Author: Magunga Williams

His name is Mukundi. When he first introduced himself to me, I struggled to get my head out of the gutter. Partly because I am a guy- and thinking of an anus when a fellow dude mentions his name, in the Nairobi today, is unforgiveable. They will call me a member of the unwelcomed sect- not Mungiki, Mukundi would call me gay. He would blurt out “chichi wewe!” in this hard ice-cold tone that was clearly not intended to be well-meaning. As if Mukundi doesn’t remotely sound like as insult in Swahili- like I meet people every day whose names sound…

Mugutha Celebrations via @theMagunga
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“I lived in Block C, door 5,” his mother used to tell him every time they walked past that flat. “It was given to me by the government back when I worked as a secretary in the Ministry of Public Works.” Jowi knew this story by heart, but she always felt the need to prompt him of the script. Back then she used to stay with her boyfriend in that flat- some lazy hippie who couldn’t think past his flared-trousers and afro. His name was Nelson Constantine Cornelius Mandela Apondi- a Luo from south of the lake. The side Jowi’s…

Whispers To An Empty Wind via @theMagunga
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Those who have experienced rape will forever and a day live through it. They will never forget how it transpired. Sometimes it was by a stranger, or friend, relative or spouse. The horror of non-consensual penetration lives to gnaw their minds always. And nobody knows about this but them. There is no amount of therapy that can cure the antipathy that they will feel towards their assailants, because rape ruins one’s life. Counselling will not be sufficient to wish the ordeal away like it never happened. You cannot forget being strangled, having your clothes ripped off, and have somebody crucify…

Crystal via @theMagunga
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Our shadows dance merrily ahead of us. The sun is retiring by the time we leave the hospital, and deMaitha and I are a pitiable pair. Each of us dangles a bottle of Fanta on one hand and a packet of biscuits on the other. The sting on our inner elbow is just but a small inconvenience we have to endure. In our pain, we trot Parklands road, forlorn. But our pride is inflated- we feel like lords of men. For the first time in a long time, we have queued for the better part of the day for a…

Needles And Handshakes via @theMagunga
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Dr. Auma Obama is mostly known for her colourful family background. She is the half-sister of the President of the United States- Barrack Obama. When I went into the Louise Leakey Auditorium, I must admit that I expected her to ride on that high horse for most of her presentation. Surprisingly, it was the moderator of the session who pointed it out. She seemed not to want to allude to that fact, despite the common rumour in town that she wears her surname like a kipande on her neck. In effect, she told the girls in the audience who look…

Dr. Auma Obama via @theMagunga
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I passed him over when we met. Strangely, he didn’t appear to me like the person he was made out to be on Wikipedia or the Storymoja Hay Fest 2013 pamphlet. I do not know if self-effacement comes with being an artist, because humility has never been a friend to accomplishment. Perhaps I expected too much, given his résumé. I expected a god of sorts but then met the mortal that is Nii Parkes, I felt truly disappointed. The class mostly comprising of upper-primary school students provided for an interesting audience. Kids can be an interesting bunch with their courage to…

Nii Ayikweyi Parkes via @theMagunga
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There was a time in history when I was four. When I had not fully shed away the innocence of childhood. I was without blemish, and if Jesus had come back then, there is a fair chance that I would lead the way to the glorious lands of milk and honey. At that time and age, ‘extermination’ was a word I could not even pronounce, especially when used in the same breathe as ‘tribe’- another word I could not even spell. I could make out the meaning of the phrase ‘tribe extermination’ as much as most of you readers can…

Review: Left To Tell via @theMagunga
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So today I had breakfast with the United States Ambassador to Kenya. Please, remain seated. Thank you. Thank you very much. Moving on swiftly, the breakfast was a total spoiler, not in the sense that it was appalling, no. As a matter of fact, after downing a couple of vanilla cupcakes, my first Java coffee (which by the way isn’t anything better than the ones at Aga Khan University’s vendor machines), fish pies, delightfully done sausages and that piece of bacon quiche (don’t pretend to know what that is)that made sweet love to my taste buds, I do not think…

Tales From The US Embassy via @theMagunga
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One can never be said to have lived life, until they have lived through a lurid chapter in their lives. Bad things inevitably and irrevocably find us all. Be it an estranged wife running away with kids, or being diagnosed with a terminal disease that has taken a huge toll on you, or maybe witnessing a once fulfilling relationship end just like that without reason. Or worse still, losing a person who is so dear to you; be it a parent, a significant other, a sibling or a friend. The bottom line is that at some point in our lives,…

Time’s Up via @theMagunga
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I have been staring at this blank word document for the past half an hour trying in vain to find the words that would attempt to bring out this story the way it happened. The way it felt. Words that would exemplify the shock and grief that has overwhelmed the Parklands Class of 2014 for the recent twenty four hours. I have failed, miserably. I do not know how to wed pen and paper to draft a story that ends with a teardrop. I do not know how to post a narrative in which I am forced to kill a…

The Tears I Can’t Cry via @theMagunga
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I am all alone at home, staring into the darkness that has blanketed what used to be a lively place. My mother is away, again. My brothers are lakes and rivers away from home, and to get to my sister, I will have to cross the Indian Ocean, swim through the Pacific and finally, if I will still have a string of breathe in my, find my way past the United States immigration. This solitude has become the breakfast, lunch and supper that I live on. Loneliness has found a new best friend. My friends tell me to throw a…

No Regrets, Just Lessons via @theMagunga
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As soft winds sweep away the days, I look back on life through a haze. Remember playgrounds, parks and friends in childlike gaze that never ends. Flashback, seven years ago, that was the last time I saw you; Feb 14th 2005. You had spent the whole day in bed sleeping because mum had been at work. All my friends had already reported to form one except me because there was no way you were going to let me be admitted to Kisumu Boys High School…no offense KB, but you could not just hoard all the pupils from Kisumu who had…

Memories From Seven Years Ago via @theMagunga
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