msafiri hakuna barabara – machado in kiswahili

Msafiri, nyayo zako Ndizo barabara, sio vinginevyo; Msafiri, barabara haipo, Hutengenezwa kwa kutembea. Kwa kutembea watengeneza njia, Na ukiangaza macho nyuma Utayaona mandhari ambayo katu Hutarudi kuyapitia. Msafiri, hakuna barabara, Bali mawimbi baharini. ya Antonio Machado imetafsiriwa na Wangũi Kamonji Linapatikana hapa katika Kiingereza na Kihispania Huku nikifanya juhudi ya kulitafsiri shairi hili katika Gĩgĩkũyũ…

ruuude! when worlds meet

What happens when worlds meet? When ways of viewing the world meet? When ways of organising the world collide? Is one way always right? Does one way ‘win’ and the other get subsumed under it. Does it matter where it happens? A few stories: Number 1: Once in college, my roommate (and friend of 3…

kwani? literary festival – gems

If you are familiar with African writing, then you know that the question of what language to write in, and how to justify your choice, if not to others most certainly to yourself, is one often asked. It is also a question that spills into other spheres of life and drags along with it…

writing, identities, agency

We write not only by writing but also by speaking, and the way in which we write and who writes, has the power to define people.

thoughts on language

I just read about the realisation that some documents in the possession of a family in Cape Town are important and were written in Afrikaans using Arabic script. This is the 3rd time that I have come into contact with Arabic script beng used to write languages besides Arabic (apparently such writings are known as…

fika vontaji

on Brazilian hospitality, and what language to write in as a sheng’ speaking Kenyan African woman who’s lived in various places.

4 phrases I will miss from brasil

(written on the flight to Mexico City from São Paulo) I am reminded as the flight attendant attempts to offer me a choice of scrambled eggs or omelettes (huevos revueltos o omelette) that I will soon have to retrain my brain to speak Spanish as opposed to Portuguese. It took about 4 attempts for me…

hukuskia?

The past could not imagine me, the present has not imagined me. contemporary modern woman? Of course I have to speak in correct British English, exhaling vowels and consonants through my nose…roll my tongue… Lakini wapi? Hata hiyo mdomo ikijaribu haiwesmake – na bila apology. Walisahau kuambia nahodha, lugha ilikuja ikimwagikanga kwa njia. Na hii…