What is in your name?

8 Aug

“What is in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Africa lives in a name. And with our Ubuntu, we share these names, just like we share almost everything. We save our names in songs, poetry and tales. We name places with our names to conserve them in history (like Nkatha in Mtubatuba in KwaZulu Natal or Nkatha bay in Malawi 🙂 ).
I am always very elated whenever I meet different people from different parts of Africa who speak to me in their local language because I have a name that belongs to their tongue. Of course I get one or two words from what they say because our Bantu language changed or was influenced with whomever ‘we’ met on our constant migration. But I make them understand that we are all related. We are one. And that I am the daughter of the long lost ancestor, who went to roam around the vast lands’ yonder and is now back home.
I did not ask what Nkatha means amongst my other siblings from different nations in Africa that I have met. But according to my mother, and amongst the Meru people, Nkatha is an independent, responsible, virtuous, hardworking, generous and friendly woman. Nkatha could also be a man’s name if you are from Southern Africa region (but always). Its spelling and meaning could also vary depending on your tongue.
There is so much in African names. Do you know what your name means?‪#‎Ubuntu‬ ‪#‎MyName‬ ‪#‎WhatisYourName‬

Ya dunia

20 Jun

Dunia sio mbaya.

Wadunia ndio wabaya.

Watakufunza nyingi tofauti,

hata bila kusema kwa sauti.

Utajua kovu na ndui,

masika na vuli,

maziwa na tui,

simba na chui.

Hayo ndiyo ya dunia.

Drowning in your Choices

8 May

Those who have worked far away from home or are still working away from home can relate to this….You are away, doing what you thought, dreamed and loved to do. Changing your world. And then you get exhausted. You question the worth of your cause. You do not know the meaning of things anymore. You want to go home. Where is home?

I guess it is the long absence from the people you love or at least those you used to love that complicates things. The short rest and recuperation break cannot mend the calcifying barrier.

When you arrive ‘home’ for the short break, you are exhausted. Maybe from the harsh environment, work, travel or from everything. All you want to do is rest and sleep in. You slip into your PJs and maybe sleep for two days uninterrupted. You have always done that, and ‘your people’, ‘your loved ones’ know you need that rest. They do not interrupt.

Then when you are fully rested, time has run out for you. You want to immerse yourself into their lives, but they too have their schedules. They are busy. You are late again.

Then you start imagining that you are happier while away. Everyone seems to be leading at least two lives at once, all constantly feeling that they’re ‘in the wrong place.You want to return to your busyness. When you do, your heart is heavy. You cannot express this heaviness because it is difficult to talk. You want to get back home and talk. But you remain quiet when you get back home again. Because you do not want to interrupt anything. You are afraid to choose between things. This barrier is not noticeable at first, but in the long run, it is so loud. And at that time, every thing around is breaking apart.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I am not sure if those who said that had completely explored the effects of distance on the heart. Because you do not know how to deal with people’s emotions anymore.

Working in the field takes a toll on a person and the effects on that person’s life and family are not very comprehensible.
Isabelle Reed  in the movie Louder than Bombs tries to explain it. “They want you there, they love you, and you can feel it. And you love them too. More than anything. But you still feel that you are in their way. In the way of what they usually do. And then you get the feeling that you are in the wrong place. It is not that they don’t want you. But they don’t really need you.”

At last you make your choices and your decisions blow up on your face. You ran out of chances. There is no right choice.
You choose to distance yourself. From everything. From everyone. You are depressed. You are sinking. You are drowning. If you are lucky, there is someone who notices and saves you, if not, you drown in your choices.

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