Readers will be entranced by these stories. They are original and in different genres, plots, characters and voices. The stories have lessons in childhood, growing up, and life. Some have humour and others horror.
Sonia finds out early in her life that words out of the mouth are like bullets, once spoken, they can’t be put back.
Jirani is a lesson not to judge by appearance. Matida fears that the girl moving into the house next door will steal her husband. The girl calls and introduces herself. She likes spearmint tea just like Matida whom she calls, Mama.
‘A good woman gives birth to sons,’ is drilled into Namale as she grows up. During labour she goes over the things she has in common with the Virgin Mary such as being married to Joseph though a teacher not a carpenter. They left Nazareti village because of disturbances, not a census. She is in a delivery room not a stable. She prays for a son, to save her from her mother’s misfortune of having girls only. Will her prayers fail to be heard because there are no shepherds? A nurse’s aide chants;
“Hot spearmint tea!
Speeds up the birth!
Five shillings a cup!”
“Spearmint tea here.
No pain! No pushing!”
Fundraising in the year when the Elephants first beat the Bull Roasters in the inter-hall games. Mature shares a room with Peggy. Students eat murram and wait for ‘Boom’. The men drink quorum, the morale booster. Peggy goes fundraising, imports and dust-bins. Mature sets a record of the longest dust-binned on campus.
Kayanzi, the married businessman is unhappy when his girlfriend Maso leaves him. He hires Mukugu to disfigure Maso’s face with acid. Maso dies and Mukugu returns the fee. Maso’s ghost appears just as Kayanzi’s wife joins him on the veranda, complains it’s cold, and he looks shaken as if he’s seen a...
Maso whispers to Kayanzi. “Go on! Introduce me to my co-wife.”