If you’re listening to this podcast, changes are that you’re zēga. This word used to be a stealthy way of asking a stranger in Ethiopia if they’re queer. It’s gotten less and less stealthy over the years though. Today’s guest Bahiru explains how there are several languages in Ethiopia, so there’s a lot of work yet to be done when it comes to finding the right vocabulary to describe all different queer identities.
Zēga is not the only way to pick queer people from a crowd. Amharic, one of the Ethiopian languages, has a formal form. The trick is to only use the formal form with queer people. Because us queers deserve to respect, am I right?
Furthermore in this episode: how do you deal with your problematic faves? Plenty of musicians have done shady things in the past. However, these same people help a ton in figuring out someone’s queer identity. Do the pro’s in this case outweigh the con’s? Bahiru would claim so.
Festus has got the talent to talk about serious issues without ever losing the smile on his face. After his political awakening he had to reflect on his life so far and reconsider every bit of media he consumed. Movies, music, tv shows, everything faced a higher standard. Whether we like it or not, everything is political, and we should treat it as such. However, when everything has such a heavy weight, it is important to keep a safe space where you can drop it all and just have a rest.
Enter Q initiative. Although it started as a way for activists to fight for rights and legal issues, Festus is considering taking it more towards a safe space for queer people. In different local communities Q is an environment where queer folks in rural Kenya can be creative and me themselves. Potentially they might also create a local scene of indie musicians in the process.
Once you’re done with your sexuality, then you’ll start with your gender. Or at least, that’s what they say. Unfortunately, most love songs are too heteronormative so they don’t offer a lot of help when it comes to figuring out any gender identity. However, sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes you just got to let it be and figure it out along the way.
Flashback Track: Koffie Olomide – Andrada Queer Artist Spotlight: Lil Nas X – Montero (Call me By Your Name) Best Live Experience: Common – Glory feat. John Legend Most Recent Discovery: Noel Nderitu – Your Name feat. Lisa Odour-Noah