Category: featured

the memory of seeds and indigenous resurgence in tharaka, kenya

“In the global North, it has become more common to declare that indigenous peoples hold the solutions to the climate crisis. Such rhetoric risks being only lip-service if solutions don’t recognise and resource indigenous-led work to repair damage to indigenous cultures, commit to indigenous resurgence and integrate the wisdom of indigenous values.  After decades of shame, suppression and devaluation, much indigenous knowledge held by groups like the Tharaka has been…

why we should study afrikan history

“Tracing African pasts through the interlinked lenses of agency, possibility and imagination allows us to counter narratives of Africa as a blank slate, to challenge the privileging of whiteness and Europeanness, and to debunk myths about Africans as people who are destructive or unchanging. It allows us to illuminate diverse possibilities of human living to build on, against the hegemony of a present moment that unsees and devalues us. For…

decolonising the african spirit

“After seven years of being on the journey I can say that I have arrived at several shores of knowing and understanding that I would like to share for anyone else who might be undertaking a similar exploration. Even more however, I have begun to wonder about the silence around African spirituality, and its persistent labelling as sorcery or devilish, an inheritance of missionary colonialism. As a researcher of the…

on using the right structures in transformative work – simon mitambo

Are traditions simply a thing of old that are interesting but not relevant to the world we live in today? In my last blogpost for Transition Network I sat down with Simon Mitambo to hear more about how he is using traditional governance structures from his Tharaka community to revive cultural and biological biodiversity, and connecting with other communities doing similar work across Africa. With the organisation he set up,…

going farther together for peace and sustainability – lvpsc

The Lake Victoria Peace and Sustainability Centre is based on Rusinga Island on Nam Lolwe, the source of the Nile. I visited with this network of organisations on the invitation of Solomon who I met during the Non Violent Communication training I attended last year. The network is made up of about 30 organisations that work on different issues on the island including childrens’ safety, food security, beach maintenance, fishers’…

creating loops: growing food & local economies – james kagwe

I interviewed a most inspiring gentleman I met on my Permaculture Design Course in Laikipia for my 4th blogpost for the Transition Network. James Kagwe was both inspired and challenged by a question from the late Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and badass activist from Kenya: who will do it tomorrow? Thus began his quest to go one step further with fixing the waste problem in Naivasha town. What…

reimagining folk tales

I never posted about this but better late than never. A short story I wrote called ‘The Giraffes of the Desert’ was selected as one of the finalists for the inaugural Re-imagined Folk Tales Contest in 2016.   Here’s the background to the story. I used to manage communications and social media for a heritage nonprofit called the Trust for African Rock Art in Nairobi. What I loved most about…

joseph lentunyoi and the laikipia permaculture centre

I interviewed Joseph Lentunyoi, co-founder of the Permaculture Research Institute-Kenya and the permaculture demonstration site where I did my Permaculture Design Certificate course, Laikipia Permaculture Centre. “What is permaculture to you? I would define permaculture in a general way as sustainable human settlements in a holistic approach, so that everyone can take it up. Here in Laikipia, for example, we’re talking about building peace, livelihoods, and about degraded landscapes, so…

on the spirituality of nature – wanjiku mwangi

I had a conversation with my good friend and inspiration, Wanjiku Mwangi about her path to caring for nature and the environment (she doesn’t like this word though, see below). In particular we spoke about the spirituality of nature which is what drives her work with communities to recover their heritage and ecological mores. What is nature to you? When we talk about nature there’s two main parts, the seen…

african + environment? yes indeed

I am guest blogging at the Transition Network for 6 months and my first blogpost just went up. In the series I want to think about what the environment, environmentalism, nature are and mean to Africans and for Africa. I do this through interviews with some people I know who work within these spaces and I will be inquiring into what they think and how they make their visions of…