Typewriter Tuesdays – Akello

Been a minute fellow bookworms!

Today’s review will be a tad different as I am reviewing my very first poetry book. And not only is it a poetry book filled the most amazing collection of modern day poetry but it just so happens to be written and published by one of my favourite bloggers turned friend, Abigail Arunga


Akello is the title of this anthology. For those not familiar with the Kenyan culture, Akello is a name that comes from one of our many tribes, luo to be exact and it means to bring forth. Miss Akello for sure brought forth some amazing pieces in this book I must say.

The backstory to how I met Abigail is quite a weird yet funny story actually. She doesn’t know all this either but she will as soon as she reads this. I met her at a club, Mercury at the Junction Mall to be exact. So I’m at the club with my best friend Sonnie, her boyfriend and his friends… I’m having tea (don’t ask why) and just chatting and I see Abi walk in with her friends. I already knew her by face having followed her blog religiously since my uni days – I know I sound like a stalker, please don’t report me. I told my friend about her and how I had been looking for her new book for so long but couldn’t find it and she prompted me to go up to Abi and say hi but for those who don’t know me… I am very very shy. I couldn’t do it. So I just said I’d tweet her the next day that I spotted her.
So as we were leaving Mercury for Qz, guess who was outside the club taking a breather? Abi! I don’t know what made me do it but I just went up to her and said hi, told her I’m a huge fan, told her we were twitter friends and that I really want to buy her book but couldn’t find it. Abi for some reason, just had a bunch of copies with her – in her bag – in a nightclub. So not only did I get the book I had been looking for for ages, but I got a signed copy and got a meet & greet with author all in one night. Talk about a turn of events. The rest of my night went amazingly after that encounter, so Abi, thank you. You were my lucky charm that night and to repay you, here is a review of what is one of the best anthologies I have ever read.

I’m not going to talk about my favourite poems in this book so as not to make this review ridiculously long. Abi basically compiled most of the poems she had written while still in school and after school and I must say, that’s quite a collection she had. Her writing is raw, open, deep and yet straight to the point with hints of humour here and there and bits of emotional spells in each piece making you learn her as a person, a writer, as a woman, a lover, a sister and a friend.

I related to most of the poems in this book because I started reading it at a time when I wasn’t feeling at my best and I was in such a dark space. The poems brought back some memories I had locked away for a long while… Her words, her feelings, her thoughts touch the reader with an intensity like no other. I’m not sure how else I can explain it. Some poems were a tad bit graphic but hey… if that’s your style Abi, I’m not judging.

I’m going to conclude by copying one of my favourite poems off this book below; if you want a taste of some raw, beautiful poetry – get a copy of Akello for you and yours, you will not be disappointed.

“Teach me
how to bare my heart
so that you can touch my vulnerability
with your lips
and I won’t cringe under the
spotlight of honesty
and your lips will stay.” 

Until next time, Happy reading!

P.S: To get a copy of the book please go to www.akello.co.ke


My Vagina Monologue

First off… Happy V Day! I’m not sure when the actual V day is but I know February is the month celebrating the well known play; The Vagina Monologues. All of us ladies should be proud of our vaginas and what they stand for… Strength, pride, wisdom and so much more. So in the spirit of all the play renditions going on globally, I decided to write my own monologue… Venture in and listen to the voice of my Vagina and those of many others who have never had the chance to speak. I hope this speaks to others and raises awareness to help stop the inhumane violence against women that I still fail to understand is still going on.

My Vagina is scared.
She is scared of so much in the world
Fear of growth
Fear of being exposed for the beautiful person she is.
My Vagina has seen a lot in this hard, cruel world
She has lived vicariously through so many others
And as such knows what to do and what not to
But still she remains scared, frail and shy.
My Vagina is me.

Her Vagina is strong.
She has been a victim of so much but always comes out the victor
Full of life and and zeal, at 16yrs old she is violated
Not once, not twice, but for an entire year.
Fear of her mother kept her from saying anything,
Her drive for freedom pushed her to make it to college,
finally gain an escape from him… The man she once called Father.
At 20 yrs old, cupid struck;
Her Vagina put up a strong wall and fought a battle she could not win
As fate would have it, she gave in and suffice it to say,
Her Vagina was happy and still is to this day.
Her Vagina is strong, her Vagina is her.

My Vagina is angry.
She is mad at the world, mad at the men in particular
To be seen as nothing but an object is something she had gotten used to
Till she had enough and decided to stand her own ground.
This made her a lot of enemies and not a lot of TLC came her way anymore
My Vagina is mad at superficial men, two-timing boyfriends, negligent fathers
And abusive husbands. My Vagina is angry.
My Vagina is me.

Her Vagina is broken.
She was once whole, plush and pastel pink
One walk on the beach by herself not only cost her her vagina
But it almost cost her life.
She was beaten, thrashed, and forcefully drowned
They stripped her, mocked her and molested her.
Taking turns, they entered her. Several effin times they violated her.
Dirty dics in her mouth and a knife to her throat she was forced to swallow.
Her Vagina was hurting, bleeding crying. But they did not care.
Because men feel they rule world, they felt they could make her do anything;
And when she refused, they cut her up in the end. They mutilated her vagina.
Her Vagina is broken, her vagina is her.

My Vagina is grown.
She has suffered, she has laughed, she has cried.
She has fought, she has surrendered sometimes,
She has allowed herself to be consumed by the world.
She has learned valuable lessons, she has been punished
She has matured.
My Vagina is now strong and she is proud.
She has refused to be broken, she has refused to be influenced
She has refused to let men take advantage of her
She wants the violence to stop. My Vagina is grown.
My Vagina is me.


The Phoenix

The Phoenix
A most fascinating creature to gaze upon
Its flawless flight, its lustrous color,
Its head held high and its amazing valor.
She reminds me of it in so many ways;
Only difference is…
The phoenix is free but she is not.
Not out of choice but sheer lack of
She is forced to bear such pain and heartache.
I claim to love her but show it not.
Instead, my type of affection
Leaves her alone to rot.
I admired her when sober
Disrespected her when in a stupor
I was kind to her
When I needed her.
 I made her feel worthless
When she needed me.
The neglect, the abuse and the callousness;
How did I become this way?
I’m sure she often wonders
Did she cheat, lie or betray her faithfulness?
Not at all in fact, she was the opposite in all essence.
She was flawless, graceful with lustrous hair,
She was strong, caring, with her head held high;
She was everything a man would want,
But she felt like nothing to me.
She felt like
She was undergoing punishment
Being with me
She felt like
Dying would be better.
Hoping it would save her from this agony,
Hoping it would free her and let her rise again,
Rise again like the phoenix from the ashes,
Whole and New and Free
… away from me.