The Playwright Mwaluko Nanna Hadikwa, 2006
Are you kidding me? “Samantha?” That’s not my name! It’s a bomb strapped to my body that explodes without ticking. I look like a girl to you? Do I? When I pee standing up, pants down, face the fucken toilet like a man then leave the door half open so you can see me Mom. T-shirts, baggy. 24-7, hunch my shoulders to hide my chest so no one knows what’s underneath. Spit [Sam spits] all over sidewalks. “Samantha”. Check my hair, here, Mom: bald here, here, on this side over here. Don’t you pretend you don’t—My name—Mom? Mom! Can we talk, please?
In this scene Sam (nee Samantha) confronts Mom about his-her body and how s/he sees and negotiates that body with Mom and the world outside.
BOBBY:I’d tell my father the truth too. “Yup”. Look him straight in the eye, avoid any possibility of confusion. “Yes I am in love with a woman. And yes that woman happens to be your daughter. And yes we do make love—frequently. And yes I love it. And yes she loves it.
And yes, that’s exactly right, our love is a huge threat to this tiny speck of a village given that it’s a trillion times more powerful than the sexists who live here. Who can’t begin to grasp its full power because they’re too powerless to question their own sexuality leave alone appreciate how deep ours is.” That’s what I would say. No excuses. No droppy shoulders looking down at the ground, Awino. Queer pride, lesbian pride, label it however you want, doesn’t matter, it’s mine, my truth. It’s about love. When I love, I love. And I’d want my father—my one living relative who is half of me—to know who I am and how I love. That’s why I would say what I would say to my father. Because if anyone should know how and who I love, it’s my father. But then again, I am definitely not you.
--Excerpted from Act 1 of “Waafrika”, a play set in Kenya about a love story between two anatomical women, an American Peace Corps volunteer named Bobby and Awino, a female-to-male non-operative transexual from Kenya.