Jul 26, 2010

Oct 2, 2008

Seven Hundred Billion

Red dollars discarded their greeness eons ago
For one we do not trust
Imagine
What a trillion more options would mean
To our already disembalanced earth
The final tilt of a sardistic agenda? Well orchestrated for hypnotised masses
Under glaring silver screens
Busying ourselves with
Prison Break Series Seven
While seven hundred billion bailouts
Are breaking out to suffocate the thin thread of light
Left
Right
At this edge led into gallions (sic) not blindfolded
Nay but
Well seeing with no comprehension
Clueless
While T-Bag escapes with the moneybag
Which Scofield needs to reach Newfoundland
To turn sand into blood and black gold into green envy

(to cont.)

Jul 29, 2008

Against All Thoughts

When i said we put that distance between us
because i had issues i needed resolved
it must have come out all wrong
so you took the road to fade
and it was all too familiar
it was something i've been thinking
shouldn't happen
can't happen
but again
its happening
against all thoughts.

28/7/08

Jul 10, 2008

Chasing the Skyline



When I looked up you were gone

The silver lining had turned a cold gray

And I sat there gazing at the emptiness that you left

Wishing I had one last moment before your exit


Some of these days I look out the window

Expecting you to come through that door

Surrounded by the halo that you stole from the clouds

Shining into my life again


Most times the reality overwhelms me

And I face those clouds whilst kissing you

Goodbye

No one said it would be easy

Yet no one said it would be this hard


I scavenge my thoughts and memories

Trying as hard as I can not to lose the details

These details that define me through you

Intricacies that only a father could know of his daughter

And I keep them locked away

Safe from the reach of forgetfulness


Only my heart knows the void it feels

And I fall short trying to describe it

Yet at times this void is

Filled

With my conceding that I’ve lived my life

Through yours

Fulfilled.


W10.7.08

For Rahma, for your Dad.

Jul 9, 2008

3Quel

Velcommen to the Third Writ!

Starting today, this is the 3rd flipside of Marazzmatazz. Enjoy!

-m

Jul 3, 2008

bonga

nabonga na wewe...
na nina bonge la bonga kukupa
bunge imenibore
daily kuna drama
nawish wangeniinterview
niwashow
"i really don't care wabunge wanafanya what,
wacheni wajivinjari"
manze haliniingi kwenye bongo
vile wana do.

Jun 30, 2008

200 Fools

Whispers

In my head.

The Grand Regency stolen, repossessed, restolen
right before our blind eyes

thoughts shift
If I could manage to get two hundred fools to buy in on this idea, for only as little as ten shillings a day, each

for something like thirty six months, no, no
make that sixty months

I would wallow in money.

I bet that MP of ours

that's the kind of calculation he's been making
while undressing these huge crowds

he's counting votes, sorry notes

we counting on change.

copyright, lenjo maza
30.06.08

Jun 23, 2008

if words

if words
could transform to become livable actions
easily
intertwine with the intentions
of mine heart
disperse the fears i hold
bring me sun
bring me dreams realized
not cleverly crafted to sway
and pimped up beyond
recognition
of what they are to convey

if words
i heard could be real
reach into the crannies of my world
and make every corner
glow
make me believe
that these words carried that change
sincere
without
deceit
without
fooling pageantry.


copyright asad maza. june 2008

Nov 17, 2007

its done

today
like a lioness watching her cub coming of age
going out into the harshness
i should let you go
like a dandelion finally shedding off its seeds
to get dispersed into the wide openess
to face whatever awaits them
i should escort you
gently let go of this hand
that had been forever holding yours
let it down for you to stray far into the land
far from this reach again

tomorrow
i should wake up to a brand new day
without you here
without the thought you would get back
without even the faintest wish that you shall return
i should wake up to the reality
that its done and cannot be undone
that this is that horizon
once stepped obliterates all we ever had
i should learn fast to live with it
it won't be easy but life teaches hard lessons

because only yesterday
you stopped being mine.

____
w17.11.2007 copyright asad 2007

Nov 13, 2007

What Door?

When one door closes, another window opens. But to see that window opening you have to have intent to see it.

But intent isn’t enough is it? My grandma always tells me, have intention, then try, then do.

And i try to do. When i fail seven times, i get up eight. That is the code i strive to live for.

Living a certain code is hard. It’s hard as much as it is easy. It is hard when you lose focus of that code and stray in unrelated words like i feel am doing with this story. Yet its easy when you know exactly the stage of the way you are at. Most of the times, I find myself shuffling between these two.

I remember “Dojo” the Japanese philosophy - its not as much where you are in a particular path that matters. It’s about what you do whilst there.

