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 … Continue reading in my skin
September 1st 2017, sometime after 11am. The world spins around me ever so slightly. I seem to have hiccupped out of sync with the rotation of the earth. Beside me are a bottle of cold water and a cup of hot coffee. I attempt to pour balance back into my body. My mother turned 60 … Continue reading The feeling of possibility
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 … Continue reading You are not us
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 … Continue reading Kenyans, 10 ways to **** better… #5 will BLOW your mind!
Side A One sweet day – Mariah Carey When somebody you once loved dies, a part of you also dies. You won’t realize it because that love was two decades ago, brewed in the 90s to the soundtrack of old school R&B. But it was your first love. Back when your heart delicately unfurled itself … Continue reading Love is a Mixtape
Dear Kenyan sisters and brothers, At last we are family. It’s been over a century of feeling like the unwanted bastard son that was dumped on your doorstep. Drenched and shivering from the storm, you allowed us to stay, but in many ways made it clear, we were not to overstep our mark with ambitious … Continue reading Letter from Kenya’s 44th Tribe
Tonight l want to sing. Melodies of pain. Harmonies of heartache. Songs of rage. For I don’t have the words to speak, so all I can do is sing. Come, my friend. Is your mouth dry from sighing? Are you as worn as I am? Does your soul ache? Are you afraid? Let’s sit here … Continue reading A Ghazal for Kenya
I lay in bed last night asking you to visit me in my dreams. To sit with me. Stroke my hair. Peel back your eyelid with your finger like you used to and give me that sweet sweet smile that would sweep away any melancholy clinging to my heart. Did you hear me? It’s … Continue reading And full stop.
Until only a few days ago, never in my lifetime had an Indian Premier visited Kenya. So with Modi set to arrive, a whisker away from Netanyahu’s visit and barely a year after Obama’s, the hype leading up to his visit was unsurprising. A website was set up for people to register for a special … Continue reading The floodgates that Modi opened
Part 3 This is for women who refuse to make space. It probably confused you that I didn’t lower my gaze when you stared at me. Perhaps that’s because you don’t know who I am. For a long time I didn’t know either until my Kenyan sisters showed me where to look. Plucked from India, … Continue reading For women who refuse