Inside the eloquence of silence

The womb of a mother is a cathedral

In Summary

• A Kenyan mother is the shrine of a family

Illustration of a woman in labour
Illustration of a woman in labour

Relatives, fellow Kenyans... To get me into this country, the daughter of my grandmother stood on it with firm feet. The spot where I fell is a dent, on the open palms of my bloodline.

See, left of the towering Elgon, rests the father of my grandfather, buried on the hide of a bull without blemish. His skeleton still holds strongly to the tasks of the elephant. Listen, on the right side of the great Masaaba, the navel of the rolling Bukusu heartlands still clings to the sky as Nzoia.

There is no witness with eyes that pure are, who fails to confirm the concentration of masculinity in this corner of the country. Decades have come a long way since Kenya of Jomo Kenyatta and the peak of the Elgon holds mercury to the Lord God on a platter of poetry.

Still. Years have turned into powerful stanzas of ancestral anthems, still the sons of the West eat the sun for appetiser! The night is what they carve, with knives dripping with blood of the-one-who-started-it all at the Hill. Father to son, so to father to son, and all thunder: Wang'iiiii! to the clouds that clap in their favour.

The sound of man is the voice of the Lord God. The powerful voice ever, out of this throat wrought in the womb of this clan, I, a direct descendant of the one who walked with a limp, creep upon the circle of poets, seizing the night out of their fly whisks with your amulets on my... my love!

Battle blessings of the motherland, I wash my face with them, to stare at the sun without a flinch for hours. Those who chewed the hound of peace, at the border of Malakisi and Teso, their names tie me to my fate. They relate the cadences of yellow that is as yellow of the Lusoola.

They are the ones who bend the wind as trees, seeds of the Mulungula tree. They are the ones who have eaten the bitter, the ones who have cracked the knees of the remainee of the circle of circumcision! They are the ones who eat thunder with unwashed hands, palms yet dripping with the whimpers of warlike Nilotes!

Those are the ones who reap the elements of doubt, sowed in the deepest fields of my confidence by Love. They are the ones who pinpoint to me the exact place of to die. They stare me with machismo, like the high sun, without a twitching eyelash, or twitching eyelids! They have worn a crown of sacred grass, long before the grandson of my great warrior babu, named me as his son!

In the midst of the whispering whirlwind, I find soft sleep and fart! In the electric eye of the screaming storms of November, I chew a herb, and moo like the belligerent bulls of Kakamega, ready to settle scores. I dive into the deep lake of the Luo. I emerge with my names intact, around my lower weights! Woman, I am he-who-walks with-male-feet-on-the-pikes-of-sisals. I am a thigh of the elephant!

Wife, come back to me, or stand still at the door of your new bedroom! Ala! Let your new home come out with their weapons and face me! If it is alone you still dwell, wherever on the sprawling surface of Kenya, let your shadow come and disarm me from your charms!

May the angels of the Lord God defend heaven, for on earth here, in this land of Kimathi and Mekatilili, I will unbury the war tusks of the one-who-made-his-agemates-whimper. I will dare the Supreme Court and make Kamiti my cemetery like Waciuri, forging a war with words, turned into Kenya Defence of Love (KDL).

How long will the songs of passionate love serenade the land that asks for chaos, like a rapist who harvests sex by force? When a man clears the vast Kakamega forest of words, all in search of the meaning of his life, hidden in the name of his wife, who carries his name as a badge of honour and marital fealty, what remains on the flag of Kenya for salutation? People of the world, Give me my wife, Kenyans!

Or death, let it come not as a silhouette of those without scrotums! Give me death at the bloody break of dawn, with the brand new sun, a new witness from heaven, or let me disown my father, Kamili, and his father and his father, he-who-owns-the Elgon as his gravestone!


Woman, you are a shrine, silent yet sacred. A Kenyan mother is the shrine of a family. The labyrinth of life finds exits where mothers exist. Through a mother, a child wakes up on a theatre table, ignoring the metal grey coldness of death, to live the prayer utterer by a uterus. The womb of a mother is a cathedral.

Those who go to it, find life. Somewhere in this county, there is a child about to wake up because of prayers, to his bully, relocating to a reserve out of parental job loss. Sign of the cross. There is a home that is built on 40 x 80. Here, no prayer has been seen for days, as rains beat the neighbourhood, destroying dry spells.

There is an underage house help from Jinja, learning sounds of Kiswahili like chinja chinja, in the holy bedroom of a fiery pastor, his disabled wife is on her feet-less knees. What a feat! Two years later, the maid the wife is, the wife is a street corner evangelist, seller of food for the soul with sexual testimonies... of purgatory...

The world is what it is: it is a homestead of faiths. Here, where you met me first, soaking the roots of the Mulungula tree with tears, heart broken by the departure of a mother, I stand, alone, mourning your absence. I am the man whose hut, lightning struck thrice. Each time... on the erect tip, eyeing the skies. Hallelujah...

Government crematoriums, like gynaecological clinics, exist across our beautiful They respect those who don't talk loudly, in the season of loss.

The fire that is within me, now lost in this nation in search of you, is a thousand times that of the crematorium. The silence that crackles in my mind, is old memories fumed by missing you. The ash that spots walls of my heart, are the wedding embers of our first night, my beloved....

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