So i find myself in this path. Regardless of where it leads, regardless of where i am on it, i do what matters. That’s all i can do. The universe has a way of letting us know we are a minute detail of its composure. Yet the lovely thing is that what you do transcends the path, it determines how the universe reciprocates to you.

Am i making sense?

I don’t know. Am blubbering.

Back to the window. Focus. You see the sliver of light struggling to enter as it opens. Look intently at it. Forget about the squeak of the closing door. Let go of its image. Concentrate on the window. Hold that picture as long as you can.

Once you hold the picture, try to see beyond its four corners. There are no corners. Light streams from outside and beams the entire room. Light touches the edges of this window and merges them with the wall, blurring the boundaries.

You bask in the warmth of sunrays kissing you. The entire room is white butterflies and birds and dandelion pods float on its glow. You reach out to return the kiss. The warmth is real, the whiteness is real, the butterflies and birds and dandelions are real. So as you kiss, this time you don’t miss. It’s real.

It’s as real as you. And the path you are on. And the point at that path you have reached. And the direction you face at that point in that path. And as real as what you do at that point in that path facing that direction.

Isn’t it amazing how soon you forgot about the closed door?

Fumbo kwa wanaofumbua.

Nov 12, 2007

Bibi Kapata Hela


Siisemi kwa kuikemea wala kuitania

Lakini akilini wazo kanimiminikia

Upana wake kwenye gumzo kanifikia


Tunawaza tukiwazua na wenza maskani

Mada tukilichambua mpaka zake mpakani

Moja kanena “Bibi keshapata hela,

Nyumba kalibadilisha jela”


Nami sikusita kulichangia kidogo

“Wako wake wenye kiburi kupita Firauni

Keshashika sumni kidogo

Mume kamtia aibuni”


Mkalia jiwe naye akaingilia

“Mara mume yuko jikoni akimpakulia

Mke tena halafu bafu

ajikunje mgongo mpaka kifua

Ajikaze akifua

Nguo za nje na ndani zote kuzitundika nje

Kwenye kamba

Za mke na watoto zote sambamba”


Kabla kumaliza mwingine kafwatua

“Kuna wengine, lo!

Haswa wakaliwa na kukamuliwa

Mume haneni lolote mbele ya mke wake

Hana chochote angalau kuliita chake

Mkia kalikunja tena kulificha halifichuki

Mdomo na mawazo korokoroni kikomo

Ndoa kawa pishi lililojazwa chuki”


Mara sote twacheka huku twagadhabika

Kwanini wake wengine wakawa hivi?

Pindi kashika shilingi zashinda bwana

Bwana we! Dharau na utata nyumba kaletewa

Hakukaliki na hata kukikalika

Basi ni mke kamkalia mume juu.

--- copyright lenjo asad 2007 ---

Nov 7, 2007

Flex, Cutex & Latex

-


Wahenga walinena “Kuishi kwingi, kuona mengi” - the more you live, the more you see.

Incredibly ingenious are the things i learnt this weekend. Coming with “ex” at the end, it all revolved around one very delectable topic. You guessed it!

First there was the free spectacle that i betook to, watching tortoises getting it on. The locals told me that that was a very rare treat to behold and that fuelled my zeal even more. It was outside in the drizzle which made me conclude that such conditions were not only conducive to humans after all! Now imagine there are no photos – the camera got engaged right at that moment when “the mount” occurred. Acrobatics i tell you. The act was naturally slow – but still managed to produce smoking shells outside in the rain. Looked like huge boiled boulders kept outside to steam off!

As i was waiting to take a matatu to Elsamere, hoards of hawkers barraged me with everything from handkerchiefs to padlocks to biscuits. None of these normally useful items interested me. My thoughts were fixated on getting to my destination. But out of this sea of hawkers came someone holding a small aluminium box that resembled those ones they use to hawk samosas and sausages. What was different about this particular box was that it housed not foodstuffs but nail-polish! All types, all colours. The exterior had swashes of the variety painted on it with different clip nail shapes. He had my entire attention. I thought it was a joke. Apparently, he’d walk round like that and get someone who wants a manicure and its done on the streets! Ingenious!

Then in one of my “curious” discussions, i rediscovered something called latex allergy. This is when someone is allergic to latex better known as rubber. More specifically, rubber used in condoms. Now, i don’t know what that whole program entails but it “raises” alot of concerns doesn’t it – if you ever get diagnosed with that.

Oct 30, 2007

Bridezilla!


You’ve been musing about the perfect tuxedo cut for your wedding, entertaining the style in your head over and over again. Slaaaaaaaaaash! Forget it all. She has concluded all that on your behalf, together with the minute details that you thought were quite insignificant. You know details like how the flowers will hang at the venue’s entrance, the colour of the reverse side of the guests’ table name tents, the colour of the reverse of the table linen, what butter brand will be used on the appetizer buns and an impressively endless list of everything insignificant.

