Start Before You Are Ready

Just Do It!

There have been so many times in my life that I haven’t taken on a challenge because I didn’t feel quite ready for it. And while it is true, that one has to learn to listen to their inner guide to figure out what steps to take in life, I also know that some of the greatest accomplishments I have had has been when I just got on with it, did what I had to do, and just trusted in the process.  ZeroByZawadi is a perfect example of that. I still don’t know exactly where this journey will take me, but I’m loving every step of it, and meeting such amazing people along the way.  Just yesterday, my friend Joyce Muthoni, whose son I had written about in my blog post on City Council Police Brutality in Kenya, introduced me to a whole group of other incredible young women who I spent the morning with trying to figure out the best way to make newspaper bags. More on this another day.  It was really nice to finally meet Andrew, and he managed to make 2 newspaper bags that he was really proud of.

Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this post is really as a challenge to myself. I woke up this morning feeling like my brain was stuck on Gear 1, and even though I knew I should just get up, do yoga, and start working on my long list of things to do, I didn’t. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about my amazing visit to the Nairobi Children’s Remand Centre, where the Holistic Community of Kenya does yoga with the kids every Wednesday, but two days later, I still haven’t done it.  I’ve shared some lovely pictures on the ZeroByZawadi facebook page in the meantime though.

So one of the things I do, to motivate myself when I’m feeling tired, weak, sad, or just bleh, is turn to my #Note2Self board on pinterest – my new social-media love. If you haven’t explored the big, wild, juicy, fun & incredibly informative world of pinterest yet, BEWARE!  Yes, yet another social media platform to get addicted to.  For me though, it’s good eye candy, what my girl @Lafrohemien refers to as “Eyegasms”, but also the place I go to curate content that I can then share easily. Check out my pinterest boards & let me know what you think.

Last, but not least, I present you the new ZeroByZawadi logo designed by one of my favorite cousins – Kwame. This is just the start of our identity design process. I figure, I can’t forever, I JUST HAVE TO START! At least now we have something ready for the International Etsy Craft Party – Kenya Edition, happening on August 25th 2012 in Nairobi.  If you are on twitter, follow @CraftAfrika and #CraftPartyKe for details & updates. We are so excited about the new stock we are working on for the ZeroByZawadi stand where we’ll create a #ZenZone in partnership with the MindBodySpirit store.

“Wish You Were Here” Etsy Craft Party in Nairobi, Kenya – August 25th at Kuona Trust, hosted by @CraftAfrika. Follow #CraftPartyKe on twitter.

 

What are some of the things you’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t started yet? Feel free to share if you like.

Bless!

When I Dare To Be Powerful

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.