The Nightbirds 3 – A PP(K) Weekend Note

A while back, I wrote a mini piece on my view of comic characters and their cultural effect on the readers and the general modern society. I’d like to regress to a mini moment spawned by my reading that piece at a public forum; one lady found that she absolutely did not like my choice of comic and comic characters as a topic for my writing. But that’s not what is on my mind today.

I love comics. Well, I love Bikes, too. But comics are more readily available to me. Over time, every time I get into a moment when I want to use a comic character to speak my mood of the moment (it happens quite a bit), I choose Storm from Marvel Comics, again and again.

There are the obvious reasons; I’d like to think of myself as having some power over my environment, in the force of my writing, the character and I do share quite a few similarities in origin, and come-on people Halle Berry was Storm in the X-Men Film Series.

The core truth is that it is human nature to project ourselves onto what we read, watch and listen to. That’s why you cry during the chick flick. (I don’t. You can only make me cry if the movie is fully animated, most of the characters are animals, preferably horses, or cats and dolphins.)

Anyway, back to Storm. She was born Ororo Munroe, to Princess N’dare of the Wakanda, and an American Photojournalist, David Munroe. N’dare’s origins were somewhere in the Serengeti, yes, Kenya. I guess if you sat Len Wein, the writer who created her, and forced him to tell you his truth, he might admit, perhaps, that The Wakanda over whom Ororo is Queen over, are actually the Powerful Masai of the Serengeti  Maybe not.

Storm, lost her parents at 6 years of age, was taken in by a Prince of Thieves names Achmed El-Gibar, who trained her in the arts of thievery. She crosses paths with Professor Charles Xavier when she tries to pickpocket him in Cairo. She will meet Xavier again, but first she has to go all the way across the Sahara and into the Serengeti, where she finds her tribe, The Wakanda.

As well as endure the harsh desert, Storm falls into the path of a stranger who offers to help her, but tries to rape her. Storm kills this man, and the experience affects her so much that she vows never, ever to take another life. Storm survives the desert, discovers some of her powers and meets Prince T’challa. Because of the time they spend together, they develop strong feelings for each other. But Storm is on a quest, and the Prince has duties and responsibilities towards his people.

Storm moves on and finally arrives at her people’s home in the Serengeti. Here she discovers more about herself. Although her people are black Africans, Storm, her mother and a long line of ancestresses were born with white hair, blue eyes and very powerful abilities. An elderly woman named Ainet teaches Storm to be more responsible with her powers. As her powers become more and more evident, the people of her tribe begin to worship her as a goddess.

When Xavier finds her and recruits her into the X-Men team, he has to explain to her that she is not a goddess but a human mutant, and as such she had a responsibility to use her abilities to help the world just as she had helped the local tribes. As well as learning how to use her powers better, Storm has to learn how to fit in the modern world.

In the time that follows, she develops into a leader, saving her team mates from dangers many times, protecting innocents, proving herself under adversity and at one time deciding to sacrifice her life rather than allow her powers to be used to destroy the world.

After serving with the X-Men in the US for a long while, Storm returns to Wakanda to serve her nation and to marry T’challa who is now Sovereign of the Wakanda. T’challa is also the Comic Character known as the Black Panther.

The Comic Universe has different versions of Storm’s story, as well as alternate realities in which she is a villain. One things is for sure, her character demonstrates how the core of a person remains the same no matter what they go through. If you are undecided on who you are and want to be, it will be evident in the choices you make. And of course, you can choose to be strong and true, or strong and villainous.

You wonder why I escape into the Comic Universe now? Well, see me now, I still hold on to my determination to cross the Sahara, survive it, discover my powers, develop them, learn that I am not a godess, just a human being, and be stronger for it. And I can almost see the edge of the desert, almost.

So this week on the PPK, first and foremost is the third and last instalment of The Nightbirds: Part Three

“There is not only vanilla and chocolate in ice-land”, Sam continued. “I call it pistachio, sortofa US fashion, but you can call it Tea Spot black forest cake or whatever taste suits your fancy and your diverse sensitive buds best. Nyokabi’s present fiancé may be an abuser or a good guy, but that chap is not my own foremost concern. Because he is not here, and because this is a wymyn’s group, and because we are not a kangaroo court, in spite of our pouches …” she left a conscious little ribaldry pause, and Nyokabi used the chance to giggle immediately, obviously relieved that she had a pretext for letting out some of her emotions, “but we are an empowerment and support group. So, what concerns me, is how Nyokabi feels, and how she ticks, and what she needs. And no, I am not out here to snatch hér from hér man”, she turned her head lightly towards Gabrielle and stared at her with provocative directness, even quickly showing her tongue, causing Gabbs’ further dismay and even tighter pressed thighs,

“But to help her find out what she really wants and really needs. I don’t need a Chris Hart for that. On the contrary, dear!” Read the rest.

And then your Weekly Magazine.

All Twitter, All the Time by Njeri Tunguru

A Raisin in the Sun (Book Review by Gideon Chumo)

You are a super woman… but not Superwoman by Imani Opar

Me and My Phone – Writer Girl in Nairobi by Claudette Oduor

The Carpenter’s Tool – The Ivory Punk’s Twilight Zone

Plot – Paper Mache with Juliet Maruru

If you are one of our fans on Facebook, you might have heard about our little trip to Karagita Naivasha. While there, we met Lucy Kiarie.

Lucy Kiarie is a former sex worker who lives in Karagita, Naivasha. She walks the streets talking to sex workers as young as 12, distributing condoms, helping them find employment & training and apply for bursaries for the education of their children and of the younger sex workers. Have a look at our pics from the trip here. Lucy Kiarie is wearing a green kitenge – to contact her or to find out how you can help, please contact Linda Musita.

Here’s to happy reading and a wonderful meaningful weekend from us all!

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