Showing posts from December, 2013

Pamoja tswasonga mbele

I have an acute obsession with museums so I decided to visit another museum today. 

The idea of museums is a strange one. This is a definition I found when I looked up the word museum:a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited. My acute obsession with museums began when I visited the East London museum while I was in prep school. We visited the museum regularly throughout primary school whenever our work related to an exhibition that was in the museum. I never questioned the concept nor the content of a museum. Who decides what is of interest and is worthy of being exhibited in a museum?

The Nairobi National Museum has a colonial character even though the work features the history of Kenya, the history of humankind, birds of East Africa and two exhibitions featuring the work of contemporary Kenyan artists. There's also a photo exhibition celebrating Kenya's 50 years of independence. While wandering around I wond…

A country club, giraffes and a museum

Today was my first time visiting a country club. I’ve always heard about such spaces and they never really entered my imagination. Places where rich people hang out and play golf and network. My friend’s mom is a member of the Karen Country Club so we had lunch with her after her round of Sunday golf with her golf buddies. I’m sure many people have written about country clubs and the narrative is that of privilege, networking and middle-classness at its best.
I spent most of the time at lunch people-watching. Families and friends were gathered around tables waiting for lunch and drinks to be served. There was a mixture of black and white families being served by black waiters. I was told that the white community in Kenya is referred to as the KC, “Kenyan Cowboys”. There were a few tables of KC families and the rest were what one might call the African elite. My favourite table was a family that took up three tables. Each table represented the three generations that exist in the famil…

Visiting Kenya

I’m visiting a friend in Nairobi and while I’m here I’m going to try and blog about the experience. I haven’t travelled much (that’s if I’m comparing myself with some of my friends). The first time I ventured into the continent was a trip to Mozambique last year with friends. This time I’m travelling alone visiting a friend who moved back to Kenya after studying in South Africa after many years.
I never have high expectations when I’m travelling. This time around I travelled to see a good friend and to make sure I’m not at home come New Year’s Eve. When I booked the ticket to Kenya I knew it was time I travel alone and navigate an airport in another country all by myself (I hate airports. I always feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t know what’s happening and I’m paranoid until I sit in the aircraft).
Once I landed in Kenya I decided to follow the crowd that was in my flight. Passport control was mayhem and I eventually found a familiar face as I had made small talk with a woman…

A love-hate relationship: writing and teaching

I wish I could have written this reflection before the 5th of December. If I had, there would have been no pressure to meet the expectation that I must have a profound reflection that relates to tat’uMadiba. I shan’t be writing about uTata. But the fact that I can write, that I am educated, that I can claim a voice has a lot to do with the icon’s life. It’s no mistake that I write. It’s no mistake that I’m a teacher, either, but 2013 has taught me that I may have chosen two passions that often send me to a dark place, an existential crisis.
The year has been long and tiring. I wish I could have written more. This must be the lament of every young, aspiring writer: I wish I had more time. The irony is that the reason I have not been able to write as much as I would have liked to, is one of the things that also brings me great joy: being a teacher. The will to write has been affected by my will to stay afloat in the business of being a teacher.
Writing and teaching are second cousins: …