Mines & Mind Fields; My Spoken Words

A wise person once claimed, better late than never. Those are my exact sentiments when I chanced upon this book, accidentally I dare say. In this case, the elapsed time from the time of publishing (sometime around 2010 I believe), only served to whet my appetite over and above, plus the clinging sense of pride and patriotism in this Kenyan author that followed thereafter was thoroughly gratifying.

Coursing through the book’s 7 chapters, I got to appreciate the wide and diverse spectrum that Njeri wrote from. It is akin to to journey of transition from a naive childhood to maturing into the heavily digital age of twitter. Women Behaving Badly and Digital Hearts captures this transition perfectly with the former being the perception of the city girls from a rural girl’s perspective and the latter flexing knowledge about the virtual online world. I must say Digital Hearts almost makes you want to log off social media…for a day. If it doesn’t make you want to call your family and friends and take a nature trail you might want to check out if your soul is still intact;

There was a time when a mouth, eyes, ears, a touch
were the essentials in a conversation
Humans were more in touch with one another and with nature//
Made love to our souls deepening our bond with what is real
Now instead of facing each other we facebook//
Our hearts no longer constantly antagonize our lips to say ‘love you’
For we simply short text our messages from our hearts and minds
Long enough to mean what we’re saying but short enough not to exceed 160 characters
In stark contrast to Digital Heart’s modernization was the traditionalism that was inherent in Women Behaving Badly which almost echoes Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino;
I am your typical girl from the village
who was taught that trousers are for men

Njeri Wangari’s Mines and Mind Fields; My Spoken Words is a true testament to the lyrical genius that she is from start to finish of the book. It contains over 40 poems that explore themes on Relationships and Love, Self Identity, Politics, Society’s Culture and tradition in urban African setting. In Mother Tongue, she goes further to portray how the white man tried to dismember the local dialects posing adverse effects to not only the languages, but the existing cultures too;

A tongue that has created a sound to the maker of
A tongue that has created words whose proverbs
Made warriors of men
I now crave to hear her perform spoken word. I hear it is a sight to behold. Simply black girl magic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: