Monday, August 31, 2009

But Love Is…

By Amos Bwire

Is a verb
Is how you see
Is how you feel

Is how you act
Is what you do

Is feeling adoring, adored
Is feeling exciting, excited
Is so much more than merely four letter word

Is leaving the door open knowing he will come back to you
Is gonna bring his heart back to ‘home sweet home’
Is saying sorry just because…‘Baby I hurt you’
Is tease them well before you please them
Is throwing away unreal replacing it with the real
Is knowing his flaws and loving him that much more
Is when you’re out make them want you to go back in
Is being not afraid to eat what feels right for your thirsty soul

Has a mistress named Lust
Is anticipated, unadulterated, uncontrolled

Is uninhibited, unrestricted, sometimes un-reciprocated
Knows forgiveness, yet love requires your doubtless trust
Is not a clash of two lives but homogenizing into one heart
Fills up every part, jumpstarts passion to adoration to bliss
Is no sugar coating, but challenging, tiring, in need of nourishment
Is about falling in love and falling out of love and falling in love again
Makes it all go round and turns that meaningless life around and all that worthwhile
Holds no promises but ‘tis so lovely a thing when we let go and let it show us the way

Loving me at my best and my worst

Loving myself knowing that I’m worthy
Doing nothing yet feel like you have everything
Never wanting to see her hurt, is wishing everyone I know meets her
Feeling her soft fingers on my face, passing not that unbelievable gaze
Wondering in awe of what amazing treasure that God has given mini me
Never wanting to say goodbye but wanting to cry just because you feel so high
Being open to be broken ‘cause one has to be loved first to get that way anyway
So blessed, asking the man above ‘Lord, is this just a test, really not just a fly?’
Can’t really pinpoint what this mystery is but feels so good you want to linger on
Is not wanting to get hurt, giving up your heart, letting your guard down aka being happy

Through all the pain there is love
Through all the trouble there is love
Through all the temptation there is love
Through all the misfortune there is love
Could be the simple love of a child
Could be the simple love of a sister
Could be the simple love of a mother
Could be the simple love of a lover
There is no recipe or equation
There is no scientific evaluation
There is no medical explanation
But it actually does exist

But it just is
But Love is.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Crime Story – An eye for an eye

By Irena Pearse

The breeze shifted the fingers of the trees against the moon, as he dragged the body to the edge. He let go and looked down, pulling deep breaths. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief. Something thudded at his feet. He started. Stood back and made a swift bend down. The metal glinted, and he exhaled, reached for the stone cold pocket knife, wiped it on his trousers and slipped it carefully back in his pocket, easing his legs straight as he stood tall again. He wiped the handkerchief across his brow, staring at the glinting, running water below and feeling the breeze now cooling him down.

It had been a tough job getting the body down here. He’d worked in the mines before and was used to heavy loads, but for some reason a human body of 100kg was more of a burden to shift than precious sand of the same weight. Maybe the soul weighed something when it needed to be felt. The soul. He reflected on this for a moment. How can he think this man had a soul? After what he’d done. He kicked at the chest. The body juddered. The hands and feet were trussed together, like a pig ready for the spit. Perfect.

He packed his moist handkerchief into his pocket and with his other hand pulled out his phone. Flipped it open. Began to text. The blue glow of the screen drew long shadows on his face, like a villain of melodrama in front of the footlights. The body groaned. The play was about to begin. He snapped the phone shut and fiddled with the knife in his pocket, turning it round in his hand, feeling the smoothness of the metal with his thumb. Waiting and watching. The body started to turn now, come to life. That ‘soul’ must be doing something, he thought. He let go the knife and lit a cigarette, drawing the tobacco slowly into his lungs. This would be a night to remember.

“Wakey, wakey.”

The body’s eyes opened and suddenly violently pulled against the rope.

“I wouldn’t move too much. There’s quite a drop below, some nasty looking sharp rocks along the way – ouch!” He flicked the cigarette stub over the ravine and watched the glow diminish into dark air. The body grunted, its mouth distorting on the gag, saliva seeped out and it started choking, spluttering. “Calm down, calm down, you’ll suffocate yourself, and that will ruin our little party tonight.”

To increase the dramatic effect he took out the knife and flicked it. The body froze.

“I should really have sharpened this before I came out, the blade will cause such a mess as it is. Oh well ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. The body’s eyes opened wide, the white’s shining under the moon. It was shaking its head frantically.

“We’ve done the others already. Distributed the parts we didn’t need down the river. That’s why my knife’s so blunt. We should really get a machete. Maybe the others will bring one tonight, or it will be such a long process.” The body shuddered. “We can’t start without them I’m afraid, so you’ll have to be patient.”

The body’s chest was heaving up and down, the nostrils flaring with each breath in order to drag the oxygen in. The man looked impassively at the body struggling, then a decision was made and he reached down. The body flinched as the man slit the gag with one violent cut, then gulped the fresh air through a fish-like mouth.

“No one to hear you scream, and like I said, we can’t have you suffocating.”

The body moved its jaws, drawing its tongue across its teeth and lips, willing the numbness away. The eyes stared, appealing, at the man.

“You’re making a big mistake” the voice rasped. “I’m connected - I’ve done nothing - you’ve nothing to prove. I was in town. I know what you’re thinking but I’m innocent. Really. An innocent man. Think of my wife. Children. I have an old mother at home. Three orphans I’m putting through school. It’s a mistake - I know those criminals; we were going to get them – we were double bluffing, just waiting for the evidence – to catch them red-handed, you know. You’ve acted too soon. Let me go, we can deal with this together within the law. Take me back to my station. You’re a ……umpf.”

The man had smashed the nose. Blood started to pour out. The body screamed in panic.

“Shut up you worm. What was it you and your friends did? First the beating? A broken rib here, a smashed tooth there, a cigarette burn somewhere else. Did gin numb the humanity in you? Did you ever have any? Did you take part, or just stand and watch the show? Did you think the entertainment would reward you with magic? Or did you only believe in the magic of the money you’d get? What happened next? The ritual slaughter, the slow razor over the throat, letting the blood seep out, slowly, painfully until the life had seeped out too. More gin. Sharpened knives. The legs, then the head? Did you take off the finger nails and hair before or after death? Which carries a higher value? But the head is most precious, uh. How did you decide who to trust with that? You weren’t very careful about how you packed up the pieces, so easy to trace your steps. But we’ll be much more careful, I assure you officer.”

A car door slammed in the distance. Then, as if in echo, three more.

“Ah ha. They must be here. You’re long wait is over, my friend.”

Against the blue moonlight the body looked wide-eyed at the gnarled horizon and through the trees, made out a host of angels. In unison they moved closer. White faces, white hands, curly white hair, white lashes, pink eyes. They were carrying sacks which clinked ready to reap a moonlight harvest.

The end.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Price of a wicked heart (Part-2)

By Amos Bwire


Sabola sighed and leaned against the inside walls of the castle. He had taught Nashwa to conduct herself with self-confidence and sophistication. It likely came as no surprise to him when Nashwa was selected to become queen. He missed Nashwa, though, but was happy to be able to see her almost every day. He was saddened that she had to hide the fact that she was a Nubian from the King. It was all so dangerous for her… and she was so young. What if... Sabola shook his head. It is not good to think of such things, he thought to himself. Nashwa will be fine.

Low voices close by startled him out of his reverie…

"No, that’s too long to wait and far too public a place," said another voice. "It is best to do it while he is sleeping. Perhaps we could bribe one of the servants."

Sabola peeked around the corner and saw the men standing there. His eyes widened when he recognized two of the King’s men, Dalmar and Asad. He flattened himself against the wall for fear of being seen and continued listening as they finalized their plot to kill King Bahdoon in his sleep the following night.

As soon as it was safe, Sabola rushed to see Nashwa.

"Sabola, you must have misheard. Dalmar and Asad are the King’s men. Why in the world would they want to do something like that?" Nashwa argued.

"I know it sounds impossible, but it is what I heard. You must warn the King right away," Sabola urged.

Nashwa frowned, "But what if we’re wrong. The King will think I’m a foolish young girl with an over-active imagination!"

Sabola thought a moment. "Perhaps," he said thoughtfully, "but won’t you risk looking a fool to save his life?"

Nashwa nodded, "You’re right, Sabola. I will tell him immediately."

When Sabola had left, Nashwa hurried through the outer gardens toward the palace courts. Reaching the King's throne room, Nashwa adjusted her crown and smoothed her skirts. This was IMPORTANT business! She walked in quietly but quickly and made her way to King Bahdoon' throne. Nashwa bowed and the King took her hand.

"What is it, my Queen?" he asked.

Nashwa rose and said, "Asad and Dalmar are plotting to kill you, my Lord."

The King frowned. "How do you know this, Nashwa?"

"Sabola, my cousin, heard them talking at the gate. They plan to bribe your servant and kill you tomorrow night while you are asleep."

The King leaned forward and asked, "Are you sure of this?"

"Yes, your majesty," Nashwa replied solemnly.

King Bahdoon then called over several guards and told them what Nashwa had said.

The guards were immediately dispatched to find the servant, who fearfully confirmed Nashwa’s story. The servant didn’t think it too wise to lie to the King when questioned directly about the plot.

"Thank you, Nashwa. You’ve saved my life," King Bahdoon said, looking at Nashwa with a smile.

Returning his smile, she said, "You're welcome, but it is really Sabola's doing, your majesty."

"Please give him my thanks, and thank you for coming to me without delay."

"You're welcome, your majesty." Nashwa bowed and left quickly.

_________

Meanwhile, Sabola sat outside the palace gates watching the people run around, doing their various activities. Just then a loud trumpet was blown.

Sabola looked down the road to see several men carrying another man in a tall chair. It was Demissie, a court official. Sabola frowned. Demissie always made people bow to him, but Sabola never did -- he bowed before God and no other. When Demissie passed by him, Sabola sat quietly, only looking at the ground. Soon he looked up again when he heard the other man pass by.

Demissie was furious! Sabola’s refusal to bow made him furious. Didn’t he know how important Demissie was!

"I'll get rid of him then," Demissie thought with a wicked grin on his face. "Better yet, he's a Nubian, miserable lot. I'll get rid of every one of them!" He chuckled at the thought as he made his way towards the palace.

He marched into the throne-room and bowed with a flourish. "Your majesty," he said importantly, "it has come to my attention that there is a group of people in this land that do not respect you or your laws. They are a bad example for your other subjects and must be dealt with before they begin to plot against you and cause discontent throughout the entire Kingdom."

"Who are these people?" King Bahdoon demanded.

Demissie bowed low and said, "My Lord, they are the Nubians."

King Bahdoon was infuriated at the thought that there was another plot of some sort brewing in the Kingdom. Perhaps it was these Nubians who had turned Asad and Dalmar against him!

Demissie could see he had the King’s attention and quickly added, "Your majesty, I have a plan to get rid of them."

The King nodded, and, taking his signet ring off his finger, handed it to Demissie. "Do with the people as you wish," he said solemnly.

Demissie bowed and scurried quickly out of the room. "Ha, ha!" he chuckled with glee. "I've got Sabola now! He'll wish he had kissed my very feet!" Demissie immediately issued a decree that every Nubian in the land would be put to death on the 13th day of the December, that year.

