1. Who is Nyar Afrika? (Where are you from? Where did you grow up? What do you miss the most about your childhood? What do you miss the least? Well Afrika is a 21 year old queer writer and a self proclaimed nudist cum star child haha. She is weird and extremely sensitive. I use words to being out the beauty of life and women especially black women’s with a specific focus on queer women. Torn between being a loner and a social butterfly, I can describe myself as an introverted extrovert. Yeah? Right. I grew up in Kisumu having been raised in a family of 5 by a widowed mom. I miss the innocence that I had back then. You know, when things used to be so easy and life was simple and people meant what they said. I hated not being able to afford stuff. It’s a memory that haunts me until know. I was the poor kid. That kid who was always lacking and missing stuff but hey! I grew up and I am here.
2. How did you come into your activism? Think of a moment, either of witnessing injustice or justice that made you realise that a different life can be lived in this earth? When I was 10, I come across the Global magazine. I read a story about Iqbal Masih, Nkosi Johnson and Anne Frank. These were children like me and yet, they were out there, having it bad. Nkosi died of Aids, Anne Frank was killed at a concentration camp during the holocaust and Iqbal Masih was shot dead for advocating for the rights of children in carpet weaving industries in Pakistan. I read about the girls saved by Betty Makoni. How they were forced into early marriages and how their husbands raped theme everyday. I remember reading this magazine from cover to cover and when I was done, there was an urge in me. An urge to do better. To speak out on behalf of everyone suffering and facing injustices. Crouched in my mother’s dimly lit kitchen, with nothing but determination in my heart, an activist was born.
3. What inspires you daily? It can be, it can be things? Small children. I always look at them. How they play. How they interact with themselves. How they have no unnecessary pressure on them by society wanting them to look or act the same way. How they are oblivious to the injustices of this world. These kids inspire to work hard and help make a future for them.
4. Do you believe that the future we work hard to achieve is possible? What gives you hope? Yes. It’s very possible. The world is changing and so are the people in it. Women are refusing to agree to silence and are instead coming forward to advocate for their rights. If we come together and speak in one voice as women, as a people wanting change, this future that we are working so hard to achieve will be our reality.
5. What can you absolutely not live without? My phone. Lord! Literally everything of mine is in there.
6. What is your favourite time of the day? 10:00 p.m. When everyone is fast asleep and I can comfortably do my stuff in silence.
7. How can we strengthen our work as queer women/womxn in Kenya and Africa? By coming together and speaking in one voice. By striving to gain more visibility and this is through us putting our work out there and engaging people in our cause.
8. What would you do with a million dollars?Give my mama the life she deserves. Lord knows that woman has been through a lot. Two, help two or three kids realise their dream. It can either be educational or in terms of talent. Any way. See, I am realistic enough to know that I might not change the world but I am selfless enough for want to spark a brain that might change the world.