No one would ever call her pretty. She is too strong, too urgent, too passionate for that. No one would ever deny, however, that she is exceedingly, even disturbingly, beautiful. Sitting under a maroon Java House umbrella, I watch as she talks. She listens as if attempting to mine a hidden heart of meaning, her […]

An Unusual Hero

Mention the Kenyan GSU, and images of red-bereted, combat-geared policemen waving batons chasing rioting university students amid plumes of choking tear gas come to mind. It is not clear where the tagline fanya fujo uone (just try to make trouble, and see)came from, but it stuck so indelibly in the Kenyan psyche they might have […]

A tale of two urban villages

South Loresho and Kibagare Village, in Nairobi, sit side by side. In a prefab room, with a single long table, and wobbly white plastic chairs, representatives of both communities also sit side by side. It is a microcosm of a Kenyan moment: someone from Eastern Province speaks and everyone listens. Then there is a parade […]