The ugly spot of Africa.

kenyen ladies

Kenyan Women

 

 

 

Kenya was voted to have the ugliest people in the whole of Africa. The survey was conducted in South Africa. Kenya, the Scarface of Africa. The ugliest nation, when compared to other African countries.
How do they know this? Is it through the media? Or did they take some South Africans to survey the entire Africa and come up with these results?
These comparisons, who makes them? Who plans them? Who comes up with the idea of making a list of ugliest people in Africa and then ask Africans themselves?
Africans home and abroad should stay far away from comparing each other’s beauty. Africa is a diverse continent and African beauty should not be measured by a single standard.
If I recall correctly Lupita Nyongo is rated one of the most beautiful woman on earth (according to celebrity ratings).
The US president Barak Obama who is obviously, undoubtedly handsome, he is half Kenyan, but maybe he owes his good looks to the other half, the Anglo-Saxon half.
From ordinary people to celebrities like Pierra Makena, Patricia Kihoro, Julie Gichura, Susan Anyango, Fiona Koncheka, the list of Kenyan beauties is endless. They all have beauty that can only be conceived in the soils of Kenya accredited to their parents and their creator.
Are we so used to the European standard of beauty that is bombarded to us on our Television screens daily, pointy nose, long blonde hair, blue eyes that we miss the point of beauty as a whole, as Africans? Has the standard of beauty set on a single standard? After endless hours of watching the likes of Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian etc. Have we forgotten that beauty runs deeper?
I have Kenyan friends who are some of the most beautiful people I have met and I am yet to see an ugly Kenyan. Kenya is like any other country where beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately these statistics are blind.

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We make it

 

 

The hand that rolls it unfolds it

The hand that writes it signs it

The hand that puts an ink on it erases it.

 

It twists and turns, on dust on mud,

in water, snow, hurricane, landslide, typhoon.

With bullets. We hold the gun.

 

The smile. The pain

The take. The give

The prison. The free-dom

 

The conception, the crawl, walk, run.

Some things are just meant to be.

It is what it is. It is how it is.

 

The soul that reads it,

is the soul that lives it,

the soul that chooses it.

 

The interruptions

The day dreams

The disconnections

The underrated

 

We make it.

 

 

A spirit in the dance

 

 

Rise – Dictionary meaning: Move from a lower position to a higher one. An instance of becoming higher.

 

RIZE is a heart capturing documentary directed by David LaChapelle. It is about young African- American dancers, dancing  what they call Clowning and Krumping. The dance groups started in Los Angeles and came to RISE around the 1990’s. Their dance is related to an African spiritual  dance, including painting their faces. They have never been to Africa and have never seen African spiritual dance.

 

Quotes from the documentary.

 

“Clown group is making people happy.  It is making people smile where there are no smiles, we bring laughter where there is no laughter”. Larry

“It is like, a getaway you get to travel, meet different people, some people don’t even get out of their neighborhood”. Swoop.

 

“When you know that there’s a Krump session, me, myself and I know a lot of people will stop whatever is going on if there’s a gathering because there’s a spirit that’s there, in the midst of Krumpness there’s a spirit. A lot of people just think that ‘we’re just a bunch of rowdy, ghetto, heathen thugs, no what we are is, we are oppressed”.  Dragon

 

“You get a boy who gets Krumped and just coincidentally his girl gets Krumped, they face off, it’s the classical battle of the sexes” Lil C

“The style changes, believe or not, everyday it changes” Lil C

“Once you see the real thing, you gonna know it’s the real thing, we will be like, that is the real thing because I will never see anything like this again” Lil C

 

“It seems a little bit aggressive but it’s the way to take your anger when you go through stuff in your personal life”. Tight Eyez

 

“It is just as valid as your ballet, waltz, as your tap dance, except we wouldn’t have to go to school for this, it is already planted within us, from birth”.  Dragon

 

Here are You Tube videos of what Rize is about:


Below is the documentary. Click on the video to play on Vimeo.

 

 I do not claim rights to the above videos.

