17 4 / 2014

Pat Kelly’s Memorial.
Last Year in February, we met for Pat Kelly’s memorial. Here are some thoughts from then.
…………………..

The sky is blue as we sit under a tree that whispers the names of your students, stirring the winds of our memories. Jealousy creeps over me as I watch others frailer than I ever remember you, tottering across the forest green grass. They draw number eights into the spring of the green, entouraged by well wishers bringing them back to almost upright just before the balancing angle breaks. I watch them breathing air through raspy dry throats, and eying us through milky whites. “Why Kelly and not him?”We flip through print outs of staged performances, reflections on our singing, dancing swimming, climbing of mountains, running of marathons, our grades, our behaviour, where we slept, what we ate, who were were…. Little notes documenting that indeed we had been there. Yes we invented roles in classic plays so we could have the happy ending, yes we had ‘bell ringer’ as a duty with a roster, yes we watched many films we were too young to understand, and could explain the Mt Kenya fauna with a David-Attenborough-precision one could only expect from Kelly’s girls.“Whack!!”Jeni thumps the podium as she delivers our tribute! We learn of a history I never knew you had, and your story wisps a trail to the day you found us. It was the first time I was asked about myself in a school interview in which ‘the imitation of accents’ was a required skill. A man from KK Security states, ‘he saw us as humans…’ and the lump of jealousy loosens in my throat.
Time To Say Goodbye rises into the air. We sit silently, lungs emptying and filling, young and old. We laugh and take photos, parents, students, teachers, friends, family.I try to accept that Kelly has had his time, because he used it well. Batches of Tagites mingle together into the evening, a subdued Bongo nibbles on a bush in a corner. The sunset and Wanja’s laughter ring unapologetically into the night air. I recall the clip-drag of a heavy foot outside my window, the rays of a torch light bouncing across the dormitory ceiling, as we hold our breath. "Early morning swim! It’s light out. Go to sleep!" My heart drops at the thought of those cool icy waters. Kelly’s footsteps drag away into the night.
It is time to sleep. Rest well, never to be forgotten.

Pat Kelly’s Memorial.

Last Year in February, we met for Pat Kelly’s memorial. Here are some thoughts from then.

…………………..

The sky is blue as we sit under a tree that whispers the names of your students, stirring the winds of our memories. Jealousy creeps over me as I watch others frailer than I ever remember you, tottering across the forest green grass. They draw number eights into the spring of the green, entouraged by well wishers bringing them back to almost upright just before the balancing angle breaks. I watch them breathing air through raspy dry throats, and eying us through milky whites.

“Why Kelly and not him?”

We flip through print outs of staged performances, reflections on our singing, dancing swimming, climbing of mountains, running of marathons, our grades, our behaviour, where we slept, what we ate, who were were…. Little notes documenting that indeed we had been there. Yes we invented roles in classic plays so we could have the happy ending, yes we had ‘bell ringer’ as a duty with a roster, yes we watched many films we were too young to understand, and could explain the Mt Kenya fauna with a David-Attenborough-precision one could only expect from Kelly’s girls.

“Whack!!”

Jeni thumps the podium as she delivers our tribute! We learn of a history I never knew you had, and your story wisps a trail to the day you found us. It was the first time I was asked about myself in a school interview in which ‘the imitation of accents’ was a required skill.

A man from KK Security states, ‘he saw us as humans…’ and the lump of jealousy loosens in my throat.

Time To Say Goodbye rises into the air. We sit silently, lungs emptying and filling, young and old.

We laugh and take photos, parents, students, teachers, friends, family.

I try to accept that Kelly has had his time, because he used it well. Batches of Tagites mingle together into the evening, a subdued Bongo nibbles on a bush in a corner. The sunset and Wanja’s laughter ring unapologetically into the night air.

I recall the clip-drag of a heavy foot outside my window, the rays of a torch light bouncing across the dormitory ceiling, as we hold our breath.

"Early morning swim! It’s light out. Go to sleep!"

My heart drops at the thought of those cool icy waters. Kelly’s footsteps drag away into the night.

It is time to sleep.

Rest well, never to be forgotten.

