I am surrounded by my people.
They are dark, and black like me,
And their ebon faces shine darkly at me
Wherever I go. The sullen pitch oft shattered
By a crescent of light as it strikes
the gleaming white ivory of their teeth
Their lips are full like mine, and ripe,
And lush. As I walk through
The streets of Nairobi, the heartbeat
Of my culture, my history, my people,
Thrums through me in the scents, the sounds, the colors
The wave of motion that sweeps me.
The matatus veering, the conductor jeering
The scents of shit, samosas and sweet sweat from a hard work
Filter through the dry air. The dance of death that is street crossing
And the cacophonous competition of the music shops.
The drone of millions of voices in a thousand tongues,
Rising and falling in a undulant wave of activity flowing
From the sea of faces and bodies of my people.
The color flashings from the window,
The red, red dust that smothers everything in a choking curtain
Of dust and dryness. The weak greens and the pale beauty of the
Plants and the vibrant yellows, greens, reds and the dull browns and
The illusive blacks of the clothing. The gleam of skyscrapers and the
Dull ochre of the shanty house made of rust, mud and shit.
There is love, hate, agony, lust, and trust and betrayal and dark, black rage.
They walk the streets and stalk the alleys and smile in matatus and sokos.
Rumors like black clouds float over the city, with nervous hands clutching
Pockets and passports and ids and college students stalking the city in prides.
Ambitions burn bright and hot like a forest fire in the brown eyes of the
Man hawking used Dvds and bubblegum.
This is all mine. The joy of abject poverty and the misery of ridiculous opulence.
The ambitions and the laziness. The sokos and the Uchumis
The matatus and the private drivers
The Ugali and the pizza.
These are my people and this is my culture. With its scents, colors and emotions