By: Malaika Kironde
Smith College, Northampton, MA, United States
I am from cement floors,
From vast spaces of farmland
And packed, stuffy traffic.
I am from goats and cows that roam where their ropes allow them to go,
And chickens that roam freely.
I am from kungu FM,
The station that is the primary source of news, gospel and local hits.
I am from meat that boils from dawn to noon,
And smells up the whole house.
How else would we make it soft?
I am from jiko’s and sigiri’s,
From food flavoured in banana leaves:
matooke nne ebigendareko.
I am from a dining table that is never big enough.
I am from gomesi’s, muchanana’s and kanzu’s.
I am from the heat.
I was born there and would like to die there.
I am from distant relatives, who I seldom know,
And functions that I always go.
I am from feeding the goats,
Putting down the mosquito nets,
And boiling water to bathe.
From the fresh air, but also the polluted air,
From the view of the lake that provides us with fresh fish.
I am from fighting over who eats the eye,
And buying nsenene by the road side.
I am from family and love.