When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. – Audre Lorde
I was reminded of Audre Lorde this morning when I read an Autostraddle blog, shared by my Afropolitan #Afrofunky feminist siSTAR @sheroxlox, that celebrates black powHerful queer women, during this year’s Black History Month.
At a time in Kenya when social media tools such as twitter and facebook are being used in many different ways, I find that I am learning a lot about my role in the whole picture. It was great to see the impact of our social media advocacy efforts when we raised the story of my other sisSTAR Joyce Muthoni’s son who was nearly castrated by a city council officer last week. But because we chose to raise the plight of several communities that face brutality in the hands of Kenya’s city council officers, the attention has now been shifted to focus on the more sensational issues such as male prostitution and homosexuality. Unfortunately, recent attempts by the media to cover these issues, have also created a space for some of the most violent and homophobic voices in Kenya to spew hate speech. It still baffles me why people are so quick to speak, act, hate, when it comes to issues of sexuality, especially when they involve two adults who have the right to make their own sexual choices. I hope we can continue to act or speak about broader social injustices such as violence, corruption, patriachy, rape, female genital mutilation, the fact that hundreds of thousands of cancer patients are dying in pain because pharmaceutical companies can’t make significant profits off of the production of morphine, and the list goes on.
But today, I want to focus on stories of power, and so I invite you to read these five short stories shared by Kenyan and Ugandan women engaged in sex work. The stories shared in “When I Dare to be Powerful” still inspire me to this day, and it’s amazing to see what these womyn have achieved with their communities in just 2 years since the publication of this book. I pray for their continued health and safety even as they do frontline activism, which we all know exposes us to all kinds of attacks. May I also continue to grow every day, and learn how to use my words, my actions, and my inner wisdom and power, to create the world I wish to see. When I fail, my I learn, go back to Zero, and create afresh.
Peace and Blessings to all who have started reading my blog. I’m new to this and I have to say it is an incredible journey.
With that, I leave you with a picture I took at the amazing Kuona Trust Arts Organization in Nairobi, Kenya.