“What Is It?” Part 2

Is it a headdesk?—is it a facepalm?—is it a handcheek? Heck, I don’t know what it is this time. You decide.
– [Read Part 1]
Double Facepalm Diasporadical

I should have just walked out. Except I couldn’t. I was going crazy wondering how much crazier this bunch of people could get. I had to know. So I opened my mouth. Again.

‘But these men who beat up women…what exactly is their problem?’ I asked. Continue reading

Of Reed Dancers, Kenyan Tweeters, Naked Girls & Gentlemen…

Click for actual gallery. WARNING: NSFW

I’m not really offended. Just … confused. See, I know the naked body is fascinating. Especially the naked female body. If it has the wrong proportions, it still evokes a degree of fascination, even if it’s the wrong kind.

So when the conversation on twitter today strayed into the reed dance, I was kind of … well … disappointed. I suppose it’s silly to be upset by what is essentially human nature. After all, the dancers voluntary showed their wares, so there’s no exploitation involved. It’s a case of willing buyer, willing photographer.

And of course now the photographer is elevated to hero status. He has lived out every man’s dream. Attending the reed dance and standing close enough to touch is a zillion times better than chilling out at the Playboy Mansion I guess.

I think what really disappointed me is the implication. Continue reading

If We Were Boys…

Justin Bieber is a Girl
Every 6-year-old girl wants to be a 6-year-old boy at some point. Guaranteed. It’s like a compulsory rite of passage. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I just know that’s the way stuff works. But, hey, you know what? It’s all good. As long as you’re over all such wishful thinking by the time you’re 15. Or 18. At the very worst, 19 and a half. Because, let’s face it, if you aren’t over the fact that you’re going to be a female for the rest of your life by the time you hit 20, you are in a bad way. And I’m not talking bad, the song. I’m talking baddie bad. I’m talking ‘aw, shucks…I’m actually some chick’s mother-in-law’ bad. No amount of good can come out of shirking your femaleness. Trust me. I should know. I’m slowly (but surely) fiddling towards 30 but I still want to be a boy. Badly. Not a Justin Beiber-esque boy, surely. Just a normal boy. A normal boy with normal hair. It’s not the stuff of Modern African Womanity and it definitely never earns me any beauty-and-the-bistro points but hey, it is what it is. Some of us have issues; we are the folks Freud would have psycho-analysed for free.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Continue reading

Beaches, Males & Race Relations

A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop at one of the prettiest places in the world. My generous client paid for my plane ticket, full board, and editorial work. All projects should be this good.

Because I’d worked with this client before, he trusted me, and didn’t hang around to babysit. As soon as he’d checked us in and had dinner with us, he went home to his wife, and left us mostly to ourselves except for occasional drop-ins to make sure all was okay.

The team consisted of two guys – one local, one English; and three girls – two locals plus me. I was the baby of the group, and everyone else had kids half my age. The bill had been agreed in advance, but we used sign-sheets to know what should be paid.

On day 1, the client was around, so he did all the signing himself. On later days, he left me in charge, so I was to look over the bills. Because he’d put me in control, he didn’t want to undermine me, so if the sign-sheets came and he was around, he instructed the hotel staff to defer to me, which I thought was pretty cool coming from an African man. It was almost cute the way the waiters would bring the chit to him and he’d nod in my direction instead. Continue reading

From Female Circumcision to Breast Ironing: The Curse of Maturity for Young Girls in Africa

Recently, a fellow DR blogger posted a blog regarding the  invention of a new controversial product called the Anti-Rape Female Condom. Our lovely readers in turn responded, giving various perspectives of the object – its very existence and its efficacy in controlling rape. Of the many comments, some written in humour and others in indifference, one captured my attention:

And when exactly do we introduce our daughters to this concept…?

Beyond the political bullshit of the day, something much bigger bugs me – our Socialization.

We can change our institutions and vote for new constitutions, but until we deal with our socialization, the very core of our beliefs, our norms and ultimately our actions, we are never going to make any progress; whether  as individuals, as a country or as a continent.The law will not help us. If anything, the law protects our fundamental beliefs. It protects our right to cultural affiliations and religious association. The law is there to protect what we believe is the norm. Sadly, some of our norms leave a bitter taste in the mouth

If our norms allow men to prey upon innocent women, rape them, impregnate them,infect them with diseases and leave them for dead, the solution does not lie in inserting jagged, plastic objects in women’s vaginas, as a protective measure. That is certainly no way for a young girl to be socialized. The problem is not with the child, the problem lies with male socialization.

The same holds true for female circumcision, it is never about the young girl, it is about the male element in that society. To quote Agnes Pareyo, also known as the Vagina Worrior:

Continue reading

Daily Dozen- 29/03

Google knows just how you feel

Can Nairobi Become The Next Silicon Valley? [KenyanEntrepreneur]
Pain & Suffering [Like Chapaa]
Kenyan civil society went to sleep [Citizens Blog]
Rogue dealers con Kenyan vehicle buyers [Nation]
Africa Experts Gather at Columbia University. [JamhuriWear]
LaidInKenya Is Here! [Idd Salim]
Wanaume Hufanya [Potash]
Women of A Certain Age [Mashada]
Zuma urges lifting Zimbabwe curbs [AJ]
Senegal’s Dream President [Africa Is A Country]
What can Nigeria expect now? [Reuters]
Erykah Badu’s New Video > Your life. [TSS]

Oh. Erykah. Sigh.

Follow us on Twitter: Diasporadical | iCon | misterNV