Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Love letter to Nairobi

Enlarge poem

Nairobi,
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss your ‘I’m fine’s’ to my hellos
Your ‘imagine!’s
Your Swa(g), sheng and silences
Your kenyanisms;
Last week but one’s
You really tried!
I’ll miss
Taking to the streets
Candle lit vigils
Solidarity with Busia, Palestine, Chibok, Garissa
Ranting on the airwaves
Inter-faith iftars
Paying for artists who never showed
Shows where artists never got paid
Your hustle
Your politiks and scheming politikers
Your mats screaming for pedestrians to get off sidewalks
Being duped explaining the dupe
Being held at (toy) gun point
Your social media suave
Your (tech)novations
Your witty hashtags and comebacks
Your sema’s and subsequent woiyee’s
Your kesho’s and majaliwaa’s
Your sawa sawa’s
To my ‘kidogo tu’s’
Your kuku’s and samaki’s
Nyama choma I never quite caught on to
Your Java’s and Ankara’s
Dawa and masala
Self made designers
Your local brass, wood and fabrics
Dressing my fingers, home and shoes
I’ll miss your boda bodas
And your matatu wisdom’s:
“Don’t lose your temper, nobody needs it!”
I’ll miss your bookstores and kahawa spots
Your cinemas and green spaces
Your KICC rooftops
Your Pawa’s and your hub’s
Your book clubs and writing collectives
Movie nights
Karaoke
Lost friendships over taboo
Your hollowed and patched streets
New as they be, making no room for walkers
Your low lit alleys
And moody askari’s
Your wordsmiths and music makers
Your tear drops and Mufasa’s
Your Sarabi’s, Fena’s, Suzanne Owiyo’s
Nairobi,
I miss you
Before I’ve even left…

Nebila Abdulmelik

Featured Poem:

Addis

Enlarge poem

I’m nostalgic for a city
I know in my thoughts
As though my absence for over a decade
Has meant nothing
As though the characters that populate my memories
Are as I left them
Although many are long gone

The city of now is no longer as was
The present has left little to imagine of its past
Whole neighborhoods created and destroyed
Homes, his/her stories crumble with bulldozers
Giving rise to high rises

Our meetings, though frequent, are fleeting
I am yet to acquaint myself with what you’ve become
To relearn who you were
And who I was with you

I fear feeling unhome at home
Of feeling more comfort in places that are not

Is it possible to be outside one’s own world?
Or perhaps it was never mine to claim?
Perhaps notions of home and world wax and wane and take on meanings of their own?

New flower, I wonder if I will grow old with you…or if you will age with me

nebila_badilisha

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Nebila Abdulmelik is a pan-Africanist and feminist who is passionate about social justice. Birthed in Addis, she has since criss-crossed the earth and found herself back in the city that birthed her. She uses the creative arts, particularly photography and poetry to speak her peace. Connect with her here @aliben86 and http://aliben86.wordpress.com

Nebila Abdulmelik

nebila_badilisha
nebila_badilisha

Biography

Nebila Abdulmelik is a pan-Africanist and feminist who is passionate about social justice. Birthed in Addis, she has since criss-crossed the earth and found herself back in the city that birthed her. She uses the creative arts, particularly photography and poetry to speak her peace. Connect with her here @aliben86 and http://aliben86.wordpress.com

Love letter to Nairobi

Enlarge poem

Nairobi,
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss your ‘I’m fine’s’ to my hellos
Your ‘imagine!’s
Your Swa(g), sheng and silences
Your kenyanisms;
Last week but one’s
You really tried!
I’ll miss
Taking to the streets
Candle lit vigils
Solidarity with Busia, Palestine, Chibok, Garissa
Ranting on the airwaves
Inter-faith iftars
Paying for artists who never showed
Shows where artists never got paid
Your hustle
Your politiks and scheming politikers
Your mats screaming for pedestrians to get off sidewalks
Being duped explaining the dupe
Being held at (toy) gun point
Your social media suave
Your (tech)novations
Your witty hashtags and comebacks
Your sema’s and subsequent woiyee’s
Your kesho’s and majaliwaa’s
Your sawa sawa’s
To my ‘kidogo tu’s’
Your kuku’s and samaki’s
Nyama choma I never quite caught on to
Your Java’s and Ankara’s
Dawa and masala
Self made designers
Your local brass, wood and fabrics
Dressing my fingers, home and shoes
I’ll miss your boda bodas
And your matatu wisdom’s:
“Don’t lose your temper, nobody needs it!”
I’ll miss your bookstores and kahawa spots
Your cinemas and green spaces
Your KICC rooftops
Your Pawa’s and your hub’s
Your book clubs and writing collectives
Movie nights
Karaoke
Lost friendships over taboo
Your hollowed and patched streets
New as they be, making no room for walkers
Your low lit alleys
And moody askari’s
Your wordsmiths and music makers
Your tear drops and Mufasa’s
Your Sarabi’s, Fena’s, Suzanne Owiyo’s
Nairobi,
I miss you
Before I’ve even left…

Featured Poem:

Addis

Enlarge poem

I’m nostalgic for a city
I know in my thoughts
As though my absence for over a decade
Has meant nothing
As though the characters that populate my memories
Are as I left them
Although many are long gone

The city of now is no longer as was
The present has left little to imagine of its past
Whole neighborhoods created and destroyed
Homes, his/her stories crumble with bulldozers
Giving rise to high rises

Our meetings, though frequent, are fleeting
I am yet to acquaint myself with what you’ve become
To relearn who you were
And who I was with you

I fear feeling unhome at home
Of feeling more comfort in places that are not

Is it possible to be outside one’s own world?
Or perhaps it was never mine to claim?
Perhaps notions of home and world wax and wane and take on meanings of their own?

New flower, I wonder if I will grow old with you…or if you will age with me

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Love letter to Nairobi

Enlarge poem

Nairobi,
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss your ‘I’m fine’s’ to my hellos
Your ‘imagine!’s
Your Swa(g), sheng and silences
Your kenyanisms;
Last week but one’s
You really tried!
I’ll miss
Taking to the streets
Candle lit vigils
Solidarity with Busia, Palestine, Chibok, Garissa
Ranting on the airwaves
Inter-faith iftars
Paying for artists who never showed
Shows where artists never got paid
Your hustle
Your politiks and scheming politikers
Your mats screaming for pedestrians to get off sidewalks
Being duped explaining the dupe
Being held at (toy) gun point
Your social media suave
Your (tech)novations
Your witty hashtags and comebacks
Your sema’s and subsequent woiyee’s
Your kesho’s and majaliwaa’s
Your sawa sawa’s
To my ‘kidogo tu’s’
Your kuku’s and samaki’s
Nyama choma I never quite caught on to
Your Java’s and Ankara’s
Dawa and masala
Self made designers
Your local brass, wood and fabrics
Dressing my fingers, home and shoes
I’ll miss your boda bodas
And your matatu wisdom’s:
“Don’t lose your temper, nobody needs it!”
I’ll miss your bookstores and kahawa spots
Your cinemas and green spaces
Your KICC rooftops
Your Pawa’s and your hub’s
Your book clubs and writing collectives
Movie nights
Karaoke
Lost friendships over taboo
Your hollowed and patched streets
New as they be, making no room for walkers
Your low lit alleys
And moody askari’s
Your wordsmiths and music makers
Your tear drops and Mufasa’s
Your Sarabi’s, Fena’s, Suzanne Owiyo’s
Nairobi,
I miss you
Before I’ve even left…

Comments

Your email address will not be published.