My hobbies include talking to women. Mainly because my species is attracted to theirs both by natural and spiritual selection. Not that I don’t fancy talking to men, but my ears prefer that girl talk, that faint laugh that is soothing. From the ancient hills of Ramogi, a tale is told of a great warrior who turned into stone. Luanda Magere as ancestrally named, was a dreaded combatant from the Luo descent who loftily led his tribal troops to battle. His fighting skills and tactics in the field were unmatched. Like any other great general, he was unpredictable in his maneuvers and organization skills.
Every successful army has a secret unknown to enemies, and Luanda, meaning a rock, was well built such that no spear could easily penetrate his skin, neither could the sickle nor the assegai. Essentially, what made him stand out was the mythical strength he hoarded- invincibly hidden in his shadow. His people thus, regarded and revered him not only as a fighter but as symbol of unity; uniting the twelve clans of the Luo community.
The viva voce folk tale, further records that even though Luanda fought alongside other great warriors, victories from raid could be attributed to him. But since no kingdom stands forever, Luanda would later on engage on a girl talk that left him vulnerable. Sick and on the verge of death, he disclosed to his second wife, Nyar Lan’go, the strength in his shadow. Now Nyar lang’o was a pretty woman betrothed to him by their warring Kalenjin neighbors as a gesture of kindness and moratorium. Successively, Nyar Lang’o spilt the beans of a well concealed secret to her people, who did not hesitate to plan a frontal attack.
The battle, would be Luanda Magere’s last, with a spear aimed to his shadow, he fell with a thud turning into a stone. To quote Amina Chera, the eloquent Algerian Poetess,” warriors are not always men” for whereas luo raiders began losing battle after battle, the Kalenjins had learnt the art of positioning women for military roles. Training them to be influencers of social, political and economic emancipation. Equipping them with the courage to step foot in areas men cannot. Mira Hadlow, a deaf Canadian author, having lived and seen it all, came up with “She has not lived to fight, she has fought to live” Keenly observed, women sit at the helm of revolutions. This is evident in the spirits of women like Winnie Mandela, Rosa Parks, Samira Ali, Wangari Maathai, Lucy Gichuhi and the list goes on. Biblically, life changed with the giving in of Eve. Still on scriptures, the strength of women is seen even with Ruth when she manages to save the Jews from destruction. On the other hand, Islam dignifies women and imparts in them value based teachings on how they should conduct themselves. Khadija Bint Khuwaylid, albeit older than Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), saw the brilliance in him and married him, becoming the Prophets first wife and follower. An ideal form of girl talk effectually, has the properties of greatly changing any prevailing dynamics. Today girl talk has been reduced to gossip in beauty parlous, female dominance has been undermined through art and disguised in policies for women empowerment. In reality, these policies still treat women as second class citizens.
While touring Kenya, the former USA president Barrack Obama, gave a climax on girl talk sound bite by lashing out at traditions he thought backward like female genital mutilation. Lastly, while ushering in the women of interest, a network dedicated towards women empowerment, the visionary Pokot damsel and model Cheperur Lokosyoo, simply thought that women within themselves are best suited to solve the matters inhibiting their growth. She argues, just like Malcolm, that women are the majority yet still sit at the table to beg for crumbs. She argues that women can at least regulate the quality of their own representation. She candidly says, “We own boyfriends and husbands yet we remain at their mercy even when out of the confines of home”. A reality she finds disturbing especially when all walking and creeping creatures on earth can reason differently on their feet. Penning off, the earth nation should enable more objective girl talk through outlets like media, increasing involvement of females in arts, law and generally stagnant male dominated fields. Otherwise, with the prevailing factors constant, Kenya has a long way to go with regards to ensuring a female presidency. Long live the girls, in the words of Konshens, “Thank God fi di gyaldem”
Oguna Mamba is a poet, communications consultant and a PR guru.