Category: rethinking

“sub-saharan africa” doesn’t exist – drop the scissors

So last year we talked about how there is no such thing as the “Arab spring” – yes? yes. And you cut that out of your vocabulary. Good. I thought we wouldn’t need to have a conversation about how there is no such place as “Sub-Saharan Africa”…. but well, it seems we do, because the rate I keep seeing this term, and with my fellow rads and Africans too……‍ so…

it must do something to you to only be a throughway

“It must do something to you to know that you are only a throughway to a thing, body or place more desired.”   The editor asked “how are you breathing in this increasingly airless space?” in which State corruption/misappropriation of huge amounts of money just keeps increasing and increasing – name them, the scandals which come one after the other unstoppable, name them: Kenya Power, Maize, Dams, Lamu Coal, NYS,…

reclaiming time + space – what pretty hides #2

I was recently again in London for a brief moment for my graduation. It’s summer and sunny and warm – the best time to be in London because you can be outside for longer periods of time. And yes indeed, summer means picnics, walks in parks, swims in ponds, lunches in parks, games in neighbourhood greens, full outdoors enjoyment of life. So much so that I thought visitors to London…

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’…

we don’t need the lamu coal plant

I got caught out on this post when the Supreme Court annulled the August election results after I had drafted the post and all…. The annulment [and everything that followed it] resulted in an extra-long election period and collective holding of breath accompanied by lots of intrigues (threats, insults, name callings, arrests…. With all that happening I didn’t feel like I could post this…. Ironically, because I start by talking…

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…

a proposal to retire the term ‘arab spring’

1. It’s a misnomer that excludes (further). First word, Arab: there are more ethnicities than Arab in North Africa. Hold up, I’ll say that again. North Africa is not made up of Arabs alone. Tuaregs, various Amazigh communities, Nubian communities and many others, all live in North Africa. Some were there before the Arabs. Saying “Arab Spring” manages to disappear all of these people from the record and perpetuate their…

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…

healing trauma: mutual recognition and responsibility

Dr Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela gave a talk yesterday at my campus drawing from her research and work on the truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in South Africa following the trauma of Apartheid. In her talk titled Recognition and Mutual Transformation: Reflecting on the Reparative Humanism of Ubuntu and Inimba she was drawing upon two cultural concepts from South Africa, ubuntu and inimba to conceptualise how it might be possible for empathy…