Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Fight is My Dream

I was having a conversation with a friend on our personal and collective ideas around belief, religion, and traditions. Reflecting back, I marvel how much we humans are so preoccupied by the way we do things, how and why, and for who and for what?! It is as though these thoughts really take a large proportion of our time and preoccupation. Well, for me at least and perhaps more than I would care to admit…

And so today, I am pondering about my ideas, around my sense of purpose and the things I think that I am meant to achieve in this life. As I dwell on this and draw a quote from a rather famous Kenyan Oscar winner who said, “.. our dreams are valid.” I am curious to know how much of what we hope and dream for can weave into every day talk of our life’s purpose and ambitions.

 To read the full story click on:

Of Conformity, Boxes and Bodies......

The following is a talk I had on 31st July 2014 in Amsterdam Netherlands. I

Melissa Muthoni’s on choices in Kenya

Melissa 'Celebrate Freedom Summit 2014' Credit RNW/Michiel Bles

Friday, 8 August 2014

Sikiliza Speaks....

Its been rather quiet from my end. I felt the stillness as I searched for words that articulated my thoughts and many times drew a blank...and so I was left with no choice but to take my time and wait....

Silence can be helpful. Its very humbling too if you are the kind of person who thinks they have a lot to say. It forces one to calm down after a frantic fretfulness feeling helpless at the mute sounds of my voice. All in all, I am glad I went through that, it allowed me to declutter and remove my head from my self absorbed clouds.

And so...I take in a deep breath and say hello world...

Its so good to be reacquainted...

And now,

Sikiliza seeks to speak ...


Monday, 3 February 2014

Of Droughts & Friends - Water Separates Us

A few years back, I came across a typical post on an LGB page about a new emerging group in North Eastern Kenya. I was drawn to this post, and spoke to a much-surprised Brian* who ordinarily had most of his posts ignored.

Getting to know him and the group Upper Rift Minorities which mainly comprised of nomadic LGB group organizing and growing and finding ways to occupy spaces that are hostile in every sense of the word. I took it upon myself to write about this very inspiring group and their story caught the attention of many.

I guess after that, the rest is history. The group has really managed to grow from strength to strength; and it has even managed reach out to even more vulnerable populations, LGB refugees based in the area and they have support groups.

Over the years, we have become great friends.  I do not write much anymore but today I would like to share with you some rather grim news from my friend.

He sent me this text yesterday,

Imagine, due to hunger in the north, I have been sent to the mountains to rescue my grandparents who are trapped in this scenario.  What the news are showing is just but a small portion of the real situation on the ground.

Melissa, people are dying from thirst, leave alone hunger. The is no water and all the wells are dry, people are forced to move kilometers to look for water, on the way they meet their death. You can’t believe one of my Aunty’s had to leave her two dead children on the way coming. She was forced to leave our grandparents on the way as the could not walk…………

……..I will be out of network for three days. I will go by foot with my aunt coz she is the only one who knows where she left them…..

What a horrible situation! Even more disturbing is that this region has recently discovered two huge aquifers!

 “One, close to the main town of Lodwar, is said to have a proven reserve of 10 billion cubic metres of fresh water. The other, the Lotikipi basin, further north, towards the Sudanese border, is even larger, holding at least 200 billion cubic metres of water. Kenya water discovery brings hope for drought relief in rural north – The Guardian

So it turns out oil was also discovered in the North! Two guesses what has been put as a priority for drilling and pumping - you got it, oil!! So now we have a drought where so many needless deaths, pain and suffering has to be endured by our fellow countrymen and all this barely 4 months into discovery of huge water reservoirs! When is the government going to prioritise the needs and rights of its people as a matter of urgency?

And to think, there are so many complaints against the governor and his warped up priorities on what they are spending money on (like several land-cruisers!!) instead of investing in community based initiatives to allow everyone the ability to make a good and decent life for themselves! And all we know is how to give AID and give heroes, put up millions worth of silly Ads and billboards…wtf! We need to find a way to force the government stop leaving some Kenyans at the fringes of existence! The North does not need aid, it needs infrastructure, it needs equal opportunities like the other parts of this country. Let us stand together and fight for our fellow country men and women to have a live with dignity!
Being the second day our friends is on his trek to rescue his family, I send positive vibes, safety and peace of mind at such a gruesome trip....

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” ― Winston Churchill

 *Not his real name

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Saluting my Brother and Mentor Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina
One of my earliest memories about my brother is me telling on him to Baba after the bathtub was left running and it flooded and messed up part of the house. There was serious damage on the parquet floor near the bathroom; it was easy to accuse him, he used the bath last and was kind enough to draw me a bath as I was next in. In the ways I was known to be absent-minded and fleeted off to say hi to the dogs outside promptly forgetting about bath-time.

When I got back into the house, it was disaster galore when the flood was discovered. And Baba who could be sweet, could also be a loud thundering force when he got pissed. Blaming Binya was easy and I could not look him in the eye after that when he got a major spank and was asked to mop up the mess. He took that hit for the team without so much as a squeak, and he never justified himself or tried to explain.

 Filled with guilt, I wanted to help him clean the mess but dare not as he had this silent sullen shield he withdrew into and that particular silence terrified me.

All the same, I must have loved him much much more that day.

My brother is one of the major motivations that drove me to work with my imagination and my heart. His writing inspired me to dream and live and reach for the stars.

I greatly love and admire him and I believe that in the wake of so much hate and oppression he is a beacon of light for those who are in dire need of a glimmer of hope.