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The Wicked Walk

W.E. Mkufya

Publication Year: 2012

Nancy slaps palms with her friends and laughs a lot. She wears bell-bottom pants which swing when she walks through Uhuru Gardens. Nancy will finish secondary school this year, but she doesnít really know what will happen to her after that. Deo reads seriously, but he also spends many evenings in bars. He works in a factory laboratory, where his Form VI education elevates him above the other workers. He knows that there are some ëbig mení who live off the sweat of the others at the factory; it isnít right, but what does a lone youth do about it? Deo also wants to marry Nancy. Magege, the manager of 'Mountain Goat Rubber Factory', has the means to fulfill all his personal wantsñincluding his taste for young girls. Nancyís mother, Maria, has no private means except selling her own body and her dream of a better life for her daughter. The Wicked Walk swirls around the lives of these four, set on a backdrop of workersí struggles and the rhythm of Dar es Salaam as city dwellers, and especially youths, know it. In this searingly honest, and at times poignant, novel the author raises important questions about the position of women in society, the causes of prostitution, corrupt and inefficient managers, and the groupings of youth who struggle towards ideological clarity as they attempt to understand their society.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. i-ii

It was a beautiful, warm Dar es Salaam morning. The famous coastal music, taarab, blared from radios set at full blast. It mixed with the sounds of people yelling at each other, calling each other, exchanging nasty words and the result was one big roar. ...

Part One: Sugar

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pp. 1-16

She was a prostitute. Throughout her womanhood all men had been hers and all women had been a challenge to her. She felt herself in a world alienated from that of other women; they seemed to look at her through eyes coloured with hostility. When she got the news of her brother’s death in hospital a few weeks past, ...

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pp. 17-36

She was sixteen. A beautiful, well-shaped girl when she was young, Ana, their neighbour and her mother’s friend, used to call her mkewe jumbe, which meant ‘wife of a chief ’. Many women who came to visit her mother commented on her beauty. She used to hate it when she was still a very young girl ...

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Sugar on the Streets

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pp. 37-52

That Saturday Nancy was walking home from school alone. Rosa had an appointment with Frank and had gone to meet him early, before lessons were over. Thoughts of Deo had been running through Nancy’s head that whole week. His image occupied her mind, invincible against any other intruding thought. ...

Part Two: Sugarcane Interwoven

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pp. 53-72

The mellow, full voice of Isaac Hayes filled the room. ‘I don’t know what to do with myself,’ it crooned, and the harmony of the saxophones, drums and guitars behind the voice turned the room into an auditorium. Deo lay flat on his bed and let the music swallow him. ...

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pp. 73-87

A car honked outside. Maria raised her head and peeped through the small window, expecting to see it, but it was not within her view. She lowered her head and sat sluggishly on a stool charcoal glowed brightly in the earthen cooker which heated the small room into a semi-oven. ...

Part Three: Fire

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pp. 88-99

Nancy was pregnant. She had gone to a private doctor at Umoja wa Wanawake Street after having suffered from nausea on several occasions and feeling a bit unusual. The doctor had said she was about two months pregnant. She told him that she was in school and that she would be having her examinations in November. ...

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pp. 100-108

Deo turned over the pages of the Bible, reading a paragraph each time he came across an interesting line. Most of the time he looked at verse. At school he used to write a lot of poetry for the school literacy magazines. He was not a very good poet, but his understanding of a few poets, ...

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789987082124
Print-ISBN-13: 9789987082032

Page Count: 118
Publication Year: 2012