You as much as open your mouth to say “Honey, shouldn’t we...”, slaaaaaaaaaaash! You get frozen halfway with your probably half-baked idea.

This is going to be The Wedding she dreams of since she was two. Nothing will deviate from the grand mental picture that she has. Everything will be perfect. It better be otherwise she won’t feel “married”.

There’s something about the way chics carry on about weddings that freaks me out. Exchanging vows in front of the entire village that came along with a few octogenarian relatives (poor souls) ain’t enough. It’s not enough that at least you will settle into a life of companionship and love. Noooooooo, that ain’t enough. The very act of proposing to her which you thought was the icing on the cake becomes totally minute the minute she says “Yes”. From that moment forward, she takes over as actor, supporting actor, main grip, make-up artist, visual fx designer and yes, you guessed it - Director. You as much as whisper a new word not from her script, “Cuuuuuuut!” Retake!

Chics would go on and on about how the shoes should look like, how many stairs that cake should have, what flavour it would be, what shape, colour, weight and height it will take. She will most likely choose the chef as well as the ingredients and sufuria that that cake will be baked on. And if you thought that was attention to detail, wait til you get to The Wedding Dress.

Oh, forget about the dress. That’s a conversation to last years. By the time she’s hooked up for real, trust me, she’s a fashion designer in her own right. She has it covered down to the number of laces on the white gloves, the length of the bow ties and the shininess of the bling bling hanging from the dress.

Just when you start feeling the swoon of getting swallowed in this one-way street, that you have no say in, you find yourself standing in that isle that has her name written all over, whispering “I Do” to Bridezilla!

Then she commands you “Say it loudly”!

Oct 23, 2007

Unity Candle


Today i learnt an interesting thing.

That in some modern weddings, there's something called the Unity Candle.

It's a candle lit from two other single candles and signifies the becoming of one for the two people being wed.

Struck by its symbolism, I inevitably processed the thought further.

As its lit, the other two are extinguished. The past left in the past. Individuals become partners.

And so in the state of their union, they are flamed, changed and consumed by the same heat.

They are swayed and troubled by the same wind.

They follow the path of the same cord and turning at its bends without resistance.

They stand firm on the same footing and if weak get extinguished by the same fall.

Sometimes cool and composed, at times fiery and tempious.

The drips of their experiences form back within them to make them stronger.

And if they let go of these experiences, its hastens their extinction.

The drips of their union fall not far from them and if they do its in darkness.

At its height, the union burns bright, spreads light until at its death, darkness.

Drip to drip, ash to ash.

All is consumed apart from the cord whose path they followed.

The memory of the light they shone.

And the base on whose footing they planted their foundation.

Oct 17, 2007

WAPI16, Idd & Kids

Sato was one of those days. Hectic with like a thousand things cramped up into the 8 or so hours of daylight. At the end of it – i think it was so worthwhile for me. Started with a peaceful Idd prayer, then jumped to a crazy mid-morning in town, then headed to teach a graphics workshop at the British Council which also happened to run simultaneously with WAPI (yes, that explains my absense on this wapi), then dashed kuenda kujivinjari with family coz it was Idd! But rest assured, when i touched my Grandma’z pilau, all the stress vaporised!

Ahem, my weekend as a paparazzi! Enjoy.






























Oct 9, 2007

Chivalry Ain’t Dead


In the midst of the little fright of drizzle, in the middle of the sprawling Kencom bustop, in the dead of the rush hour, scores of people haste to and fro, trying to connect to their respective places. One curious sight catches my eye. This woman, beautifully lady-like is on the same rush. Behind her is a man holding up an umbrella to cover her but little sheltering himself from the rain. He’s clearly trying to keep up with her brisk walk, all the while smiling sheepishly. This man here is a rare species – one very thought to be long extinct by most of Nairobi ladies today. This species escaped my camera; i think i could have fetched some pretty prices at the Endangered Species Section of Nairobi Museum!

But then again I think the drizzle must have gotten the better of his wool for him to act so selfless. She on the other hand seemed to care little that he looked more like a wet clown than a prince charming, running behind her with that umbrella - awkwardly pushing himself forward while stretching his hands further to the skies. She was busy scavenging for that magic number in front of the bus that translated to her trip home! I read desperation all over him. Poor dude, looked almost like he had become subservient to this lady. Was that blind intoxication or was it gentlemanly chivalry. Beats me.

