MOONSETBy Purity Sowayi

I got Shy Sowayi to let me post one of her pieces again! I know, I know, I am quite the smooth operator. If I were a boy… ok ok! Enjoy.

I cannot tell who I am going to be when this war is over….
I do not know whether I will recognize my reflection in the mirror
I know not if I will smile again…or whether the smile will be the same…
But for this I pray…
That I shall not betray because I was betrayed
That I shall not be a lousy friend because someone was a lousy friend to me
That I shall seek not to avenge because I was avenged…
That I shall not bring harm to another because harm was brought to me…
That I shall not cloud another’s life because mine was clouded…..
That I shall not make another lie in the bed I made because I was made to lie in another’s…
That I shall not be clumsy with another’s heart because someone was clumsy with mine…
If I should choose what to lose and what to keep…
Let me rather walk my talk than talk my walk..
Let me rather drink water than preach at all
Let me rather love than be loved
Let me rather give freely than receive freely…
Let me learn than teach…
If I should be doomed to forever love and never be loved…
Let me remember what it felt like to be loved…
If I shall never dream again… Let me not forget what it was like to touch the sky…
Let me forget not what it was like to have a genuine friend….
If I should lose myself…
Grant me that I find love..
Love that I have not that will seek not to avenge for mistakes long paid for…. Love that will not see only my wrong….but love that will embrace…
Love that will appease the long years of pain…
If i should die,and in me be left but one gas of breathe..
Let me not go in search of friendship… Let me not go in search of peace…  Let me not seek revenge… Let me smile…. Heck! Let me laugh….
I ask not for friends that will love me….but friends that shall not betray my love…
I ask not for a man that will buy me the world… But one that will respect me…
I ask not for happiness….but peace…
Not for strength…but obedience…
Not for days…but life..
If I should climb hastily and fall suddenly… Grant me that I take my fall with grace…
Grant me that I land on my feet ever…
Grant me speed as well as stead….
Let me not lose my grace on heels…
Let me not lose my composure in the face of a storm
Let me not lose my instinct… That feeling that you left a light burning or a door open… Or that it will rain… Or the moon shall rise…
Let me not lose my caution in choice…
But above all…let me not lose my sense in style…
That ability to pair a chequered skirt with a striped shirt and dotted shoes…. And get away with it…
If I should sit on the fence…let me keep my stand..defend my belief unto death…
Because I’d rather it rain… So I don’t have to fear the clouds in the horizon…
I’d rather be in the storm, so I don’t have to shudder at the thunder behind those mountains in the distance….
Because I’d rather stand at the edge of the world …so I dont have to fear what lies beyond the horizon….
I’d rather be in tears, so I dont have to endure the calm before the Storm…
So If I should lose who I am… And all that I am…
Promise me…
That you shall place me at the edge of the world…. Where the sky meets the earth…
And spread my dreams in front of me….
With a brush and paint…
With my pen and my inkpot….
And let me paint… And let me write…. And let me play that music with no words… That dance with no music….
Promise me… Promise to place me at the edge of the world….



Almost Uhuru

“We made it even though we had our backs up against the wall”

girl with back

*Uhuru- freedom

Taunet Nelel. A new dawn has come. It’s sunset; I know. But all I see is dawn.

It is almost Uhuru. At first, it is a feeling- a hint- barely noticeable except in those moments of the night when I am still, and my innermost thoughts are privileged with audience. Then it becomes a nudge. Something is tagging at me. Something I can make out, but still I don’t want to get too excited. I don’t want to jinx it. Ah it’s now a whisper- comprehensible, bewildering, like the enchantments of illicit love- endearing but too dangerous to be trusted. It’s an itch now- the kind that irritates the part of your ear in the region right beyond where your little finger can reach, the kind that makes you try to reach it with the back of your tongue. Now it’s a chant, not a whisper- repetitive, monotonous. It sounds like a bee’s drone. It is almost Uhuru. It is almost Uhuru. Still, I stick to the race. I shall not be seduced out of it. Only politicians know how to trust a man who serenades you with a song you  have not heard before. Ah now it’s him- the village elder himself- he’s saying it: “It is almost… ” The dancers don’t let him finish. They come out, in their khangas and in their sisal skirts. They have the vigor of supernatural beings- the kind you’d expect of King David’s backups. Their feet make thunder with the ground. Sweat rents their forehead. Still, they dance and EVERYTHING joins in, asserting, affirming: It is almost Uhuru. Crescendo.

I can now spell NEVER GIVE UP backwards. They tried to turn the twinkle in my eyes out, and I resisted, and I resisted, but each day they threw blows, and kicks, and dust and dirt, and sharp things and thick shrouds, and then they were dimmed, slowly, and I resisted, futile, and one day I was walking and I looked ahead, and I saw everything shadowed, and I knew they had won. The light was gone… for good.