When the news reached Sabola, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went out into the city, wailing loudly. In every place to which the decree of the King came, there was great mourning among the Nubians, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay on sackcloth and ashes.

Nashwa soon heard the mourning and crying outside the palace and sent two servants to find out what was wrong. When the servants came back, they had a message from Sabola.

"Queen Nashwa, Sabola says that King Bahdoon has signed a decree that says every Nubian must die on the 13th day of December," said one servant. "He wants you to go to the King and get him to change the law," the other servant said.

Nashwa put her hands on her head and began pacing back and forth. "But it’s been 30 days since I was last called by the King. If I go to his throne room without being asked to, it will be me who is put to death." And this is how the Queen would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Zahur, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the King unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name. And if she does so without his consent, her punishment was death.

But that did not prevent her from risking her life by entering the inner court to see the King. Finding favor in Nashwa, the King held out his golden scepter to her, allowing her act of entering the court without invitation acceptable.

Nashwa awoke from her sleep that night with a start, "Perhaps God wanted me to become Queen to stop the Nubians from being put to death! Why else had she been chosen Queen?"

The next morning, Nashwa said to her servant, "Go now and tell Sabola to get all the Nubians together and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days. I too will fast and when it is done, I will go before the King, even though it may mean my death."

___________

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Price of a Wicked Heart (Part-1)

By Amos Bwire


"Please don’t make me go," begged Nashwa, teary.

"You must, Nashwa. Every girl in the Sheba Kingdom is to enter by order of the king," her uncle, Sabola explained. Nashwa's parents had died when she was young and he had raised her ever since.

Nashwa crossed her arms and said, "I’m happy where I am. I certainly don’t want to be a Queen. Besides, I’m Nubian and the King isn’t. There are lots of Sheba girls entering the beauty contest – they don’t need me."

"You have to enter and that is final. Besides, there are so many girls entering, you likely won’t be chosen anyways," Sabola assured her. "And when you go, I don’t want to hear about you pouting. I know what a lovely person you are and I want to make sure you stay that way."

The girl smiled and hugged the man, unable to refuse him for long, "All right, uncle. For you, I will go cheerfully."

Sabola smiled gratefully and then frowned slightly,

"Nashwa, wait. There is one last thing you must promise me."

"Yes?" said Nashwa, somewhat concerned by the serious look Sabola had taken.

"You must not let ANYONE know that you are a Nubi. Do you understand?" She nodded sadly, "Yes, I understand."

_________

This happened during the time of Bahdoon, who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from Egypt to Sudan to Ethiopia. At that time King Bahdoon reigned from his royal throne, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders and the princes of the provinces were present. All one hundred twenty seven provinces gathered to acknowledge the King. For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his Kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the King's palace, for all the people, from the poorest to the wealthiest, who were in his Kingdom.

The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of crystal rocks, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king's liberality. By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

Queen Leyla also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Bahdoon. On the seventh day, when King Bahdoon was drunk from wine and spirits, he commanded the eunuchs who served him to bring Queen Leyla before him, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, exposing herself in front of the King and his male guests, for she was sexy and lovely to look at.

But Queen Leyla refused the humiliating order, knowing that she was risking her life, as by doing so and according to the governing law, she deserved death.

"According to law, what must be done to Queen Leyla?" Thereafter the King asked his experts in matters of law and justice.

"She has not obeyed the command of the King," one of his advisors replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, "Queen Leyla has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Bahdoon. Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree which cannot be repealed, that Leyla is never again to enter the presence of King Bahdoon. Also let the king give Leyla’s royal position to someone else who is better than her."

The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as his advisor proposed. And later, when the anger of King Bahdoon had subsided, he remembered Leyla and the expertise she had on pleasing him when she was still a Queen, and he felt in need. So on seeing this, the King's personal attendants proposed, "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the King. Let them be placed under the care of Zahur, the king's eunuch. Before a girl's turn comes to go in to King Bahdoon , she has to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Leyla."

This advice appealed to the King, and he followed it.

Many girls were brought to the Fortress of Kushi and put under the care of Zahur.

This is how Sabola persuaded his orphan cousin Nashwa, whom he had brought up as his own daughter when her father and mother died, a lovely girl in form and features, to enter into that ‘Queen searching’ competition.

____________

When Nashwa was falling asleep that night, she began to think about what it would be like at the palace. She’d have to spend an entire year there, away from family and friends, before the King would even choose his new bride. "Ah well," she thought, "at least I’ll get to return home after that. After all there’s no way the King would end up picking a peasant, Nubian girl as his Queen – no matter how lovely people thought she was." Nashwa shivered even though it was a warm evening.

The next morning, Nashwa packed her bags. She was happy that her cousin would be able to visit her quite often as he worked at the palace as a minor official. Nashwa carefully combed her long dark hair and gazed longingly out the window. She’d miss the sights and sounds of her home and wanted to commit every detail to memory.

Sabola walked by, stopped and turned back. "You look so thoughtful Nashwa," he said with a smile.

Nashwa nodded. "I hope I'm not chosen to be the Queen. I prayed all last night that God would make the King choose someone else."

"Nashwa!" Sabola chided, "You mustn’t pray only for what you want, but for what God wants of you."

Nashwa looked confused and Sabola smiled gently. Sometimes he forgot how young she still was.

"What I mean is," he began again, "that God may not always give us what we want, but he does provide us everything we need. You can't just ask for what you want all the time, because it might not be what God wants. So you must ask for what God wants."

Nashwa thought a second and responded slowly, "But … I don't know what God wants. How can I pray for something I don’t know?"

