Back to sharing my muses

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I took a long break from blogging. I thought, I would give myself time to write short stories and perfect what I had already written on this blog. None of that has happened so far.

What did happen though, is that I met my co-founder and friend for life, Jesah Segal, and we finally got Plastic Fantastic moving along the road of dreams. So, it has been a busy year. You can follow our story here: https://www.facebook.com/plasticfantastickenya

Its been quite the journey because we also recently did a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo. If you follow this link, you will see our video and written story.

Most of the writing I did last year was done in collaboration with Jesah. Sitting in our apartment in Ngong while the sun calmly moved from the back of the building to the front of our big window. Most of the writing was for funding opportunities. Answering 100 questions from prospective investors is a great way to clarify what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Needless to say, we haven’t yet won anyone’s heart. We are still too young to bet precious money on. However since we have no intention of devoting our lives to anything else, then I am sure the money will eventually find us.

And anyway, from the experiences of the past year, it seems doing the work and connecting with people is really what matters and it doesn’t take money but courage to do this.

We also took many photos of me modeling Plastic Fantastic jewlery. Yes, that elegant woman’s shoulders and neck on our facebook page are mine. I can’t say I was always happy to do it but watching cows and young children play in the road below was a great distraction from the rigors of modelling jewelry. If you think modeling is easy, you should try it.

When not laboring and fighting in our apartment, we went over to Kisamis, Kibera to train on plastic upcycling techniques to artisans. These interactions and conversations were always the most exciting part of the work for me and the most boring for Jesah. Jesah is American and his Swahili is still shaky so he misses on most of what is said.

And believe it or not, we still found time to hang out with kids at Aga Khan Academy to start a recycling campaign at the school, we are also working with Friends in Ngong to plant trees on the scenic iconic Ngong Hills. 54 trees planted so far- although I got some sad news that some died :-(. Its always fun that children join us. I hope they keep these memories and go on to create more tree growing memories with their children.

So, I suppose I will continue just sharing my experiences and musings with life. Maybe those are the best short stories and poems I will ever write :-)

Friendship and Love

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Yesterday was merely a sharp reminder

Friendship and love

The things we really live for

Are like stars in space

With dark matter and dark energy of humanity separating them

from us

 

Life is lonely 

Large gaps between us and friends

You could take eternity before you come across one

And yet humans of many walks live with us side by side

 

We like to say things we don’t mean

Pick numbers for phones we will never call

Arrange for coffee dates we will never have

Have celebrations for friendships we never felt

 

Yet the things we long for are simple to give

A hug

A smile

A kiss

 

 

Why no poetry?

Its been hard to post my poetry. If you must contribute to a magazine or a publication for instance, a post on your blog will be deemed published and ineligible. However I am now developing a few short stories to blog about. Hope you enjoy them :-)

As well I finished my two months of soko fellowship. It was wonderful having the opportunity to write about artisans in Kenya. Here are some of the articles I wrote during that period http://shopsoko.com/blogs/news/13175529-ojikos-story

http://shopsoko.com/blogs/news/13711301-bold-and-bright-beadwork and this one is introducing me http://shopsoko.com/blogs/news/13345865-meet-ciru-soko-content-fellow

At the same time, I got involved in helping to plan and organize a video shoot for Canadian fashion designer, Laura Siegel. This was a most wonderful opportunity considering I have always considered being a film maker sometime in the future. I can’t wait to see what the editor makes with all the video footage we took.

The work was made possible by the maasai artisan group Eyieunotto Nabaya of whom I wrote about earlier last month.

The fellowship was a wonderful way to grow new ways to develop my work and to gain new skills. I am now more than inspired to keep plastic fantastic going on.

I now have a home office where I am developing prototypes of what I would like to create with recycled plastic. Creating stuff that is more useful and valuable from waste is now known as up-cycling.

Well keep an eye out for it :-)

A male feminist reports

LonesomeBounty:

My thoughts are more and more directed towards an exploration of oppression, privilege and my place in oppressive structures in our society. Many thanks to strong women like Stacyann Chin and Illaina Rabbat who really made me understand why I write and what it is I really get angry about.

Originally posted on Ecumenical Women at the United Nations:

A personal reflection by Jonah Gokova, Zimbabwe, first published in Gender and religious education

I wanted to be different
I was born in 1956 in a family of very devout Christian parents who both were active leaders in the Methodist Church. I was number two in the family but first born son. I have a young brother who comes after me and four sisters.

Traditionally my status in the family was higher than the one of my sister who came before me. In my case, my sister is seven years older than me! It is not about, who is older; but who is the son. This emphasis was repeated throughout my formative years and even up to now.
The Zimbabwean society, in which I was born, is not different from any other society in the world in terms of social expectations relating to gender roles between boys and girls who…

View original 1,854 more words

Aside

Eyieunotoo Nabaya: Something to hope for

My first blog posto on soko’s website is finally here!! Hurrah!! Its about Ojiko and I hope you all love it.

As well I have been involved in a shoot for a Canadian fashion designer known as Laura Siegel. I am very proud of the work we did. Many thanks to Eric Gichanga, Praise Santos, Tony (our super talented driver who doubled up as the sound and lights guy) and the soko artisans- Mary Wayua and Veronika.

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Mary and Veronica

 

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Eric with baby Joshua

May I also take this opportunity to introduce the most welcoming community I have ever visited. Here is to the wonderful ladies of Eyeiunoto Nabaya. They opened their homes and hearts to all of us. Welcoming us with songs, wonderful tea and beautiful jewellery.

I spent the day trying out various ladies adornments. How I wish I took more photos wearing  their jewellery on. Hopefully the belt I ordered will arrive soon. I have always wanted one ever since I went to Doldol and met a lady making one. They take up to two months to make and are very expensive to make. But boy are they worth the price. The maasai women’s hand manship is world class and they only use the best quality beads. Truly handing you over a heritage worth remembering.

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As well, as the jewellery, I feel deeply connected to the group because of our shared values- community, cultural values and environmental sustainability. The leader of the women’s group, Agnes has extensively travelled attending conferences and advocating for the maasai community in these harsh times of climatic change.

And most importantly, we share a home with the good women. I only met them because I met one of their junior elders, Emmanuel through my constant hikes on the Ngong hills. The Ngong hills are a special place of inspiration for me, I literally grew up in their shade.

Doing a shoot at the community was a blessing for me because now I can truly show the world why I am so proud of maasai culture which i grew next to. The land is still as I remember it growing up. Though now the town of Kisamis is growing and many people in the community are selling their land.

Beautiful Spirit

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Beautiful Spirits I meet

Oh I am a spirit for sure

Dancing over black holes

Coz no gravity can hold me down

It is nebulous and fantastic

I am beautiful

With eyes that twinkle like stars

My breasts heavy

Two galaxies in space

My waist circled with saturn’s rings