Mumbi Kaigwa, a mother of two is a United States International University (USIU) graduate, Born on the 20th of April, 1962. Mumbi Kaigwa has grown to be one of Kenya’s most recognizable faces on stage, in Theatre, music, dance and the arts. Mumbi is an award winning Kenyan actress, writer, Producer, and director of theatre, film and television.

Mumbi celebrates 40 years in acting this year (2012), having started out as “Girl” in The Strong Breed by Wole Soyinka on Kenyan television in 1972. Over the years Mumbi has acted, danced, sang, written, produced and directed several film and theatre productions.

Mumbi has an undying love for the stage: “There’s nothing more delicious than sharing a performance with a live breathing audience night after night.” She says.

She has performed in East Africa, North America, Asia and Europe and beyond. Mumbi has acted as Rachel in Australian hit series: Neighbours, (Grundy Television, Australia 1995) Leah, Heart and Soul, (Pilot, Blue Sky Productions/United Nations), Nairobi, 2001, Grace Makanga: The Constant Gardener, Mama Lucy in The Knife Grinder’s Tale by RL Hooker, 2006 and as an Education Secretary in The First Grader: BBC Films/Origin Pictures, 2009.





Behind the Smile

August 17th 2002, so innocent and loving, the nine year old girl was busy plucking fruits in her grandparents’ garden. She had that sweet smile that assured everything was fine. Suddenly her smile turned into fear. They were there standing in front of her. She didn’t say anything- she didn’t have to. One of the men who had earphones put them on the little girl’s ears. The music was so loud that she couldn’t hear what the men were saying. The earphones were removed from her ears and an instruction was given to her. Fear and confusion possessed her body and she started trembling. She didn’t carry out the instruction.. With the earphones put back on her ears, one of the men held her mouth while the other removed her panties.

Then the worst happened- they defiled her. Pain was written all over her face. She tied to fight back but she couldn’t. There was nothing she could do, she was helpless. With all the pressure, she lost consciousness. When she opened her eyes, she found herself in bed. On the sight of the two men, she tried to scream but the men were quick to her move. One of them held her mouth tightly. They warned her not to say anything to anybody otherwise the incident would repeat itself. With that, they walked out.

Tears rolled down her eyes. The pain was more than she could bear. She wished her mum would just take her out of that place. For three days she cried. She did not want anybody to see her. She knew she could not convince them that she was fine when her face portrayed the opposite.

For one last time, she thought about the whole incident. She did not understand why it happened. She felt great pain in her heart, pain that she could never forget. The two men were her uncles- her father’s brothers, brothers from the same mother. The pain came back; this pain was eating her up. “Why me?” She thought between sobs.

Each time she considered telling her mum about the incident, her uncle’s voice came back to her. She knew she could not talk. There was no way she could have gambled with her life. She had decided to take the risk of remaining silent. She wiped her tears, put a smile on her face and walked out.

The smile on her face assured everybody she was fine. Like always, it did. What nobody knew was that behind that sweet, beautiful smile, there was so much pain. The pain of a confused nine year old desperate to share but afraid of the circumstances. A secret she has kept till now; eleven years later.

by @jaysonmaniac



Icy fingers, closing around your throat, choking, squeezing, threatening to end your existence. Both hot and cold, burning and freezing simultaneously, and the sensation pierces your very soul.

Shattered mirrors, because you’re too ashamed to face your new reality… Too scared to see the shell of your former self staring sadly back at you.

Floor littered with empties, of whiskey, vodka, tequila, and just about anything you could get your hands on just to drown out the voices of your demons as they laugh at you reminding you of the failures you brought upon yourself.

Old stubbed out joints, little crushed pills… Because you’d rather numb yourself with drugs and hide your tears behind your bloodshot eyes.

But when the high fades… When the demons rear their ugly heads and the loud feigned laughter becomes hysterical sobbing… Misery remains your only companion.

And that’s all you are… Miserable… Angry… Betrayed…

A self-pitying victim. Yet you are the terrorist, destroyer of your own happiness, intoxicated by your loneliness.

by @dontcallmeliv

olivia kidula


It is dark, the street lamp shines outside the window.

Does she mind, so she blinds her closed eyes,

is his content he can see her face?

Cotton balls with make-up,

cotton shirts with yellow sweat stains in baskets,

sleepy eyes confuse their rightful places.

As I lie in bed, I wonder what he in China thinks,

or she in Cuba feels.

Was the day beautiful, or does it make the next a dread?

Does regret paint their faces,

drawing funny mustaches as the devil giggles from the bed post?

Do they smile, making him shift uncomfortably in his vocation?

Did they remember what was taught on Sunday,

what their sleepy eyes caught at dusk or dawn,

depending on their preference,

what the Good News proclaimed when they sought it?

They turn, move around, finding the perfect spot on the bed.

As they drift, two things are true,

they are extremely flawed humans,

but two, they are loved.

Even in hell, He is with them.

And so I smile, and sleep.

by Maureen Kingori

maureen kingori