Celebrating East African Writing!
This month we got so many amazing stories that the editors had a very hard time choosing just one, but it had to be done.
The WRITER OF THE MONTH: JUNE bragging rights award goes to Brenda Midamba for her wonderful story:
THIS IS THE STORY OF MY AUNT AND HER BOOKS!
This was my Aunt’s library.
On this shelf lies some rusty , some still very new layers of books.
All genres but mostly historic, the kind that releases atomic feels of Melancholy, of strife between blacks and whites and insubordination that cut across nations . Unsettled race issues and even slavery. Wasted lives, Untapped potentials born to serve and comply and forced to gag on chocking mask tapes . They yarned freedom, to one day emancipate from their locked shells , to blossom like a beautifully natured rose.
Others evaluating and studying human fossils. My visceral sense disagrees whenever I reach for these books. They have a way of keeping me up at night. Not in a good way. There is nothing beautiful about studying my fellow humans’ remains. There are the ones unveiling the evolution theory showing the transition of man from Aegyptopithecus, Dryopithicus , Homoerectus , homo Sapiens to homo Sapiens Sapiens. Contrary to the biblical creation story , she was a history professor. So what better way?
Some are religious books, outright radicalization. Mass murder in the hopes of spending eternity with some mysterious scepter holding ‘god’. Very religious she was but absolutely not radicalized.
Then there is the kind that tackles gender inequality and violence against women. Exactly who she was. Came around as a feminist, hated patronizing acts of male chauvinism. Books that showered mind boggling conundrums, more like rhetorical questions really.
‘Why should I bear the child?’’
‘’Why should I spend umpteen hours in the kitchen while you cross your legs firmly clasping a remote controller ?’’
‘’What if we both wore suits?’’ Hypothetically speaking I presume.
I agree with these specific books, openly. Void of fear of sounding obnoxious. If I were a bee, I would unapologetically transfer pollen grains of information to emphasize more on equality. More like pollination. I have to say, I do not agree with wearing suits though.How else will I flaunt my flawless African curves? But I concur with most of it and I call upon both men and women around the globe to support my notion.
‘Women are not gullible. Women are not to be objectified. We too are important’
They say we defy the status quo. I say we are protecting our kind. Like the Diurnal flowers, we engulf to protect our nectars from sucking insects and manipulative beings. Yes, we are intentional.
Some are pure beautiful African literature , highly opinionated and politically incorrect. Describing my aunt’s vocal personality . Migration of humans and their livestock in search of pasture. Reliving the coup d’état attempt in Kenya in 1982, and the Rwandan Genocide in the 90’s through a book. Political hierarchy and leadership being passed on from generation to generation. Also, a painted picture of how colonization happened in the 19th Century. An Epiphany of a stinging bloodshed that occurred as a result of atrocious inhuman acts of violence . One minute your home is your safe haven and the next , it is an intruders infested land . Luckily, with resilience came independence. We reclaimed what was rightfully ours to begin with. Our ‘Shujaas ‘ fought a good fight and their withered petals fell in honor.
Then there are the American books, an overflow of some sense of humor, romance , most of which I want to read. I mean can you blame a hopeless romantic? Anything for that extra dose of Euphoria. Weird things like apocalypse, zombies and mummies coming back to life with an intense crave for human brains. Peculiar aliens ambushing earth, dethroning POTUS and enslaving humans. Sentimental teenage boys and girls kissing in a booth and practicing premarital sex on Valentine’s day.
Shakespeare, that I will hopefully get to enjoy someday before dusk. Who does not want to get into the head of the greatest English Playwright? Not me.
I want to read all her books. Maybe even acquire half the knowledge she siphoned from them. More like her protégée through her books. To blossom , to shine and to paint the world in optimism. To stand out like a rose amongst lilies.
Remembering Milcah Amollo.