Anyway, got me thinking. Does real chivalry still exist? Is it still possible to take a lady out to dinner and not get into a fight of who’s paying that bill coz of some post-Beijing memorandum? Is it possible to still pull out seats before she sits and not as a prank? Is it still possible to escort someone to her gate and her not starting to act all jittery like you expected a peck (at the least) for the selfless gesture? Is it possible? Of coz it is.

But then it begs the question. Why are they that rare?

My wild guess is this. It’s the ladies’ fault. They have gradually and surely exhausted any trace of chivalry in today’s men. Everything now is some form of engendered competition. You do it the manly way you know how, it becomes “Kwani you think us women can’t do it?” Mpaka we’ve fikad a point we start publishing zines like “Adam” to reclaim what we think manhood represents. This all in response to the True Loves, the Drums and the Cosmos.

This leads me to think that chivalry is actually what women think it is. If they consider you cooking for them ugali at 6am is chivalric, then it is!

Oct 8, 2007

Painting the Town Orange!

My weekend was ecstatic. On sato, it seemed the better part of nairobi's residents wore my favourite colour - orange! Every two steps you took, you saw an orange top. Women, men, kids! It was like an orange-uniform day. All these because that was the day the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party with Raila Odinga as its flag-bearer were holding a public rally at Uhuru Park to launch his presidential campaign. And they termed it Day of Thunder. The turnout, as expected was mammolithic! An orange sea of humanity as far as your eyes could see. I scattered about to get shots of this orange inspiration. Below, behold!













Sep 27, 2007

nEW sWING


something new is happening to me. my life.
it's like the dream of old coming to be. realising.
it's got me wishing it hastens. but i can't rush fate.
so i wait. with baited breath.
i wait and wish and think and anticipate.
she feels like infatuation fused with destiny.
soulmate fused with me.
she's slowly occupying every inch of my thoughts.
and i?
i ain't complaining.
coz its a new swing.
i've waited. with baited breath.
for maybe too long. time to sing.
bring her me and my egocentric self. fades.
start a book whose chapters will erase.
the old.

w2797

Sep 18, 2007

Bigger Than Hiphop

Ever met someone you felt you could endlessly derive inspiration, wisdom and knowledge from? I met three this past weekend. That’s what my Saturday turned out to be at the 15th WAPI. These three luminaries were none other than M1 of the underground supergroup Dead Prez, Umi of PoW and Mama C – Tanzania-based former Black Panther.

The blend of sharp, crisp nuggets of mind sparkers, grafitti, visual art, bhangra-fused hiphop trax, poetry and electric climax perfomance from M1 and Umi left me with just one word for my sato. Absolutelyawesomesmackingincredible!


Am not a sucker for celebs or larger-than-life personalities but for me, right from the onset of knowing one of the Dead Prez would be in Nairobi, i had an almost zealous urge to see them. Besides that i’ve always attended WAPI and so we would be on the same venue anyway, i yearned to engage one-on-one with one of the realest MCs in hiphop today. I realized that dream and more. I discovered that realness beyond my expectations.

At the press brief, M1 and Umi spat out what could easily have been the anthem for this WAPI’s theme – Detox. They churned out fact and wisdom, history and inspiration for a good 30 minutes. If anyone of us in that room left the same, that would be a great shame. I came to realise from the straightup attitude of these MCs what i’ve always hoped this whole music shabang would one day be. Bigger than Hiphop. Bigger than the blingblings, bigger than the môet, bigger than the platinum grills or the gold-rimmed rides. Surely, it had to be bigger than these self-centered facets.

It is.

It’s about building and lasting relationships with ourselves. It’s bigger than hiphop. It’s about rebuilding from the disadvantaged shackles of our history. It’s bigger than hiphop. It’s about learning from our mistakes, excesses and exercising our talents with boldnes . It’s bigger than hiphop. It’s about galvanising our resources to face the great future waiting to embace us. It’s bigger than hiphop. It’s about recognising our inner strength, cultivating it in ourselves and our kids from when they pronounce “mama” to release it in its grandest form once it climaxes. It’s bigger than hiphop. It’s about celebrating our heritage, our uniqueness, our bonds, our lives with others not restrained by the brainwashing machinery of what the “Haves” would want us to remain in.

Something about these lessons resonated so much with me that it was perhaps not surprising that that morning i came along with a piece i did dedicated to Dead Prez – Detoxikation of the Mind. I gave this piece to M1 and he requested i sign it for him. Such humbleness! And he autographed my copy too! That felt great, it affirmed that this man genuinely taught and preached water. Listening to him was to realize that his music was truly Bigger than Hiphop!

And the images from Sato! Enjoy!!!





















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On other news, isn’t this life but a fleeting past-time? The irony hit me like an iron anvil on top of my head – Colin McRae dying in a helicopter crash! Damn and we still dispute the decree of the Almighty.

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