

-I’m not into politics-
I wanted to explain to him. 
- I was raised by an uncle you see, and a bunch of his friends-

But Really? I don’t think that is a reason either.

So I regarded him behind my eye lashes the way us women do.
About 50 years, definitely a grandfather with a  desensitized wife weighing about 102 Kilos who gets up before 4a.m to go to the market.

The news on the radio are in a language I hear but  don’t understand, I hear the name Ngirachũ, That I understand.

My mind is back to the topic.
Dubai.
I’ve been trying to sign it. I signed it as president, then heaven, so I sign ARAB COUNTRY FAMOUS.
Wondering to myself, what language do I use to think. And I try to listen in my head. Could be English.
Wait. Can’t I hear my brain?

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...