When my vagina was wet and slippery,
When it drowned your enormous penis like a ship sinking in an ocean,
When it stretched and swallowed all of you,
Did you not complain that I am large and wide?
Did you not suspect me of sleeping with other men behind your back?

When my vagina oozed with thick fluids,
When it beamed and radiated with abundant life and thick undergrowth,
Did you not complain that I am too soggy and bushy?
Look at you now,limping like a pig with abdominal pain,
Look at your raptured penile hole,
Why can’t it stand tall like a soldier and face the fight?
Did you not challenge me to a battle of the underwear?

Let your limping soldier stand up and feast on my roasted vagina,
For two hours I spread my legs over a blazing fire and the smoke sipped in,
The sweet-smelling smoke dried the walls of my vagina and tightened the muscles!
The smoke from ”tuguru” tree did the magic,
Now my thighs are warm and my vaginal hole is so tiny like that of a virgin!
The heat melted the tough hairs and now I am smooth like the buttocks of a three-day old baby,
Wipe your tears and prove your manhood tonight!

Republished from

Grace ogot - Promised land

I first ‘met’ Grace Ogot through her short story anthology ‘Land Without thunder’ when I was just thirteen years old.

I do not remember where I go that book from but I loved how she wrote.

At the time, I was on an Enid Blyton “Famous Five” and Francine Pascal’s “Sweet Valley High” series and Mills and Boon permanent High, with my only interaction with African writing being the class text book “Read with Us” which I read when I was seven years old.

One of the stories “Tekayo” stood out for me.

I remember the story like it was yesterday. Never mind that I first read it 18 years ago.

Tekayo, accompanied by his son Opija, saw an eagle flying around with a piece of meat. It was a piece of liver, still dripping with blood. He wanted to throw it away but decided against it and roasted it instead. It was the best-tasting meat he had ever had.

After this incident, Tekayo goes on a mission to relive this taste, killing one wild animal after another with disappointing results. He stopped the hunt after his wife died but stayed at home to look after his grandchildren as members of the family who were younger went out to the fields to till the land.

The craving for the sweet liver came to him again, and overpowered him to the extent of him killing his grandchildren and extracting their liver. This was the taste that had his taste buds singing in joy. He killed his grandchildren one after the other, until the day he was discovered.

I remember what he said as his son dragged him away: “Atimo ang’o? Atimo ang’o?” (What have I done?)

Tekayo eventually committed suicide.

I remember reading and rereading the story. I remember retelling the story to my small sister and my older sister. My copy got dog-eared, worn out.

I did not understand how human beings could be so cruel, and my 13 year old heart bled for the kids.

I ‘met’ Grace again in my second year of study in campus. I was all of 23 years. Ten years later and the beauty of the story was still ingrained in my memory. It was a class reader at the time in a Literature unit where we were studying East African Literature.

As a 13 year old, Tekayo to me was just an ogre but I looked at him differently at a 23-year old.

I considered the possibility that Tekayo may not have been an ogre after all but a pedophile. That what he was stealing from the children may not have been their hearts after all but their innocence.

That is how I ‘met’ Grace Ogot.

She whetted my appetite for African literature in a way no other author ever has. I dabbled in short story writing for a while because I assured myself that if I could write even one story as good as “Tekayo”, then I would be home free as a writer to reckon with.

These are the memories of Grace Ogot that I will be carrying forward.

Rest in Peace Grace Ogot.

Okwiri Oduor

Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor has won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story entitled ‘My Father’s Head’. She was announced the winner at a dinner held last night at at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Okwiri Oduor is a published author and her novella, The Dream Chasers, was highly commended in the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2012. She is a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow and is currently working on her debut novel. Okwiri becomes the third Kenyan to win the Caine Prize after Binyavanga Wainaina in 2002 and Yvonne Adhiambo in 2003.

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Ain’t that the way it always starts? –
A simple round of conversation
Becomes a subtle flirtation
A suggestion, an invitation;
Torturous tantalization…

Hey –

What ill wind blew you round my way?
What is this game you want to play?
All those delicious words you say;
Lies –
So sweet… Continue reading

One day,
A storm of courage will whirl around me,
Its hailstones will hit and wash my fear off,
Self doubt and pity will drip from my chest –
Like termite walls off a drenched log.

On that day,
I will hand you these words of wanton want –
Torn and worn around the edges,
From repetitive shuffling between tongue and throat –
And then, with confidence singing through my pores,
You will hear nothing in them but radiant beauty.

© Sonia Boyce, ‘She Aint Holding Them Up, She’s Holding On (Some English Rose)’, 1986, conte pastel and crayon on paper

Fables aren’t hurled at us like missiles, or dumped on us like a rock plummeting into the deep sea, violently, forcefully and without a choice. At least not to me. They float into our lives like a distinctively haunting Aria. Or like an Orchestra that either takes us to a distant place or breathes life into dead histories creating the fundamental We. Vibrating like Falsetto sounds, they bounce off our souls, reverberating and sending different sensations to our hearts and minds. These words fall on our tongues and from our lips the stories begin.

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In two days, the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival opens in Washington DC. The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival provides an opportunity for US citizens and the world to experience Kenya’s rich and diverse cultural and natural resources such as Kenyan art, crafts, music and other products. Kenya is the fifth African country and the first in East Africa to be featured at the festival.

Elkana Ong’esa, a renowned sculptor, will be leading the charge in Kenya’s efforts to conserve the African Elephant with a 12-tonne sculpture dubbed “Hands Off Our Elephants.”

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My Kenya

Last year, Google launched the first nationwide Doodle 4 Google competition in Kenya. Doodle 4 Google (D4G) is a competition in which students are invited to reinvent Google’s homepage logo. To date contests have been run in more than 30 countries all over the world.

Kenya’s competition was themed ‘My Kenya’, doodlers and celebrated a monumental year in Kenya with the recent national elections, as well as the Jubilee Year. 17 year old Esther Wambui Githinji became Kenya’s national winner. Her doodle, “Feet of Continue reading

© Alya Kassam
© Alya Kassam

Her vows will be recited before all
As she steps into her new role
Will it now begin, or is this the end
Will he be her master or her friend
Rule the house as a queen
Or never be heard only seen
This merriment is it an illusion
Or will they blend with perfect fusion
Laughing today, will they abandon her later
Or keep their promise to support her forever Continue reading


I did not know what to expect when I picked up Kevin Mwachiro’s Invisible: Stories from Kenya’s queer community’, so I went ahead to satisfy my curiosity after the tasteful launch of the book at the Goethe Institute.

The book is a compilation by journalist and activist Kevin Mwachiro of narratives from Kenyan activists on their discontent against discrimination and uphold the respect and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals.

The story in chapter 14 of a Turkana boy is particularly compelling, so pure and honest that I wanted it to become a novel. The author of this piece tells his piece in one of the most refreshingly sincere way. No agenda. No 3-pronged objectives. Just a boy, telling his story, leaving out nothing.

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