Sabola said, "Well, you could simply pray, 'God, I want whatever you want. I put my trust in You.' Do you understand?"

"I think so ...does that mean, instead of saying, 'God, please don't let the King choose me for his queen,' I am to say, 'God, if you want me to be Queen, then I will be happy with your decision. Please help me do my best to be a good one'?" Nashwa asked.

Sabola smiled and kissed Nashwa on the forehead, "That sounds perfect."

The year passed quickly, but Nashwa missed her home every day. Just as she’d promised Sabola, she did her best to remain cheerful and kind. And every night she prayed that God would help her do His will.

Nashwa didn’t like the way some of the other girls teased each other and tried to be kind to everyone she met. Because of her gentle nature Nashwa became friends with Zahur, who had charge of the harem. The girl won his favor. Immediately he provided her with best beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king's palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem. Nashwa had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Sabola had forbidden her to do so.

Twelve months passed and it was time for Nashwa to go see the King. Zahur led the beautiful girl to the King's palace, people stopped to stare at Nashwa’s gentle beauty.

"Nashwa, do not be afraid of the King," Zahur said to her as they neared the throne room. All the other girls who went through the process before Nashwa had failed badly. And she was terrified too.

When they had reached the throne room, Nashwa took a deep breath and knelt before King Bahdoon . "Dear God," she prayed silently, "give me the strength to do your will."

The King gazed down at Nashwa. "My goodness," he thought, "this one is young. She’s very beautiful, but I don’t know…"

It was at that moment that Nashwa finished her silent prayer. Without thinking, she raised her head (something she shouldn’t really have done without the King’s permission, but it was her habit when she’d finished her prayers.) The look on her face was so serene, it increased her beauty ten-fold.

He broke into a wide grin, "What is your name?"

Nashwa realized her error, bowed her head and looked at the floor. "Nashwa, my Lord."

"Nashwa, it’s alright you can look up now," said the King. She looked up at his smiling face and blushed slightly, which pleased him too. The King’s heart was hers.

"You have a beauty beyond all beauty. Beauty of the flesh and of the heart!" he exclaimed.

King Bahdoon beckoned to Zahur, "Zahur, this woman, shall be my Queen. You have cared for her well, and her beauty surpasses all others, inside and out. Thank you."

Zahur nodded and said, "You are most welcome, great King, I am honored to be of service to you."

King Bahdoon then called for a servant to bring Queen Leyla's old crown. He took it and placed it gently on Nashwa's head. "You, Nashwa, are now my Queen."


Contd…

Friday, June 12, 2009

LOVE NOT

By Eric Kalunga

The clock on the table it read 10pm. She stared at it a moment longer as if by sheer will she could change the time.

How could he make her do this? How could he humiliate her like this? She felt rage rising inside her. It rose from her stomach, a burning wave of fury, that rose through her chest, scorching her heart and then settling on her head... overpowering everything else there.

But in the next second the anger was gone and what came in its place was hope and understanding.

He was going to come, any time now. Suddenly she was sure that she could hear the doors of the lift, at the end of the corridor outside, hissing open and then closing. She could even hear the soft chime that the lift made as it opened its doors.

But it was another false hope. No one came to the door knocking. In fact no one even so much as passed outside the door.

So hope was gone and its place came the fear this time. Something had gone wrong. He was on his way to see her at the hotel and has had a terrible accident. Right at this moment he is lying in a bed in a hospital, perhaps Muhimbili, breathing through tubes...
Oh My God...

And his wife, she was probably there too and their children. And here she was...

But this scenario suddenly left her head to make room for one even more terrifying. That he had simply decided to ignore her. He had left work but instead of driving here to the hotel he simply decided to go home to his wife.

Panic closed its fingers around her tummy and squeezed. She let out a small gasp and had to go back and sit on the bed.

She had switched off all the lights in the suite save for the one in the bathroom. This one spilled out through the open bathroom door and formed a pool of light right before the main door.
Joy, a lawyer with one of the biggest law firms in the city, lay back on the bed and closed her eyes, trying to decide what to do.

She should just leave and forget the whole thing. Yet as her her hands felt the soft sheets on the bed she couldn’t but imagine what would be in store for her if she waited and he came.
Joy, its been three hours... a voice spoke up inside her head. She looked at the clock again. 10.08 it read.

Only eight minutes had passed since she looked at it last but it seemed hours had elapsed.
No she would wait here, she decided. She would wait until he came because HE was coming. And when he did, when he knocked on the door, she was going to cooly open it.

He was going to reach to her and start apologising but she was going to brush him away like an annoying fly. She was going to enjoy the look of surprise and hurt on his face.

Then she was going to pick up her purse of the table, slowly walk to the door and walk out...
No wait....

She was going to walk to the door, open it and then pause. She will turn to look at him, smile and say: “Go back to your wife Mike, we are done.”

Then she is going to walk out and close the door on him and their relationship. It felt good thinking like that.

She looked at clock again, 10.09, it said.

So she was going to wait... but not because she was desperate and wanted to feel his arms around her and their warmth and...

Stop it...

She was going to wait because she wanted to let him know how disappointed she was with him and that she was ending the affair.

You could just call him... now...

That annoying voice again... no, she was not going to call him. that did not have the same power as saying the words to him face to face.

The thought that she was not calling him because she was afraid of what that might reveal bubbled to the surface of her mind. For a brief moment she thought of it: she pressing the numbers and pushing call, hearing the phone ring on the other hand, and ring... and then the abrupt silence as he rejects her call... because he simply doesn’t want to talk to her or see her night.