 

 

There is a war against blackness but the war is not about colour, it is about the spirit.

And so we RIZE.

 

 

 

The cats of Graffiti in Malaysia. Part 2

Graffiti in Kuala Lumpur.

 

From Penang to Kuala Lumpur, I have found the marks of the invisible cats and the prints go deeper. My trip to Kuala Lumpur was motivated by a wrong reason with good intention. During my stay, my eyes have unveiled before a beautiful treasure that has been there all along but never really saw it. It is my fifth time entering the borders of Kuala Lumpur and I have admired a little bit of graffiti there and there whenever I stumbled upon it. During this trip, my eyes grew tired of searching for something that is not there and as my eyes diverted, they landed directly to street art, there and then I realized that it was everywhere, including places where one can see signs of “no graffiti”. Kuala Lumpur-ians express themselves through art.

 

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Most of these photos are taken along the walls of the River Klang.

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The cats of Graffiti in Malaysia. Part 1

Graffiti in Penang

 

As I walked in and around Penang Island, I have noticed that the entire Island is covered in art, not just any art but powerful expressions that have captured my attention.   The artists’ works ranges from life, political concerns, sentiments, matters of the heart to leaving a mark behind. I have not had the opportunity to capture all the works but the ones I have captured will give an idea on what it is all about.

 

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Graffiti in Penang can be mostly found at parking lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help! I’m drowning in the Songkran flood.

 

Songkran is the Thai New year, which lasts for three days from the 13th to the 15th of April annually. Songkran, meaning Astrological passage, is one of the best festivals in the world.

Having celebrated Songkran twice in consecutive years, it is a breath of fresh air. Despite catching flu after three days of being endlessly showered with buckets of water, I still find every minute of being shot by a water gun, sprayed by a hose pipe and splashed with infinite bowls and containers refreshing, until I shiver with a slight puff of wind.

I am smeared with white, red, yellow, green and beige powder on my face, hair and body as blessings. I receive them with an open heart while the menthol that is mixed with the powder stings my eyes causing me to lose track of the beautiful, smiley faced, wet and colourful people around me.

All of a sudden it hits me that I have been smiling and laughing the whole day, not once was my mouth tired or needing a stretch. The beauty of living in Thailand- not a day goes by without a smile on one’s face.

I find myself submerged in water, colour, smiles, love, laughter, and happiness. I am drowning.

 

 

Songkran 2014/2557- Phattalung- Thailand

Songkran 2014/2557- Phattalung- Thailand

 

 

Happy New year Thailand- Summer of  2557 (2014)

Your presence

 

Fisherman beneath the orange sun,

Birds fly above the sea,

Waves gently caress the grey rocks.

 

Footprints on the sand,

Maybe yesterday’s or this morning’s  marks.

Abandoned boat and a dead fish,

adorn the shore with emptiness.

 

Right here, at Hua Hin beach

I curl my stiff toes

And feel your presence.

hua hin

Hua Hin beach

Cracks

 

The cracks on the rice field

The ground has been planted, harvested, planted, harvested

The soil has fed, it has given, carried, cared.

 

Cracks of my broken heart

Many a time my heart has been broken, shattered, mended

Now the cracks remain, with a story to tell

Many have gone, some stayed, others lingered

The evidence is in the cracks of my broken heart.

 

Cracks on my body

A map on my thighs, butt, belly, breast

All have a story to tell

Some have used the map for their treasure hunt

Found their way to the cave

The pirates, the chiefs, bad intention, good intention

The touch of appreciation, of worship

Touch of the grave, of violation.

 

Cracks on my face,

of endurance

Lines on my eyes, my cheeks, my forehead

Stories told and stories untold

Summer, winter, spring, autumn

Have come and gone.

 

Cracks on my heels

My feet have taken me through journeys, known and unknown

Footprints, the evidence of my transformation

These heels have served their purpose.

 

Life of a grand mother

Mother, sister, daughter

Friend, foe

Of Love, hurt, hate.

