Dogs in the Sun
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: African Books Collective
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My name is Banda. Banda son of Gakoh, of
Nwembwana founded Nwemba many many moons ago. It is said that back in the ancestral lands of Bengeta, somewhere in the deep past, he discovered himself in a...
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All these things I’m saying I’m saying in the white man’s talk but in the way we talk in our own talk. When I talk our own talk in the white man’s talk like this anyone who knows our talk will say this is not the...
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The white man was called Harrington. Pete Harrington. And his wife’s name was Lucy. He used to go out everyday carrying strange things he called field instruments. I don’t know me how to describe...
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Winjala the Crude returned to Nwemba and found
his house on the ground with ants living in the
The day he arrived he sat in the ruins and looked at the other houses as they stood proudly in the sun. Anger and sadness filled him, and he bowed his head and mumbled: “I...
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Chief Ndelu found no reason to hurry a decision, now that the two men had died. Why not put the matter to the custodians of the land, those same ones who provided life? If he only followed the opinions he heard...
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The Meamba towards which our father had sent his last gaze lay to the west of Nwemba. Its zinc-roofed houses shone in the bright sun in the day, and in the night its sky twinkled as if lit by flying crowds of fireflies...
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Tankeh stood by the pond with his back to the path, his broad shoulders arched stiffly forward into a muscular crescent. His gaze, alert and strong as usual, was fixed on a crimson barbet that lay panting faintly, half-buried in the mud just within reach in the dried-up pond...
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My door creaked open and a shadow crept in. I didn’t
raise my head as the light footsteps made the effort
“Where are you from at this time of night?” I questioned as I continued to oil the figure I was on...
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She wasn’t with me. She wasn’t here in any case. Not here. Not here… The words darted and kicked about in my head, knocked and whistled like sizzling meatballs in steaming oil. What a fool I’d been to stir the...
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Aunt Sabina had arrived from Tazim the following day and chosen to live with Uncle Abua instead. Good news for Lemea; at least she would not be under the woman’s nose for tormenting instructions on...
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Tankeh Winjala’s house stood at some distance away from the village centre, so that if Nwemba was a living organism that house would not be anywhere near its heart but somewhere at the extremities from where...
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The hall was taut, not least because of the royal presence. Chief Ndelu sat enthroned on his teak stool, the scooped seat of which was borne by three half-raised tigers whose hind paws gripped the earth with...
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We feared for Masutu’s life. It was not unusual for anyone who got into a fight with Tankeh Winjala to end up in the grave. So far only I alone had stood up to him. So the fear was deep in people. Those of...
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The solitary house remained enveloped in mystery. As usual, smoke trickled through the grass roof in the evening; but whereas this had been only an occasional happening in the past, the village was now...
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Uncle Abua loved palmwine, best of all when it touched the tongue with a flavour of intrigue. He had the mouth of a connoisseur and could tell good palmwine with a drop against his tongue. Knowledge of...
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I walked off, not home, but to see Masutu in bed, neck
swollen where the flying charge had hit him. The swelling
was caught in ghelang paste.
“This is me,” Masutu said with considerable effort, touching the swelling lightly...
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Masutu improved fast, thanks mainly to the ghelang paste and its work on the damaged parts of his neck, especially the flesh underneath. You had to look at him closely to know that Tankeh’s flying leg had...
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Dry season came, and with it the second contest. All the nets were out, and the village was also humming with names of the favourite contenders…Banda…Tankeh. Where two people stood, only our two names were mentioned. It was as if all other...
Page Count: 172
Publication Year: 2009