Suddenly the initial anger returned. She was a lawyer for goodness sake, prosecutors tremble when they face her in the courtroom, judges treat her with respect and powerful men in the country beg her to take their cases...

She should not have to go through this. Suddenly Justine Timberlake began singing Cry me a river. It was her phone. She frantically fished it out of her purse and blindly accepted the call before pressing the phone to her ear.

“WHERE ARE YOU?” she cried.

“Uh? I am at home dear, is the seminar over?” a confused male voice.
Then she understood and felt irritation creep over her, “No, why are you calling?”

“Well, the children are asleep and you said you would be back by 8. I was worried,” he said.
Now she was just mad. “No, just go to sleep Jonathan. I will be very late.”

“Well, ok dea_”

She cut him off. For a moment her thoughts were not on Mike but at her home on her children.

They were asleep. That was good. She will see them tomorrow morning. Martha would need....

At that moment the unmistakable chime of the lift floated through the air and reached her ears...

This time it was for real, someone was coming. Excitement built up inside her. The bastard was coming. She was going to give him a piece of her mind and then walk out of here.
Footsteps came to a stop outside her door and there was a knock. She walked over and opened it. He walked in and scooped her up in his arms.

His lips fell on hers and hungrily fed. She fed too. He led her towards the bed.

She was going to give him a piece of her mind... just as soon as this night was over. first she was going to let him...

Oh that felt so good.

“I love you,” she whispered.

He lifted up his head and smiled, “I love you too baby,” then the head went back down.
And there her thoughts ended as her body screamed with pleasure.

Tomorrow, she was going to end it all tomorrow.

END

LOVE

By Shanande

I remember the time that I messed with an opportunity given to me, when I badly treated the one, whom by now he would have married me.

I met him when I was just in my early years of secondary school. He proposed me for his girlfriend for the first time in my life, at his office, where stamps for posting letters where sold.

“I think it is not my first time to see you here, by my window purchasing stamps, whom specifically do you send the letters, aaah is he or she and eeh...” he asked and before continuing I understood what he meant and so I interrupted him, “Yes, I normally send to my school mates. Our school is for girls only”. He then asked me to discuss more beside his window and I accepted.

“I am Ajos” He introduced himself “what is your name?” He asked me. “My name is Shalla” I replied. He shared with me certain areas of his interest in me from the first time he saw me and gave me an appointment of meeting each other somewhere else in the future, for lunch, and I did so.

“I would like you to become my girlfriend Shalla” he spoke to me after his long self introduction, life background, and hobbies, much related to what he had called me there for.

“I know you are required to have much attention to your academic issues, but I promise that I am not going to be a cause of discontinuity in your studies, hence support you toward better performance than before. You are such a beautiful lady whom I wouldn’t allow to stay away from” he insisted.

“Ajos, I am still very young to start involving myself into love affairs, for I am also scared of things like…mmh” I failed to mention want I intended and he asked me “ what?...eeeh… what? Say it, don’t be afraid of me Shalla!… after all, what is your age?”,

“I am just sixteen…and if I become pregnant there are lots of problems that I will face…for stance be chased away from school, and…”

he interrupted me “ I promise Shalla my…my…ooh my dear, all that will be taken in control, I will never let them happen, please, please, please, give me the chance and you will see, for I will not commit with you anything bad till you finish your studies” he insisted.

“I know most of ladies tend to demand a lot of money from men, whom they are in love with, but for me, you have to understand that I don’t need that, since my parents provide me with enough of it, unless you wish to provide me with presents, I mean, gifts.” I explained and he really appreciated.

There were ups and downs in our relationship. He used to buy me gifts during my birthdays, ceremonies like Christmas, Maulid and Easter; meeting my academic needs, and helped me writing notes in my school exercise books when I failed to cover them on time.

Our relationship lasted for more than five years before I messed.

Ajos had one bad attitude that I hated most, sharing love with more than one woman. I can remember very well the time I visited him and found having love affairs with another woman in his room. The room he rent after departing from her sister’s family, which he lived with when we started our relationship.

This bad attitude of his was spoken out and openly to me by many friends of mine and so I one day with great hunger went to his room and told him that I was going to react the same. He slapped for the first and the last time, and chased me out of the room. I really did the same without counting the side effects of it, and at that that the dangerous disease was another great disaster to our society.

I became pregnant with my teacher. I hardly tried to hide that from Ajos till when I finished and went back home from the boarding school that I was in, for I shared that with my family members and the news spread to reach him. He was so shocked to hear about that he decided to visit our home for an approval. My young sister lied to him that I was not in, and so we didn’t meet.

“But what have I really done” I spoke to myself, “What the mess have I committed with the opportunity I had” I sadly imagined.

I delivered a baby four months later after completing my secondary education. Ajos came home to greet me and the new born baby, with some gifts.

“Shalla, I know I was the cause of all these, can we forgive each other please and continue with our relationship?” He requested. I did not answer him nor comment anything for I was guilty, and knew that was not really coming from his consciousness. I tried to imagine the day he slapped me as I informed him of his attitude that I was going to do the same. So what he said was meaningless to me.

I shared all what Ajos said to my mother, who was around when he came. “Do not let that happen in your life for he may do worse than the experience you had before. For he accepted to be the cause of this, I advice you to keep him at a distance since he knew what bad he was doing by then”. She insisted.

I decided to follow my mother’s advice and so I one day went to his place to inform him of my decision. He was shocked and couldn’t compromise with in the beginning, though I strongly expressed my stand on it. I left him bowing his heard saying “ Okay,….Okay….okay…”

I am single for more than fifteen years now since I broke my relationship with Ajos, who is now married with a five years old child. I sometimes feel proud of being a strong decision maker in challenging issues of life, but there are times I regret of the mess I committed and think of “having price to pay” for the opportunity I lost.

