There Is Always Something Left To Love

This has been a heavy couple of weeks, and I am almost bereft of words at the passing of Lorna Irungu-Macharia, who was not just a friend of Baraza Media Lab – helping to clarify our thinking as we set up Baraza in 2019 – but also a personal friend. It is impossible to eulogize Lorna properly; she did so much for so many people, and was the living embodiment of hope being a discipline, in the words of Mariame Kaba. Lorna simply refused to give up – on herself, on others, on this country. I’m reminded of Lorraine Hansberry’s phenomenal play A Raisin In The Sun, in which the character Mama says these words which have stayed with me since: “There’s always something left to love.”

That’s not an easy pledge to live by – to always find something to love in this broken world. Before hearing of Lorna’s passing I had just written a reflection on another recent death, that of John Pombe Magufuli over in Tanzania. I wrote that I don’t regret those early moments of promise, hope and imagination when #WhatWouldMagufuliDo was trending, and we began to hope, even tentatively, that a less flagrant, less wasteful, more responsible political culture on this continent was possible.

This is how it ends, I know – messily, and with so much needless suffering. And of course, we didn’t really know the man, Magufuli. We were projecting our aspirations onto a simulacrum. But I don’t regret wanting better, dreaming for more, never letting nihilism have the last word. Lorna’s life was nothing short of hope in praxis as she opened doors, held them open, encouraged, listened, gave her time and money, and went above and beyond for so many of us. She was one of the best, the very best, and she never let nihilism have the last word.

What We’re Reading, What We’re Watching and What We’re Listening To resumes next week. This week has not been ‘business as usual’, and I want to make room for us to sit with the trouble that is in this world. 

Please do take good care of yourselves: body, mind and spirit.

As always, yours in solidarity,

Christine Mungai

Curator | Baraza Media Lab

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