Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Magunga Williams
I write to live.
I write to live.


Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: One Day Even Death Will Die

He fell right in front of me. I was standing next to him, trying to talk to the woman in uniform, but she would not listen. She said that the paper we had presented to her meant nothing because she had just spoken to her boss, and her boss did what men like him do when the moment requires him to stand up for what is right; he did not. So she made to leave, but Boniface told her not to leave us here with these men. Because the moment she left, they would attack. I turned to the officer standing next to me and asked him why they were here with clubs and guns. I asked him what we had done. We were not throwing any stones. We were not disrupting anyone’s business. We did not even stop traffic. We marched. And chanted. The man said nothing. He asked me to move or he would make me move. But before he could make good on his threat, that familiar sound went off. It explodes, if you know it well, in a way that reminds you that these chaps in uniform are not here to sing Christmas Carols. That sound is designed to instill fear, and it does a stellar job at it.

#NEWPOST: Not Entertainers | by Abigail Arunga

Nairobi is a hard city to love.

Especially now. Especially in 2017. It feels like a constant ambush on the senses. Walking through Nairobi is having your nostrils assaulted by the smells of the city, and not in a good way. They waft towards you like currents in a tide, you know? Now you smell them, now you don't. You're walking peacefully down a road, minding your own business, thankful that there's no tear gas today because it's in the middle of the week and it isn't a designated demonstrator day and then suddenly something grabs your nose and twists mightily. You try and remember not to inhale sharply from shock but it's too late now and now the taste of the smell is in your mouth. Why? You just passed one of those alleys, the ones that you're not supposed to walk down at a certain time, or walk through alone, or question what the lumps to the side are. And you hurriedly hold your corrupted breath until you pass...on to the next current.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST Onesies Never Worn | by Troy Onyango

Where I come from, they don’t name a child until seven days and seven nights have passed. They wait, because to name something is to give it life, and if you name the baby when they are still the colour of an overripe mango and their skin looks like it wants to fall off the bones, the baby may leave and go back where it came from. Then, you’ll have a name and no baby.

I should have remembered this the day I sat down, my swollen legs resting on the pouffe, and I chose a name: Daniel, after my father, for a boy; Daniella, because I liked the ring to it, for a girl. I should have remembered when I whispered the name to his scalp that rose and fell in tandem with my heartbeat when the nurse handed him to me; all slimy and so fragile.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: Entangled | by +mohamed aress

I sat there on the seat of that barbershop, and looked at my hair through the mirror, taking one last glance, as if to permanently brand the image to my memory, perhaps so I could remember who I once used to be. The whole thing―in those long seconds of loneliness and anticipation, the loneliness of a king who lost his crown―felt like a ritual: the barber’s seat served as the proverbial altar, the loud Lingala music on KBC Radio the accompanying sacrificial chant, the old, rugged, blunt Philips shaving machine the weapon to sever my head, to deliver the offering. I looked helpless, I remember, as I stared at the buzzing machine, as a sacrificial lamb would stare at a knife. Soon my beloved curls came down, gathering in heaps on my lap, defeated. It was sad to see how pieces of my hair, which were something when on my head, now reduced to nothing by the hurried strokes of an impatient, indifferent barber, almost meaningless.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: Red Light District - A Nairobi Bachelor Goes to Amsterdam

She came to me the way death comes to good characters in a well told story. For a moment there I had begun to drone off from my present, completely underwhelmed by what I had come to find in Amsterdam. A city in a country whose lore had been foretold; tales preceded my visit to this place, tales about its seediness and raunchiness, and in my head I had pictured something way more exhilarating than this. You know the way your boy can speak of his new catch, going on and on about how striking and long her legs are and all the exaggerations that men invent when talking about girls not present? And then you finally get to meet this bird and you are, well, not underwhelmed, but not overwhelmed either. You are just whelmed. Which is a dip in your mental expectation. Amsterdam had felt like that.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: Jagged Fragments of a Father | by Troy Onyango

The first time I met my father, I was a boy of twelve going thirteen.

The year is 2005, and I am walking from the classes towards the gate after a long day of seemingly unending lessons when someone with the voice that is a prolonged bad cough calls me to the side and tells me that he is my father. I look at him, squinting in the sun whose rays threaten to blind me, regarding his face that is hidden behind a forest of facial hair. His eyes, glistening like two pairs of wet stones when struck by the sun rays, stare back, and I can see my reflection in them. I feel small in the presence of this stranger who calls himself my father. He speaks up again, repeating the same words, and I want to tell him, “I know.” but the words are a knot in my throat, and so they stay there, fold and fall back to the pits where they belong. Instead, I nod. The man is not a complete stranger; I have seen him before, twice, in our house. Both times he was drunk, and he came in at night (well past 11pm) and left in the morning. Both times, I did not know that he was my father.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: Over his dead body

I have always been that kid who only shows promise but is never the best at anything. If I knew how to switch off that neon sign on my forehead that screams PROMISE, I would. This is as true of me today as it was in 1997. Teachers often prodded me to put in just a little more effort. They said if I cared even just a little bit more, I would top my class. But I was lazy. Still am. I only sat down to read five days before exams and somehow managed to retain enough information to put me hapo top 10 or top 20. I think this is what they mistook for intelligence. Or promise. Position One was something I remember aspiring to, an impossibility that I knew I could never attain but also an impossibility that motivated me enough to land somewhere okay. The whole thing about aiming for the sky and landing on the clouds.

Now, let me introduce you to the woman who raised me.

Read more: | the Magunga

Post has attachment
#BecauseOfGeography [part 4] Vote for your tribe

When the devils that drive the beasts of men to their madness finally reached their destinations, everything descended to shit. Started with the blackout. When lights came back, even us kids knew exactly what had just happened. We did not even need Citizen TV to tell us, we read all we needed to read in the faces of my Mother Karua, Uncle Richard and Auntie Grace. They just sat on the sitting room, staring at the television. One with hands locked behind her head like she is about to break into mourning, another with her hands on her hips, her chest bellowing up and down in fury. The other one just sat on the couch, a palm covering his mouth as if trying to prevent something from coming out of his mouth – a cry, a wail or words he should not be saying around children. Even in that moment when anger and grief boiled underneath, he still felt the need of self preservation. I think he was more hurt than he was angry, but he could not show it. That is not what men did. Not when the kids were looking. These were the days when men were men and women preferred them that way.

Post has attachment
#BecauseOfGeography: why I do not vote | by +owa hh

The fetishization of the ballot has become the icon of our transactional politics. Politicians know they are safe before elections and therefore do little or nothing. They even avoid their constituents until it is a few months to the election period. Voters long learnt this so they learnt to hold their votes as ransom, demanding everything from water, food, security and roads in that short window before elections. Communication is one way for five years, then politicians descend into hamlets to beg for votes, and voters in turn boo, heckle, and block roads. It is the only way. The man who represented the constituency I grew up in was known to give away parcels of his land before elections to farmers. They had a short window of a single season to plant and run because once the ballots closed, he would demand it back.

Post has attachment
#NEWPOST: Because of Geography [part 2] | by Laura Ekumbo

I was running, because there were gunshots and there was smoke and other people were running, so I ran too. I started to run away from danger, and I ran right into them. I ran straight into a group of 15 men with bloody lips and charcoal stained hands. What did I expect would happen?
The first one held my knees to my chest, told me he was going to enjoy breaking into me, then he ripped my panties off, tossed them to the second one, and shoved himself into me. He put his down down my throat when I screamed in agony.
Wait while more posts are being loaded