I sometimes meet Ajos in town. He does not react me badly when I great him with a smile that hides a lot of pain and sadness. “Shalla you are as beautiful as I met you in the first day…don’t worry I still love you and…”He tried to encourage me, as I interrupted him, “Wooow… really!?...thank you though nothing is valid between us anymore”.

Love, has nothing to say that you are sorry. If it is well invested, its profit has to very well utilizes too, otherwise, there may be “A price to pay…”

END

Friday, June 5, 2009

AKUFAAYE KWA DHIKI...WANAWAKE TUKOMBOANE

AKUFAAYE KWA DHIKI…. “WANAWAKE TUKOMBOANE”
By Shanande John

Helena, mwanamke mwenye ujauzito wa miezi mine, amekaa sebuleni, ndani ya nyumba nzuri ya kifahari, waliyonnunua na mumewe Samson, anawaza na kutafakari maisha ya ndoa yake yenye miezi mitatu tu, ilivyo na kila aina ya purukushani.

Anakumbuka enzi za urafiki wao, hadi uchumba, kabla hajaolewa akiwa tayari ana ujauzito wa mwezi mmoja. Ujauzito uliomlazimu Samson afunge naye ndoa. Sharti lililotoka kwa wazazi wa Helena. Maisha ya uchumba yalitojaa kila aina ya raha na starehe.

Samson alizoea kufika kwa Helena na kila aina ya zawadi. Alihakikisha jokofu ya Helena imejaa kila aina ya mboga, tunda na juisi. Nguo na viatu, na hata maua alipelekewa.

Kwa sasa, Helena anawaza hayo, kuwa mbona hayafanyiki tena, na ikiwa wapo pamoja, hizo huduma zinapelekwa wapi!! Na tena imekuwa siku hizi akidadisi jambo anapatiwa majibu ya mkato, hata kupigwa. Ni miezi mitatu tu katika ndoa.

Katika kuyawaza hayo, Helena anakumbuka rafiki yake Suzana. Anaamua kumpigia simu na kumwomba afike nyumbani kwake Helena mara moja.

Suzana anafanya hivyo, na kumkuta Helena sebuleni akiwa na huzuni kubwa sana. Suzana anadadisi “kulikoni?”

Helena anamweleza rafiki yake Suzana, maisha anayopitia na mumewe na kuhisi ana maisha mengine kwingine. Anamwomba Suzana amsaidie cha kufanya, kwa kuwa wamekuwa wakisaidiana tangu maisha ya chuoni, ambapo Helena aliweza Suzana malipo mbalimbali na ada.

Katika kulitafakari hilo, Helena anamhoji Suzana kama ataweza kujifanya mpenzi wa mumewe Samson, ili amrejeshee kwake, na awe kama walivyokuwa wanaishi kabla hawajaoana, kwa hali na mali. Wakapanga namna itakavyokuwa.

Suzana analitafakari hilo na kulikubali, na kumuahidi Helena kuwa hatamuangusha.
Huko nje, Suzana akawa anamvizia Samson, kama vile kumwomba lifti kuelekea sehemu tofauti tofauti, kwa kuwa aliishi karibu nao. Akawa anajifanya kumsema vibaya Helena, kwa mumewe Samson.

Samson akajikuta ana mahusiano ya karibu na Suzana, na kwenda naye sehemu mbalimbali za starehe. Suzana akaendelea “kumchafua” Helena mbele ya Samson, lakini anafanya kinafiki tu, kwani anapokutana na Helena, anamweleza kila kinachoendelea, japo pia Samson akiwakuta nyumbani, Suzana hujifanya kumdhalilisha Helena kuwa ni mwanamke mchafu na hafai kuwa mke wa mtu, ili mradi tu Samson asilkie hayo, kumfanya aone kuwa Suzana na Helena hawaivani kwa sasa.

Samson anaamua kumwagia Suzana hela lukuki. Anataka hata kumfukuza mkewe Helena nyumbani akidai nyumba inanunuliwa, na ameshapatikana mteja. Kumbe anataka kumpatia Suzana, naye Samson bila kujua kama Suzana anawasiliana hayo yote na Helena mkewe, tena anampatia na hizo fedha japo anazificha Samson asipopajua.

Wakati anafikiria na kupanga namna ya kuiuza nyumba, Samson akawa anafikia hotelini. siku moja Helena anaamua kwenda akijifanya kumtafuta siku nyingi, akiwa amembeba mwanae wa kike, aliyejifungua miezi mitatu iliyopita, mchafu mchafu, akimsihi mumewe arudi nyumbani wakalee mototo wao. Kumbe ni sanaa anamfanyia mumewe. Samson akajifanya hamtambui na kuamuru wahudumu wa hotelini wamfukuze.

Suzana na Helena wakatafuta nyumba nyingine ya kumhifadhi Helena kwa muda Fulani, pamoja na mototo.

Akiwa ndani ya nyumba ya Samson na Helena, siku moja Suzana anaamua kumwalika Samson, bila kumwandalia chakula wala kinywaji chochote. Samson anafika na kukaribishwa kiti ndani ya nyumba ya kifahari ambayo kwa sasa anamilikishwa Suzana.

Suzana anaamua “kumwondolea uvivu” Samson, kwa kuanza kumweleza nia na madhumuni ya wito huo, kuwa si kama amefanya yote hayo kwa nia ya kumdhalilisha rafiki yake Helena, bali ni kumsaidia. Angependa kuona ndoa yake Samson na Helena inaendelea na kukua vema.

