Damned. Gifts.

Missing mothers loom large. And on this day that marks 22 years since Mama’s passing, this understanding grows clearer. Paps was a great stand-in. He was doubly warm, kind and giving. Made enough noise to distract me from the gap, the deep shadow, the sorrow. His gift for me was the power to forget, to […]

Yasiin Bey in Nairobi: The Artist is Present

It was close to midnight when burly bodyguards finally led a TMT-capped figure to the club’s backstage area. He was a sort of tall fellow whose long-sleeved shirt hung off his wiry frame. Bodies hungrily pressed forward, necks craned, drinks were held aloft as a chant sprung from the people’s lips: “Ya-siin Bey! Ya-siin Bey! […]

Son of a Tiger

He was facing the stage, arms akimbo with perspiration gradually gluing a purple polo shirt to his back. Oblivious to the hordes of spectators in the cavernous warehouse, the light skinned man bobbed his head and snapped his fingers to the band’s high-energy polyrhythmic melody. Afrobeat prince, Femi Kuti had wandered among the mortals and […]

We will name them one by one. #147notjustanumber

Beneath a large tree are three long, meandering rows of white crosses. I imagine them being stabbing into the earth in succession, 1 to 147, perhaps 152? Each cross is a distinct colony of grief. Some have a flag wrapped around the necks, unlit candles at their feet or wax hardened in the pattern of […]