I see them rodents gnawing at my toenails
They have eaten everything
The granaries are dry
The fruit basket is empty
And the fireplace has gotten cold
Women have taken to silence
Their territories invaded
They gave them cooking pots
But stole everything to be cooked
They give by the day
They steal them by night
I see their flawed system
Of suppression and oppression
Our sweat nourish their bellies
While we chew at their empty promises
We aren’t men enough to pay rent
We aren’t men enough to pay school fees
So our kids we groom
To work in their plantations
It is slavery
Woven in peals of false brotherhood
White man criminalized blacks for skin color
Now it’s black killing black with hunger
In this food chain everything is flawed
The arrow no longer points at the eater
But still, the prey takes blame for being prey!
Such is the story of my country
I will write a letter and toss it in the wind
Or strip your hammock and toss in the river
I might be dead when they reach you
Nothing has changed
Yet nothing has remained the same
The gods have been vexed
All this time they’ve held rain
Grass still grows
Watered by endless flow of blood
The valley has changed its appeal
The shades we once rested under
Now home rotting humans
And vultures feast
The freedom fighters have fought the system
Then rebelled against their prior motives
They kill anything in human gait
The government lives
Not counting the ones lost
They fly outside to drink and dine
Because this nation is rotten
Their appetite might wane
When they took you, bro,
I couldn’t fight them
That’s cowardice I know
But death isn’t for the brave either
Bro, this nation is rich
You could have seen their arsenal
Yet, war isn’t cheap
Neither is peace affordable
Remember the cave we hid in?
They blew it up
Hundreds died in there
And smoke and dust soared high
As the blast drowned
Their shouts of victory
My turn is coming
I’ve dreamt about it with eyes open
I saw its end…
Somewhere in a vultures poop
I’m still lying here in wait
I know the bullets won’t reach me in time
This hunger, cold and fear won’t wait
The chief’s daughter is heavy
The chief’s daughter must be heavy
She has lost the wasp waistline
Her hips have so much widened overnight
And her tummy is shaping like Ohigla
The Chiefs Daughter must be heavy
See how she spits anyhow
Her mood has changed for the worse
As her breasts are getting bigger
But who has done this to Adhiambo?
Could it be the son of Odero
Or that University boy who lives in Kisumo
I heard he was seen here
But nobody could understand him
He swallowed kisungu like jarachar
Who could have known he pounds cunt?
Adhiambo was a good girl
I thought my son would marry her
Ohh poor lad, he lost his chances
When he dropped out of primary five
Now the elders must be called
Jagam must be found
So Adhiambo can be married
Before her ball is too big for the chief’s pitch
My keyboard is an epitome of aridity. With all the consonants I still can’t make up words right enough to describe what I have in mind. And my mind is still not able to fully perceive what the maker of this lovely planet unfolded before my eyes today. How am I going tell this story? Simple, I am going to close my eyes and scribble anything related to this event on a page in any language that my tongue can roll to. That said. Where do I begin?
Africa U Night, the event that had trended (maybe is still trending) on twitter since the week began was finally here. Mavuno church was the destination and if you had never set a foot there like me there was an option-you could miss lunch and begin your search for the venue much earlier lest you miss some of the performances. To be honest, events will come and go but Africa U Night will still remain as a reminiscence of what good poetry is all about. For the first time I saw poetry escape the lips of the talented poets, hover in the room and finally encaving us in some sort of a dome filled with euphoria and bitterness. The event presented by the ARTEAST HUB had much more than just poetry. I tell you the poets deserved the tittle not as common these days when anybody who can create simple rhymes like Embrace and Empress call themselves poets. They had content and nobody had to be told to listen- the words themselves were powerful enough to arrest the attention of the audience and journey with them in that poetic adventure. There was also music. I still can’t compare the vocals of PHY to any other artist. She is the Kenyan Version of Emeli Sande.
Fast forward, the first performer was Le chatelier and it seemed the price of disappointing the audience was too high for him to afford. His comprehension of the Queens language was exemplary. His piece was short and very informative. The MC Poeta equaled the task shooting his sick punch lines in the name of Kujichocha. You just had to pendaa his stuff.
Vanessa Ombura took the stage and froze the audience to a pin drop silence. The words strictly lined with the theme left the audience screaming at the end of the performance. Poeta had to beg the audience to stop screaming such crazy chants like Thitima! Thitima! And allow the next poet to take stage.
L7 Empire is a cohort of Murderers-they killed it
Comprising of four artists: Virusi Mbaya, Cilabies Mgonjwa, Muarab and chief Kaddif, L7 Empire is taking Kenya by storm. Their lyrical prowess is out of this planet added to their sound content and mastery of their pieces-you get a free ticket to wonderland and they are not bragging about it!
They performed two pieces mheshimiwa usinigei doo that spoke of all the ills that we Kenyans are subjected to by the so called waheshimiwa. The other piece: bila madeni mafan wanatudai that spoke of the contributions of artists in fighting the societal ills. L7 empire will continue to rule because of one thing, they speak of the problems we encounter everyday not only in Kenya but in Africa. Their choice of words is excellent they use words so weighty!
The only prince in the ghetto, Ronny proved he is no longer a poet but a prophet. He prophesied that soon Obesity will also be a disease in Turkana. He also echoed the cries of the real Kenyan heroes felled by political bullets: TJ Mboya, Pio pinto, Robert Ouko and JM Kariuki. He prophesied that soon the hunger of these fallen heroes will be over as they will be served justice. Where do people get such creativity? Maybe only prophets like Ronny Prince are able to create such powerful words out of carcass of fallen heroes.
Shanky Abbs and Shikz proved they are not merely pretty but are pretty creative. Forget about the serenity in their dressing that depicted true African women. Their performances took us to a soul hunting mode. You only realize you didn’t carry your hunkies after such a performance. Tears rained and reigned.
The event was one of its like, an event worth every cent and second spent. Even after spending part of my time reporting about this event I still believe I should apologize to all the artists who performed everybody who attended this event and the Arteast Hub for failing to find the appropriate words to tell all about this event. In short the artists frankly lit the room with words. Set it ablaze.
Finally today being siku ya mashujaa I celebrate the following poets as my heroes:
L7 Empire Crew, Shanky Abbz, Ronny Prince, Le Chatelier, Vanessa, Poeta, Femi, Shikz, Vince, Murathe, Kennet B and many more. I celebrate you as my heroes because you have been the light of this society, always rebuking the wrongdoings of our leaders without fear while embracing the efforts made by fellow citizens to rebrand Kenya. May you live long to inspire the next generations.