Prickly Beauties

These are just some fabulous exotic plants I encounter during my daily walks in Kenya. So beautiful.

(c) Uwana 2015


(c) Uwana 2015


(c) Uwana 2015


(c) Uwana 2015


Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Change, who represents it better than the transformative chameleon?

I should mention that when taking these photos, I witnessed a papa chameleon feeding on a butterfly; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to photograph him in action. Enjoy!

Chameleon 1 Chameleon 2

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

When Nature Woos You

If your partner is not the romantic type who spreads flower petals for you to walk upon, you can always rely on Mother Nature to step up her game.

Ahh, the jacaranda tree, wooing lovers with all her beauty, laying a carpet of lilac petals for me to walk upon. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:15)!

Jacaranda tree

Jacaranda tree, Nairobi, Kenya

Lilac petals of jacaranda

We are Africa: Africa Day 2015

I am a proud African.

Each year, Africa Day is an opportunity to celebrate African unity and accomplishments, and to reflect on challenges facing the continent.

Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (African Union) on 25 May, 1963. The theme for 2015 is “We are Africa.”

Although Africa’s economy continues to grow, it still has a long way to go with:

  • Improving public healthcare and infrastructure
  • Empowering women and girls who represent Africa’s future
  • Eradicating/reducing poverty
  • Raising a generation of incorruptible emotionally intelligent leaders

This Africa Day, I’d like to dedicate a throwback poem called Ma-Afrika. Click the animal montage to read more.

Wanyama – Masai Mara, Africa

Tales From 2 AM Feedings: What Motherhood Taught Me About Love

I have fallen in love with The Book of Negroes—also published as Someone Knows My Name—an award winning historical fiction novel by Lawrence Hill portraying the journey of a free African girl turned into a woman and a slave. This masterpiece relays the impact of slavery in a very raw, emotional, complex, and real way. What’s awesome is that the message of the book also resonates with my current perspectives on love and motherhood.

What has The Book of Negroes got to do with parenting?

A lot.

You see, one of the hardest things about parenting is learning your child’s love language: the more children in your care, the more languages to learn.

Book of Negroes pg183

The protagonist in this book, Aminata, shares her experience as a mother to her newborn son.

His sounds and movements were just like a new kind of language, and I wanted to learn it all so that I could give him everything he needed.

I too have been learning my baby boy’s language.

  • I “wear” my baby when I can, so that he’s interacting more with his surroundings while I familiarize myself with his sounds and mannerisms.
  • I’ve been learning his triggers so that I can minimize his discomfort and avoid excessive crying.
  • I try to nurse him before he cries; my ears are attuned to the sounds of him grunting or rooting to suck his chubby fingers.

Family is precious. Love them good and love them big. Love them every day.

The tragedy of this story is that at just 10 months of age, Aminata’s “master” stole her son and sold him into slavery. The painful loss was compounded by physiological reminders such as being “full like an unmilked cow.”

As a mother and Black African woman, my heart weeps for Black women before me whose children were viciously stolen and sold as slaves.

The Book of Negroes teaches us that family is sacred: “love them good and love them big. Love them every day.” I thank God for my children. I love them harder every day.

Hi Stranger, Want to Talk Religion or Politics?

politics and religion

Yay or nay?
It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.

Talking to folks about:

  • Religion
  • Politics, or
  • Football (soccer for the Americans)

will often get you into trouble, especially in this social media era where pretty much everything you say is immortalized and taken out of context. Twitter always has an opinion and a hater will find you and troll you.

But still, sometimes we need to talk about what’s uncomfortable for the sake of raising awareness against an injustice. Heck, people should be free to challenge their leaders when ignorance, corruption, and greed impinge on a person’s basic right to live. When compassion for our neighbors and fellow citizens is called into question, then we must speak up, even with people we don’t really know.

Has the world gone crazy?

Lately my heart has been breaking. The news is rampant with heinous crimes against humanity. I’ve written about some of these issues (terrorism in Kenya and xenophobia in South Africa), but you only need to read the news to witness the indescribable things that human beings are doing to each other (#BlackLivesMatter).

Sometimes I wonder if the world has gone crazy. I mean wouldn’t this headline break your heart:

So yes, there’s a time and place to discuss politics and religion. But right now I feel powerless and all I can do is encourage healthy dialogue.

We must reach out to everyone we know and talk to them—just as violence can go viral, so can love (Chikwe Ihekweazu)

What about you guys? Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Polite Company.”

Xenophobia: An expression of a Terrible Failure of Memory by South Africans

StopXenophobia NoToXenophobiaIt’s heartbreaking and appalling to witness the xenophobia happening in South Africa. I recall from my childhood the struggle that many South Africans experienced as they were ostracized from their homes because of apartheid.

What’s tragic is that the ongoing xenophobic attacks against immigrants are “an expression of a terrible failure of memory by South Africans” who endured racial intolerance under apartheid, said to two South African foundations.

Below is a short account by Horace Chilando that sheds some great perspective on the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

#NoToXenophobia #WeAreAfrica

Heartless and Shameless South Africans…….Listen Carefully
By Horace Chilando

South Africa..Oh South Africa. When you were in bondage, the whole of free Africa fought with you. When you were mourning, we mourned with you.

When you needed a place to run to, we opened our homes, our townships and our food stores. We sent our children, our brothers and sisters to the front lines to fight for your freedom even though we were already free.

We were convinced that we were not completely free if you were still in bondage. Our people lost their lives fighting your war. We did not complain.

None of your brothers and sisters whom we sheltered from the wrath of your oppressors faced even an insult from us. We loved them, clothed them, and fed them.

We gave them a place they could call home for even for a while. Alas you got liberated and you conveniently chose to forget your past.

You chose to forget the fact that you owe your freedom to the rest of Africa and the world who fought with you, from the Cool channels of Mozambique in the east to the Atlas mountains in the north west.

From Harare to Cairo. From Lagos to Axum in Ethiopia your war was fought. Now you have decided to pay these your brothers and sisters with xenophobic attacks, killing them mercilessly without thinking twice! Oh South Africa. How ungrateful you are!

How can you burn your fellow human being with tires like common criminals when the only crime they have committed is that of being foreigners in your country just like you were foreigners in theirs?  Oh South Africa.

One day you shall pay for your heartless acts against a people who have done nothing but love you. The leadership of that great country have failed mother Africa.

They have allowed this situation to escalate to this level. They have not told their people how they benefited from the help of the people they are killing mercilessly now.

God help Africa