I’ve never been in love with the sun, I’ve always found peace under darker skies. Not because I crave the wake of indiscretion, but because I covet the moon’s quiet embrace. No majestic rays command unsettled existence and yet the glitter of stars guide lovers of night. What greatness is bestowed upon the earth by such gentle light- the glow of a fatigued feature placed beyond the reach of man, pilfering song until the wind is the only whisperer.
“Captive” by Kagendo Limiri
Africa is the land of unsettled spirits. The tortured souls of black slaves dance on worn asphalt, feeding on the hope of the breathing corpse. We invest in antiquated propaganda, seeking life in what has long left the earth and re-birthing the very sin that has pilfered so much of what bore our freedoms. We have sought the power of God in man, forcing generations to abide by words of the wicked. Such words that resuscitate regression and smother equality; the ones they use to substantiate the transgressions of greedy governments. We bow before goons because we fear a loss of lifestyles we do not even enjoy. The African dream, corroded by corrupt politics; tax payer dollars, funding the demise of taxpayers. We have become an essential part in our own degradation- the water and sunlight that photosynthesize a broken system overrun by callous predators. We watch them stick their hands in the mouths of our children and spill the blood of our suffering. Collateral, they call us, underpriced security for their depraved schemes. How has it happened that we are captives again, to more men? Is this what they had in mind- our parents and those before them. Are these our best lives? Those that insist we live.
Dear 24 Y/O Me,
Your life is an ongoing punishment. I would tell you to stay strong but the thing is, I am you. And I live us.
Dear Seventeen Y/O Me,
We stop liking weaves in our early twenties and cut all our relaxed hair off and go natural then get dreadlocks.
We search the earth for implied permissions. Permission to speak before humanity. Permission to feel from our loved ones. Permission to count among nationals. Permission to come into our own. But if we wait to be told when to speak, will they not also expect us to read from their script and pause at their instruction? Perhaps there is more merit in being different, in standing out by standing up with bruises all over our hands and faces; souvenirs that tell stories about our lives and all the times we chose to live who we are- unapologetically.
Let’s tell stories that don’t have happy endings. Let’s sell reality and when they choke, let’s not give them water, and if they die, let’s let them rest.
I’m in love with the written word. It is the amplifier of my soul and when I walk, it is the principle by which my feet are governed. It is a scrutinized publication of thought and speech; polished armour before the war. It pains me to leave at the discretion of others an interpretation of something so sacred as my words. They are mine and will always belong solely to me.