Anamuelezea habari nzima tangu alipoitwa na Helena kumwelezea matatizo ya ndoa yake na hata leo hii. Suzana anagonga meza mara tatu kwa nguvu, kama walivyoashiriana na Helena kabla.

Helena akiwa amembeba mototo wao wa miezi saba, wamependeza sana, anaingia sebuleni akitokea chumba kimojawapo cha ndani, na uso wa tabasamu zito. Anamwendea mumewe na kumsihi asimame ili ampokee mototo wao. Akiwa katika hali ya mshituko na mshangao, bila kuamini na yanayotokea, na kama vile hajielewi, anasimama na kumpokea mototo.

Anamwangalia Suzana bila kujua afanye nini au aseme nini.
anasimama na kuwaaga akiwaacha ndani wawili na mwanao ambaye mama yake alikuwa hajampa jina, akimwita “Baby”. Helena anajikaza na kumsogelea mumewe huku anabubujikwa na machozi yaliyojaa “heri na shari” anamkumbatia na kumwambia “Nakupenda sana mume wangu”…MWISHO

Looking for love

By Irena Pearse

He laid the empty cup carefully on the table. Flicked his eyes down at his phone.

“I have to go.” He cleared his throat. Pushed his chair back and stood up.

“I miss you.”

“Yeah. I have to go.” He took her hand as if to shake it and she stood up and hugged him tight.

She picked up her cup as the door clicked shut, and sipped at the now warm, bitter tea. She grimaced and put the half empty cup down. She reached out and collected up the two plates with their crumbs and half eaten bits of toast, his empty cup and then, carefully, her own half cup of cold tea. In the kitchen, she scraped clean the plates into the rubbish and poured the rest of the tea down the sink. She watched as the brown liquid seeped away amongst the debris of kitchen waste caught in the sink drain. She made a mental note to give it a good clean sometime soon.

The phone rang.

“Christine, it’s Dad. How are you?”

She sighed. “Fine. How’s things your end?”

“Your mum’s not feeling so good. Might be nice if you came by.”

“Sure.”

She punched the red button to hang up.

The train out of London took 20 minutes. As she walked to the house she felt the mixed rush of nostalgia and distaste which came with the familiarity of this commuter suburb, this shopping centre town. The bland concrete office blocks, the functional roads, the terraced cottage-houses built solidly for the tied-workers of Victorian times, so many generations ago. Now, this area was known as “the village”. The posh part near the railway station. Young couples moved in and out renovating the houses and selling them at higher prices, and the value of the neighbourhood had risen dramatically. Christine’s parents had bought their house before this trend and were one of the few who bought the house out of love, not to make money. Christine had been born there, was raised there, she’d seen the street change over time. Her parents had extended and decorated the house to make it suit their family. “It’s got a good feel,” her mother had said. “We thought about moving at one time but no house had the happy atmosphere as this one. It’s just something you can feel. As though all the owners before were happy. I can’t explain it.”

Christine turned the key in the front door, called and stepped inside. Her dad shuffled along the hallway.

“It’s good to see you.”

He had a full cup of tea in his hands, steaming, smelling fresh. “You want some? Maybe you could take a cup to your mum.”

Christine carried the two brimming cups up to the bedroom, and found her mother lying flat on her back in bed, radio on, towel over her head. Her skin was pale and damp, and her short dark hair stuck to the sides of her temples. She slowly lifted the towel from her eyes and squinted at Christine. Half a smile crossed her lips.
“You’ve brought me tea. Thanks.”

She eased herself up. Christine placed the cups gently on the side table and sat on the bed.

It was a reversal of what used to happen as a child. Christine remembered the time she had measles, her mother coming in, bringing in the cold and fresh smell from outside, cooling her eight year-old flushed cheeks with her hug. Her mother taking out fizzy drinks and some crackers for her – special treats for the sick child. Her words were those of the Great Healer. The mother knew exactly what to do, exactly how to make her feel better. She knew when she was sick and when she was faking it. She knew when Christine needed to go to bed and sleep, better than Christine herself. But although Christine was now the one bringing in the outside world, the caring words, she didn’t feel she knew what was the right thing to do or say.

Her mother handed her back the emptied cup.

“There’s more downstairs. Shall I bring some?”

“No thanks, that’s enough for now.”

Christine took the cups and flicked her eyes across at the clock radio.

“I have to go.”

“We miss you Christine.”

“Yeah. I have to go.”

She stopped by the chemist on the way home to her shared flat. Decided this time she’d pay the high price for this one-time only kit, a bit of plastic packaged in a pink box, as if the large box made the price seem right. A couple were slouched over the counter, looking through their holiday photos and giggling at the memories. The pharmacist waited patiently for them to confirm the pictures were theirs and pay the amount stated on the receipt he held out in his hand. Christine pretended to look at the hair products. Her eye moving from images of clean sun-kissed floating hair to dark sexy auburn burnish. Maybe she needed a change too. She glanced at the young woman, hair clean and golden, her boyfriend’s hand playing at her neck with it. Christine took a box of blond.

The flat was empty when she got back. Rachel had probably gone out – it was the weekend after all. She filled the kettle, flicked it on. Sighed. And felt her heart beat pick up. She took out the pink box. Took it to the bathroom.
“Mirror mirror on the wall, tell me what the future holds.”
Back downstairs, Christine switched the kettle on again as she heard the key turn in the lock.

“Only me.”

Absent mindedly, she started cleaning out the debris in the sink. She turned on the tap and soaped the sink. The kitchen door opened and a blast of fresh outdoor air whooshed in.

“How’s it going? What you doing? Look, I got some great deals down the market, look at this.“

Rachel took out a large floppy jumper and a spangley, top. Christine dried off her hands and they went through the bag of clothes together.

