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 hatukuisave
ka petroli ya tanker Mombasa Highway imeanguka.
Hii tuka- finyanga, seremala, chomelea,
guzishia, nyongesea. Ikawa yetu.
Hukuskia nguo ya kuombwa
haifunikangi rasa?

“ngumu kwangu Kizungu fluent
lakini huezi command umati nainfluence”
Juliani ‘Exponential Potential’

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Wangũi says:

    and to answer the 2nd part of the question- yes, it is intentional

  2. Wangũi says:

    this might not be an exact translation…it’s sth like

    “not a chance
    even if my mouth tried,
    it wouldn’t manage- no apology.
    They forgot to tell the ship’s captain
    the cargo was spilling as it came.
    And this one no-one tried to save
    Like spilt petrol on Mombasa HIghway.
    This we moulded, carpentered, smeltered,
    touched on, added up- it became ours.
    Did you not hear? Borrowed clothes
    do not cover the borrowers’ asses.”

    the last part is a Kiswahili proverb.

  3. zenosticks says:

    Can we obtain a translation of the sheng part? or is the absence of an english version purposeful?

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