 

 

The country inspired by wheels and circles

Taken by Melodi at Singapore.

The Globe – Taken by Melodi at Singapore.

 

I walk around the globe of car wheels, kitchen utensils, buckets, fans, watches, almost anything that represents a circle and anything that has the potential of spinning is there.

Rotating five times I still cannot believe that the globe is the actual inspiration behind the Singapore Flyer. It is not the first Ferris wheel in the world but it is taller, bigger and better, of course improvements are always bigger and better, they may not be bigger in size at times but bigger in standard and quality.

The rim of Singapore Flyer is not an actual cycle, it is a 56 sided polygon made up of 28 rim segments. The entire rim was installed in two months.

When my time to get on the Flyer comes. I see giant truck wheels glued around the Flyer. They look to me like they are there for decoration.

I share a comfortable cabin with two South Korean ladies who seize the opportunity to fix their sun hats, long trousers, long sleeve  jerseys, putting on sun lotion and sun protection spray a multiple times.

The wheel is as comfortable as watching the sun rise and set.

They say from the flyer one can see 45 km in to the distance, from Singapore’s city to Changi Airport and beyond in to the parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. I wonder if one can see the flyer from those countries. As far as my eyes can see, I would not know if I am seeing any of those countries or I am still looking at Singapore.

Regardless of whether I believe the circle and wheels are the inspiration behind the making of the Singapore Flyer or not. I am left inspired by the fact that when one plans and put effort in their plans, they will turn into reality.

Thank you for the inspiration Singapore. Not only with the wheel but other inventions and the work you have done with the country. It is exceptional. 

Singapore Flyer - Taken by Melodi at Singapore.

Singapore Flyer – Taken by Melodi at Singapore.

The nut scratcher

 

“So tell me, do you have a boyfriend?” Jack asks

“No”

“Why not?”

“Well, I prefer being single, for now”

“You are travelling, you should have fun”

“Yeah, true that”

“You should have fun with other people”

“Are you talking about men Jackie?”

“It wouldn’t hurt to have fun”

“I’m travelling Jack. I can’t go around indulging in one- night stands everywhere I go. I have been in two countries, two Islands, one city, ten towns so far and five more countries to go. What will become of me?”

Jack is lying on the sofa with his legs spread apart scratching his testicle underneath his sarong. The sight is close to disgusting but I pretend not to care instead concentrate on his silver beard, which gives a clue, on his age and his strong body tells where his preferences lie.

“I’m going to immigration. Come with?” he says while he quickly jumps off the sofa.

“Ok”

“Wait for me at the front door, I’ll go change, take the bike then we go” he quickly says as he hurries upstairs. I wonder why he says he will go change when the only thing he has on is a sarong.

“Have you ever been with a woman?” Jack asks while we ride on his big, silver and black bike

“No”

“You should have fun man!”

“I am having fun”

“Will you ever be with a woman?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“I don’t understand the whole purpose. Besides I have a vagina that I have difficulty maintaining, now how am I going to handle another vagina? I won’t be able to deal with two vaginas Jack, that’s a little too much”.

“You should try” he says determined.

“I’ll think about it”   I say, trying to escape further interrogation.

“Ok, will you be with a man who has slept with a lady-boy?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“Because if he gets used to a bum, one day he will turn to me and ask for some ass and I won’t give him that. I can’t imagine putting my ass in the air”

“What’s wrong with putting your arse in the air?”

“My arse only serves one purpose, one way out going traffic and no intruders”.  I feel the wind on my skin while silence embraces us for a few seconds. He shrugs his shoulders.

“Yeah, you’re right”

Jack and I cruise on the streets of Penang on the fast motorcycle as he takes me on a tour around the small Island. I sit and hold on the back of the motorcycle.

“You can hold on to me”. He says softly.

“Naa, I’m ok thanks”. I look at Jack’s silver beard dancing in the wind and his strong dark body under his white vest.

I sit back, let my hair down, breath, smile and admire the skyscrapers, the sea and the people of Malaysia’s beautiful Island.

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