(for now)

The fountain is off.  We used to meet at the fountain, sit too close to each other at the fountain, say jalebi and smile for the camera in front of the fountain.  Now, roses strain through the red electrical tape hurriedly wrapped around the fountain, and the wooden benches are free.  A masked volunteer takes … More (for now)

Sabr and Shukr

(a meditation on grief and the things that keep me up at night) I don’t remember much from my first funeral. We stood in line waiting to view the body. When it was my turn, I observed how the body was ashy, its arms arranged stiffly by the hips, nostrils oozing with cotton wool. I … More Sabr and Shukr

Love is Eternal

(It is only fitting that after such a long period of quiet, the first piece on here is one that comes from a place of such deep love. It is an honour to host this tribute by a daughter for her father. Thank you Maureen for bringing flowers, wisdom and such vivid beauty to the … More Love is Eternal

Where does it hurt?

  ‘Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all’ – Emily Dickinson Are you tired? I am. It is tiring living in Kenya. I don’t want to list the ways, because this piece is not about that. This piece is … More Where does it hurt?

in my skin

I stand at the window. The moon is hidden and my feet are bare. I reach up to my face. At the point where my hairline starts, is a zipper hidden in the coils of my curls. It is made of solid chunky brass, the kind you find on vintage leather jackets. But it’s no … More in my skin

You are not us

This piece was written on August 20th, 12 days after the Kenyan Elections. It was commissioned to appear in the ‘Reflections: Talking to the soul of a divided nation’ series where it was first published on The Elephant. I have republished it here because Chanyado has become a (sometimes) personal commentary of the times we … More You are not us

Kenyans, 10 ways to **** better… #5 will BLOW your mind!

On the night of August 11th, the silence of the Kenyan night was pierced. In some hoods, the screams were of joy. In some hoods, the screams were of anguish. In some hoods the ratatat was from gunfire. In some hoods, the ratatat was from fireworks. Less than a week later, all through the day … More Kenyans, 10 ways to **** better… #5 will BLOW your mind!