17 4 / 2014

2brwngrls:

So excited that Marvel’s first Muslim super heroine Ms. Marvel GOES TO MY HIGH SCHOOL and LIVES IN MY CITY. This character and comic is so important. The fact that I can recognize these characters and recognize my city and the diversity within in it is important. A lot of times when we have conversations about representation, those who are reluctant to it view diversity as a kind of wishful thinking. The characters in our comics, TV shows, and movies are all white and cis and hetero because “that’s just how it is.” But what this comic really reflects is that representation isn’t about creating something out of nothing - it’s about reflecting the world that we actually live in. If we can imagine an infinite number of white, blonde-haired girls with super powers, why can’t we imagine a Pakistani-American, Muslim teenager growing up in a culturally diverse city with super powers? Is it really that much of a mental leap?? So proud that my city and old high school gets to play a role in this moment. 

Jersey City stand up!! 

- Z 

and thanks to my former English teacher Ms. Smith for the photos! 

(via yagazieemezi)

18 1 / 2014

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Yellow Fever is available to watch online for free!

In my film I focus on African Women’s self-image, through memories and interviews, using mixed media to describe our almost schizophrenic pursuit of Eurocentric ideals of beauty. It discusses the use of hair extensions and skin bleaching (brightening, toning, lightening) products. Hence the title, Yellow Fever, as an ode to Fela Kuti’s song. 

It is taking part in the Afrinolly Short Film Competition

To watch Yellow Fever and support it:

Please click here http://afrinollyshortfilmcompetition.com/vote.php


-Log in using your Google+ or Facebook ID


-Yellow Fever is in the DOCUMENTARY category


-Please vote for Yellow Fever!


Let me know what you think about it!



18 1 / 2014

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GODS WEEDS AND REVOLUTIONS is a beautifully crafted, sensitive film, treading documentary, inner reflections and memories. The sound and picture are well edited together, with one sometimes underscoring almost opposite meanings in the other. The opening shots of the film push slowly through empty streets, while the sounds of crowds protesting and violence underline the emptiness of this scene, and make you question how these streets may have once been occupied, how they came to be so still, and how these spaces might fill once more as the day unfolds.
The relationships in the film are intimate and delicately handled. The introduction of the grandfather starts with a silhouette, details of his shaking foot and his folded hands. We get the sense that there is a reason beyond the film, for which the director is making her own personal  documentation of her grandfather. He is mostly helpless, physically and mentally. “Everything was erased from his mind” and we see him being assisted to walk and often in repose. His physical state and mental confusion is echoed in the slow motion photography of the octopus, its limbs entangled and body slowly rolling over itself, without strength.
There is a strong sense of loss of innocence, and an emptiness where something has been taken from the Tunisians; on a personal level, on a politico-socio level. The constant fear that control gained shall be lost, acts as  destructive machine, claiming and destroying over and over again until “the whole country was in the hands of other men.” Men who torture and kill to maintain this hold, before losing grip and fleeing from the entanglement of their own creation.   
This sense of cyclic inevitability plays out in the eerie plucking and drawn notes of the closing montage. We move in reverse, back across scapes, thoughts, and time explored before, back towards her grandfather and the reason she returned.

I highly recommend watching it.

18 1 / 2014

yagazieemezi:

Think 12 Years a Slave newcomer Lupita Nyong’o is overwhelmed?
Barkhad Abdi (representing Somalia) is nominated for an Oscar this year for Best Supporting Actor. Before entering the film industry, he worked as a limousine driver and disc jockey in Minnesota.
"The nomination has been crazy, in a good way. It was just so exciting, I’m really humbled and honored and really happy about the nomination. I still cannot comprehend it fully."

yagazieemezi:

Think 12 Years a Slave newcomer Lupita Nyong’o is overwhelmed?

Barkhad Abdi (representing Somalia) is nominated for an Oscar this year for Best Supporting Actor. Before entering the film industry, he worked as a limousine driver and disc jockey in Minnesota.

"The nomination has been crazy, in a good way. It was just so exciting, I’m really humbled and honored and really happy about the nomination. I still cannot comprehend it fully."

18 1 / 2014

yagazieemezi:

ART FEATURE

AFRICAN ARTIST:

Ralph Ziman

Ziman, a South African street artist who now resides in Venice Beach, California, attacks Africa’s dominant gun culture with piercing colors and images that don’t fade from memory. With knitted masks and beaded weapons, Ziman paints Africa’s obsession with guns and the power they provide as so bizarre and overwhelming it’s nearly surreal. Both worshipped and feared, Ziman’s guns appear like dangerous totems from an unknown ritual, somewhat removed from the gun culture we’ve heard so much about. The vendors who star in Ziman’s photos were not at all directed in how to pose with the weapon replicas. Yet the viewer can sense the additional status pulsing through the subjects as they hold their powerful instruments, even if only for the duration of a photograph.