I sneaked up on them though. They were too self immersed in sucking their fingers, for that is how the egotistical celebrate their conquests when they have four walls barricading them, but only their wives know. I sneaked up on them. He hid behind his wife- the oppressor. He did. But friends, haven’t I always told you that women are strong, that people should not be judged on the basis of their gender but rather the stuff that they are made of? His wife was kind, wise. She knew what I had come for, and she pointed at my Uhuru, and I took it, grabbed it even though no-one was trying to take it anymore. And I told her, “Peace Mama. May the Good Lord bless you.” Then I left.

They think I just now got the courage to get my Uhuru. They don’t know though that I had it in me all along. Only my siblings (blood or otherwise) know. They know how many times the Wise Elder has told me to wait, to raise my son, to till my land, to learn to laugh without my Uhuru. But now… now it is dawn. Even the Sun has to excuse me.


Photo- deviantART

We made it- Linkin Park

Taunet Nelel- Emmy Kosgei



Dear lily, my daughter, my
the sun cannot replace the moon,
the winter cannot replace the
never fear to love… do not
distrust to hope, and when life
gifts you a
man worthy of the silver spoon in
his mouth and the silver platter
do not gamble my beloved… never
place what you value the most on
the table of chance..
once in a while your little feet
may stumble… or still, once in a while your little feet may get it right…
but let not regret be your cup-of
make your bed and lie in it with
the grace of a queen… with your
straight and your chin in the air…
ask forgiveness.. not beg… it is
not worth it.. I promise.
Do not live in fear… do not
panic… if God allowed it to come
your way you
can handle it… therefore fear
neither the mountain nor the
your friends will betray you.. or
maybe you will… but at the end of
the day… it is all vanity… walk away with your head high…. cool guys don’t look at explosions, they stride
forward in their diamond covered
boots. Your love is yours… to give to whomever
you please.. Do not carry
bitterness in
you.. If judas had not betrayed
Jesus where would we be… shake
em off
butterfly… shake em off..
everything is meaningless..
meaningless… the sun rises… and
hastens to the place where it
arose… it makes no sense… the
wise man
and the fool both have this in
common: they both die as fools…
therefore my beloved smile,  laugh,
love, live, chase those horizons,
reach those
skies… and dream… dream my
child… after all it is all
meaningless.. but
it is better to have that which is
beautiful and vain than that which
ugly and vain…
close ur eyes in prayer, stand
attention when the flag is raised,
keep off
the grass, do not litter… maintain
silence… be loyal to your friends…
it will cost you nothing… but you
will enjoy the fruits of the labour
you did not put… you will reap a
bountiful harvest where you merely scattered seed….
never interfere with another’s
relationship… matters of the heart are complex… cast your own net and
catch your own fish…and at the
end of
the day if your net brings in no
catch… tomorrow will be a better
I promise you my beloved…
tomorrow will be a better
day…never steal what
another’s net has caught… it
reduces you to the level of a
Never fight for a man…fight for
your dreams… by all means fight
for your dreams… but never to have possession of a man…now that indeed is vanity… you are a girl… whatever it
costs…find a man who worships
the ground you walk on
take it from me… hasty climbers
have sudden falls…
Do not trust a man that leaves you
for another…neither the man that
cannot leave another for you…
fools rush in where angels fear to
tread my child…. abandon both… withdraw your net and seek another fishing
ground… far away from where
these two co-existed… get a new
net and acquire a new skill…. but I promise you little Lily… however
long it takes… love will find you where you are…do not live your life away searching for love… you have to be lost to find the places that cannot be found
enjoy the days of your youth…but
do not forget Your Creator… all
action has consequence… maybe once
date that guy who is totally wrong
for you…
reject that guy that has never been
rejected….but still… guard your
heart like a ninja…
let a man meet a bear robbed of
its cubs…rather than a fool in his
folly… be not the fool…and be
not the man… steer clear off a
path…if a wise man contends with
a fool… whether the fool rages or
laughs there is no peace…
I love science… science is amazing
my love…. but I hope you will have art… I hope you have that ability to
write in paint… sing in dance…
laugh in poem…
I hope you have my smile… I hope
you have  my strength… I  hope you have my
composure… I pray that you
better my serenity… promise me
my daughter…not to do the things
that I have done… you don’t have to fight to
be a man…
but for as long as I will be
around.. I will die protecting
you… so fly
my child… fly… the sky is no
limit… there lies a magniicient
beyond the sky… do not limit the
heights you can achieve…. sway
hips and strut around with your
chin in the air…. after all… you
are my daughter… you are truly a
daughter of your mother….
your loving mother…


Coward of the county- Kenny Rogers
Cool Guys Don’t Look at
Explosions : Andy Samberg


I can be a friend. I can be a fan. I can be both. Purity Sowayi is one of those people of whom I am violently both.