Meet the Khanga.

An essential garment,

For most women,

Especially those from the Coast of East Africa.

A Khanga knows a woman’s body intimately.

It holds her body in a sure tenderness,

Caressing her tender skin ever so softly,

And ever holding her secrets firmly.

This is an adept piece of clothing,

Revealing just enough and highlighting the essentials of a beautiful body.

It is discreet, just as it is sexy.

It can be a formal affair or just informal, casual and relaxed.

It is a sheer joy,

To see how a body moves below the Khanga,

Hugging the essence of a woman,

Telling her sensuous story and narrating her raw femininity.

A good husband will always make sure,

That his woman doesn’t go without enough Khangas.

He knows and appreciates the beauty of this inherently African garment.

One moment,

It is a garment to wear to the market,

In another moment,

It is transformed into some exciting lingerie,

To tease and entice in equal measure.

Khangas come in-scripted with certain messages.

The message can praise, delude, admonish or be sarcastic.

If a woman is in love,

She could buy a Khanga written “Nimeshapona Mwenzio”

Literary meaning “I finally got what I wanted”

And if a woman is not happy with a fellow woman,

She would buy a Khanga boldly declaring “Ya Kwako Yamekushinda.Ya Kwangu Utayaweza” Meaning that if the woman in question cannot manage her affairs, How can she manage other people’s affairs?

Ah Khanga.

There she goes,

Embraced by the Khanga,

The woman of the homestead,

As she gets the water from the well,

Some splashes on her,

Making her skin wet,

And the Khanga clings to her body,

For dear life.

She and the and the Khanda fuse into one smooth and flowing movement,

A movement that stirs up a searing desire, a certain hunger.

And she knows the man of the house is watching her keenly,

Following her every move with his lazy eyes….

He makes a mental note,

To buy her another Khanga,

From the market.

© Ayoub Mzee 2012


Wake Up

You must wake up.
Time has given birth and has breathed your need. This is the time for you to open your eyes and experience the seasons’ passage. This land is not foreign to you and instead has known you intimately. These people have sheltered your want. But the time has come for you to wake up and experience the urgent calling that the dark African night can never hide. Wake up.

Your eyes might be wide open
But you are dead asleep.
Dead asleep to the aspirations of your land and it’s people. This sun- kissed and wind swept land longs for your adept hands, to till and nurture and give forth unlimited harvests. Your people needs you back home. To guide, lead and usher a new era. You went and slept in a foreign land son.
A land that doesn’t and will never know you like the way this brown earth knows you back here.
You left wide open skies back at home. Skies that housed your stars and dreams. But those skies in a foreign land only house beastly skycrappers devoid of a soul. Wake up my daughter.

©2012 Ayoub Mzee

We Will Have Beer

Finally, the fiery sun kisses the distant hills goodbye and dips its anger into the dark African horizon.
Dusk swiftly gathers courage and drapes the vast land with silhoutted aspirations.
Thin dust swirls gently, suffocating nascent dreams.
We tredge wearily upon the beaten path on our way to the shebeen, after a long day in the fields.
We will have beer.

It is already dark in the shebeen.
Weak light weakly greets our tired faces.
I can see Kaka already inebriated, imbibing his very own soul.
Gladly we find rickety stools and quickly down the first glass of cold joy. The liqour hits the right note and a little fire warms yesterday’s promise deep in the breast.
Dada is talking. She’s always complaining about something or other.
I request for her a glass of purchased joy to keep her quiet.
She won’t keep quiet. She is telling all and sundry about her teenage daughter who is pregnant and out of school.
We will talk tomorrow.
Kaka tells her.
We will drink beer.

The moon is up early. Her shadows eerie.
Her light silvery, whispering our denials in perpetual hues.
Another glass please. The old broken radio keeps on playing the same old broken song but no one cares. We came to take beer.
We have learnt to live with these things.
We will take beer.

Each one of us here has a story to tell, a tale to tell and the alcohol is an exellent listener in silent amusement. Musembi has started  singing. It is time to go home. The beer doesn’t have a teacher. I won’t be her pupil either. We have taken beer.

Slowly we gather our tired bones but merry at heart and find our way home. Moonlight shines the beaten path, again, for us. Mjomba is dancing but he has to be careful lest he falls down on these shrubs by the footpath.
We sing about tomorrow’s hopes and promises.
We sing about a prosperous future.
It has been a good day.
Haven’t we taken beer?

© 2012 Ayoub Mzee