18 1 / 2014

yagazieemezi:

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS RUBBISH?

"Nigerian-Cameroonian pop musician Dencia is quickly becoming the talk of social media networks and Nigerian blogs with the release of her “skin care” line Whitenicious. Whitenicious promises to help users rid themselves of pesky dark spots by gradually lightening the hyper-pigmented areas of their skin.”

Now in Nigeria and various other countries in Africa (and in the Diaspora), skin-bleaching is really not a new thing and most of us know the dark reasoning and history behind this practice. This is partially explained by Nigerian-American rapper Kingsley “Rukus” Okafor:

“It’s hard to understand until you’ve been in the streets of an African nation. There’s a different treatment and desirability factor in Africa for lighter skinned women, well beyond what we experience in the US. It’s an epidemic. You can’t walk a day in the streets of Lagos without seeing someone who has/is bleached. The possible benefits (more respect, increased desirability to men) outweigh the consequences, especially in a male-dominated society where women’s “independence” is frowned upon. Finding a well-to-do husband/sugar daddy is a priority and women are willing to do what they have to, to fit standards of beauty. The euphemism is “skin-toning” and although “bleaching” is banned, skin-toning is a huge money-maker that I’m sure has lined the pockets of enough politicians to allow it to keep being sold despite international outcry.”

And as we keep on carrying out the sermon of self-love and black beauty, this Whitenicous crap is such a blatant insult and slap in the face to who we are as black women. Jesus. Look at madness.

(via yagazieemezi)

18 1 / 2014

afrikanattire:

Ndande, Senegal. 22yr old Bineta Ndiaye looks at herself in the mirror as her 19yr old friend Coumba Faye fixes her hair at her home in Ndande.
Photographer: Joe Penney

afrikanattire:

Ndande, Senegal. 22yr old Bineta Ndiaye looks at herself in the mirror as her 19yr old friend Coumba Faye fixes her hair at her home in Ndande.

Photographer: Joe Penney

(via yagazieemezi)

18 1 / 2014

yagazieemezi:

Ranting about the ridiculous law Nigeria just passed. If you’re on twitter, join me HERE.

Join the debate on FACEBOOK

(via yagazieemezi)

23 8 / 2013

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A couple mornings ago, the following dream woke me up:

In my dream this morning, Robert Mugabe was giving me a ride to the CBD from Westlands in his black Range SD V8. I kept questioning myself as to why I’d be in a car with this man (plus he was the one driving) but everything seemed peachy and he kept trying pleasant conversation while I wondered how much hair dye he used.

As we neared parliament, the elevation of the car and the newly built highway we were traveling,  allowed me to realise for the first time, that there was a small five-person balcony restaurant in the clock tower. Here sat Mwai Kibaki having a meal with Mobutu Sese Seko, and some taxidermy leopard skins languishing on their chairs just to add to the atmosphere. I was so upset to see these two men together, and felt so betrayed by Kibaki that I started weeping dramatically and saying

"How can he be eating with that b@$!ard!?? I hate that b@$!ard!! Kibaki lied to us!!”


Mugabe seemed really concerned about me weeping and started trying to comfort me saying “You know he wasn’t that bad, and just because they’re together doesn’t mean anything. Kibaki’s retired now, and he’s going senile, he’s allowed to have lunch with anyone he wants. Come on now, cheer up. Don’t be so down….”

Then he started looking for a box of tissues.

Oddly enough his voice was very soothing, and I tried to weep less. My weeping reduced to whimpering as the man I now saw as ‘Uncle Robert’ continued to look for tissues while driving. 


My conclusion about the dream: One day we will realise what Kibaki’s legacy really is, at which point he’ll already be hanging out with Sese Seko in the afterlife. I don’t want to imagine how messed up we might be if Uncle Robert can offer us comfort. I also don’t think that we as Kenyans need to use KSH 700 Million to build Mwai Kibaki’s retirement office when Uncle Robert said he’s going senile and apparently he can hold meetings in the clock tower anyway.I would like to thank Uncle Robert for his sensitivity to my emotions, otherwise I am quite sure, I would have woken up weeping.

As a last note, men in their 80s should not dye their hair.