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Introducing myself and my journal: Ninajieleza, Oiga! Tengo ganas, Speaking for my bush

About Me:
an ardent poet, i think I philosophize much, love much and cannot do without connections. I have been a lecturer in semiotics, written novels and short stories. I was once a school teacher who would ask for leave from rich suburb private school to go to the slums and see how demolitions happen. I am a freelance journalist who follows an incredible spirit of expression which i also hear in my grandmother's stories but which bursts forth to the stars. I am a mum of one boy and today is my birthday. I have done some decades... I am so delighted to be who I am. I love it. I love what I did last to write. Walk barefoot with my friends in the village. We found a river where I fetched water more than forty years ago, I little. The river is dying, I wept. There were little girls whose age I was then, I put the water barrel on my back. I could remember how to strap it on my back since about the last time I did it. I wonder .... I was then 19 going to 20 years when I carried the last barrel of water on my back up that steep hill....Now, here I was doing it with Linda Cracknell, a Scottish writer snapping photos of me on a digital camera- I was not doing it for the photo. When they helped me get the twenty litres off my back..... I felt so light, I could have flown. I had forgotten that feeling.... and I wondered how this world is, will be without women leaders. I want to rehabilitate that river. I knew before it was dying. The black beetles disappeared.... the frogs no longer leave their necklaces of eggs... and they say Africa will be the worst hit by global warming. I think then of slavery. I think of many things. I think of sexual harassment. I think. I think of my gorgeous mother now a widow for 19 years... I love her body at 80 years. I think of my ancestors. I think connections. I think of the present. I think of how people starve not so far away from me... and of the walk I will do again barefeet with some celebs and tell my people and government... it is time to come down to earth... that is where we must be. I think of the river again and of the last water I fetched when i was 19... and of this water i have carried on my back now at this age. Now as a mother... I think of the girls who got into this river chased there by some men who wanted to rape them. I think of the other bigger rivers where girls first entered and then in the shade of a chosen home, they lost their labias and private parts in the name of 'maturity' and .... so many other things. This did not happen to me but I think of them. And so many problems they have endured and I wonder if they can love their village the way I love mine? And sometimes I think tribe gives nothing to woman. I think it takes away and so I mourn for my country that fought along tribal lines...after an election. I dressed in sackcloth for months...someone from Germany writes me a poem calling it my bulletproof sack... moving... there were bullets. I personally divorced my tribe.. woman does not have this kind of tribe... we have us. We now must redeem the vote to mean something for women too... and leadership. And women, the kind that I know do not forget the poor and marginalised people... Oh, I want to sing a song!

My Passions:
Writing, reading,being with people....laughing

My Challenges:
poor leadership in my country, seeing communities cheated...

My Vision for the Future:
African nations full of pride, the pride of our mothers and women leaders.... and happy communities

My Areas of Expertise:
editing and writing, translating from Spanish into English, teaching English


Auma's picture

Welcome Philo!

It's great to see you here on PulseWire! I am sure it will be quite exciting to be together with you in our travels.I can't wait to hear more of your poetry,and your voice!



philo Ikonya Gacheri's picture

Asante Auma!

Asante Auma!!!

thanks so much. Yes! Voice! I am looking forward to your sharing and am just going to your journal to see you...



"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

philo Ikonya Gacheri's picture

Thanks Auma! Asante!

Dear Auma,

Asante! I am delighted to hear from you and looking forward to hearing your voice.... I need to just get a hang of this thing and we are on fully and constantly.... I watched that movie down there with Leymar's photo- do you know her?- it is wonderful. Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Oh, my Auma, where and how shall we put our women together and move .... move in Kenya to make things better? I really wonder. There is change in the air... someone needs to harness it... many people... and we will have a better society!!! What to do you think when I say I will' divorce' tribe? Last time I said it some women from the lakeside were shocked!!!

thanks and all the best... and yes, we shall share poems...



"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

Auma's picture

Divorce Tribe...

Hi Philo,

It's good to know that you enjoyed the movie.No-i have never met Leymar.I can feel the change in the air too,but somehow tense.I cry for a better society that recognizes the existence of her people...and hears their cry...and puts smiles in their faces...

When you talk of 'divorce tribe',: First,i love poetic language.I am guess this symbolizes pulling out of an identity that would make you cease to be somebody else's sister or friend,or one that would make you feel superior (or inferior).You would not wish to assoiate with anything that detaches you from fellow wome.Am i right? If i am i too would love to be a divorcee of tribe.

Warm regards,

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