For women who refuse

Part 3

This is for women who refuse to make space.

It probably confused you that I didn’t lower my gaze when you stared at me. Perhaps that’s because you don’t know who I am. For a long time I didn’t know either until my Kenyan sisters showed me where to look. Plucked from India, my tongue recognised only three generations, and I was filled with envy at those whose homes lay on land that sheltered all their ancestors. Then one day, on a stage bathed in red light, Sitawa the third Namwalie demanded that we call out her name. And as I danced in the shadows, the nyatiti licking at my soul, my blood reminded me that it could never forget.

Let me tell you who I am.

I am the daughter of a woman whose fearlessness in her pursuit of justice comes from a place grounded in such…

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I walked into Galileo lounge VIP at around 7:40 pm and headed straight to the VIP section. My colleagues from work were there already, standing in small groups mumbling. The red velvet couches and purple neon lights blended into a hue so royal I couldn’t help but rub my hands in ‘glamour’ as I walked in. I felt like all this was happening in slow motion. I felt like Dbanj. The music playing was slow, smooth, West African jazz; it sounded like Youssou N’dour. The air was cold. Filled with a concoction of different scents of fragrances. Mostly strong men’s cologne. I smiled at the scrawny waitress in a short skirt and bushy weave pointing at the crimson red couches for us to sit. She smiled back rather shyly, feigning some nondescript yet clearly non-existent innocence.

‘Opun di thaap’ (open the tap) shouted Semi at the club manager. Semi, pronounced…

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