My son’s 3 hair strands have finally grown into a beard. I cannot tell you how proud I am. Proud of his clean-shaven head. Proud of his skin; one that is full of melanin. Proud of a son that understands my loathing of Mohawks and shares it. I am in awe. The process of growing up has left me dumb. It fascinates me that once in a while, a human being, maybe two, are capable of honest maturity.

I am not a 50 year-old, dumb, woman who has 22million words for your ears. I am 20. I have a few things I keep saying to myself.

I think it is time Ngugi wa Thiong’o came back home. I think it is time he came and taught at a local university. I think it is time that Ngugi came back home and taught literature at K.U or UoN. And. I. Will break my father’s heart, with my shins and Muranga calves, running towards Ngugi’s lecture hall. I will say goodbye to newspapers and broadcast production. Not because I believe Ngugi is Kenya’s best writer (I love Binyavanga more) but because I share an opinion with the man. Call it vernacular or local languages if you may.

When you are a black woman, there’s no hiding what you are… I wish I said this, but Dan Brown did.

I have been considering dyeing my hair grey. I have this hope that maybe; maybe it will make me look wiser. (But) When you are 20, there’s no hiding who you are. Even when you do not understand who that is. I am so busy looking mature; I have forgotten to grow up. I am so busy admiring Binyavanga’s brevity, letting Dan Brown and his angels and demons seduce me into dreaming about fountains and good-luck coins, watching Mary Lambert take pride in being a fat girl, listening to Jackie Hill and wondering; one day will I be that good? I have been so busy, I forgot to introduce myself.

Yesterday, he said to me, ‘I do not write for crowds. I write for myself. Fuck those people. I love performing to myself… … … why do you write?’ he has got me thinking. I am pinning for honesty.

My name is Nyambura. I am constantly walking through gates. I cannot swear I do it with thanksgiving in my heart.


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This piece of writing was created two years ago, in 2014, when Spoken Word poetry was a huge part of my life. While some of these opinions might have shifted, I still wanted to share the piece because; why not? 

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