“Nice. Love it.”

They both sat exhausted, as if they’d just been shopping all over again, steaming cups of tea in front of them.

“I bought something too today.”

“What’s that?”

Christine brought out the box of blond.

“Hey, cool. Let’s do it.”

“What now?”

“You’re life is going to change, believe me.”

“I hope so.”

The End.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tangazo/Announcement

(english version below)

Tangazo

Kwa sababu ya tar 10/4 kuwa Ijumaa kuu na baadhi yetu si ajabu kutaka kwenda kanisani, ule mkutano wa waandishi mahiri wa soma (Teh! Teh!) hautakuwepo.

Badala yake tutaendelea kukutana hapahapa.

Kama kuna mwenye mawazo mengine yoyote (kama ombi maalum la kutaka tukutane siku nyingine wiki ijayo) unaweza acha maoni kwenye blogu au kutuma barua pepe hapa

info.soma@infinet.co.tz

demere.soma@infinet.co.tz

epkalunga@yahoo.co.uk


Asante sana na siku kuu njema...


Announcement

Because Friday 10/4/09 is going to be Good Friday and some of us might wish to go to church in the evening we will therefore not have that meeting of Soma’s amazing writers ;)

Instead we will continue meeting here.

But if someone has a special request (like to want a special session to meet next week just for your work or because you just miss everyone so much) you can just post that on the blog.

Or email :
info.soma@infinet.co.tz

demere.soma@infinet.co.tz

epkalunga@yahoo.co.uk


Thank u so much n happy holiday...


The end.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Plate of Ugali

By Sandra A. Mushi


My mama used to say a real African man doesn’t eat chips or pasta. That’s food for a mzungu man who gets his nails manicured, face scrubbed and lips conditioned with lip balm. A real African man eats ugali, my mama used to say. With their calloused fingers with rough nails he would mould the stiff porridge into little balls, dunk each ball into a stew then dunk the stew covered ball into his mouth with chapped lips.

I would sit at the corner of the room watching his Adam’s apple bopping up and down as he swallowed a ball of ugali and meat stew. His jaw always moving in super-human speed as he chewed, making the veins on his forehead pop out angrily.

Ugali would make your man strong, my mama used to say. Strong enough to take care of you and our family, she would add. What she didn’t add was that ugali would make him strong enough to beat me black and blue. But maybe she was always right, because it was a plate of ugali that gave me strength today.

It had started with his plate of ugali not being warm enough. Then the following time he beat me black and blue it was because the bowl of stew did not have enough meat. The other times before that it was the disciplinary slap, as the elders called it. Married women needed the slap every now and then, they would say, to keep them in check.

Then he beat me again black and blue when I failed to pound his kisamvu the way he liked it. I had been vomiting the whole day; infact even getting up was a problem.

“My mother cultivated a whole farm the day she was giving birth and you say you can’t cook for your husband?” He had bellowed. “What kind of a woman are you?”

“But mume wangu, the doctor said …” lamenting, I had tried to explain before I was interrupted by a slap. The room started spinning around me.

“Has the doctor married you?” He gave me another slap which sent me reeling to the floor vomiting blood, “is the doctor your husband now? Or are you having an affair?”

My baby did not make it. I almost did not make it too. I broke a few bones and I almost became blinded on my left eye. After that I became numb to the pain. It was one reason after another – as long as I was his punching bag – and almost always it was a plate of ugali that started it. Yep, his source of strength. Like the hair on Samson in the bible. Maybe ugali makes one mad. Maybe it had a drug.

Today he broke my two front teeth – after breaking four others last week. I laughed madly as I looked at my four year old with his milk teeth missing. He grins at me nervously showing his gums.

Today he beat me because I refused to serve his mistress a plate of ugali. Like my body numbing to pain, my heart had numbed to reason. Maybe it was my fault when the plate of ugali wasn’t warm enough because I had run out of coal to warm the food; maybe it was my fault when I didn’t negotiate with the butchery to give me more meat than the money could buy; maybe it was my fault that I was too lazy too pound cassava when I was due; maybe it was my fault when I had used to the last of the flour to cook my baby porridge for lunch instead of cooking him his ugali; maybe it had all been my fault. But how could this be my fault? My mama told me my husband came first, then my children.

I had put some food aside for my husband, then fed the remaining to my children. How was that my fault? I never said anything when he brought her and moved me out of our marital bed. I said nothing.

He kicked his plate of ugali when there wasn’t enough for his mistress and made me eat from the floor after beating me black and blue - wounding the scars that had not even healed. On all fours I bent down and ate like a dog. As I lay clutching my stomach I see the mouse that I have been trying to catch for a while, rushing to the last crumbs of ugali on the floor. No amount of rat poison seemed to kill it. Rodent. Maybe I had been giving it the poison with the wrong food. Rodent. Rodent. I should have mixed the poison in ugali. Rodent. Or is it rodent and man. Rodent man. Kick. Rodent man. Kick. Rodent man, I think.

I feel humiliated when I hear her cheering him on. It was okay before, as I probably needed disciplining. But it’s not okay now. She is not supposed to be here, cheering on. But the ugali gave me strength.

“Stupid woman! Go make another plate,” he had kicked me on the shins as his mistress laughed again, louder this time. “And make it enough to give us strength for the work ahead of us tonight!”

Ugali has given me strength too. I look down as I limp to the back yard. I don’t want them to see my face. The smile on my face. Yes, ugali has given me strength.

Quickly I grab a khanga to hide my new scars, covering myself I dash to my neighbour to borrow me some money from her. Just as quickly I send my oldest to the market. Flour, kisamvu, coconut, curry powder, peanuts, nyanya chungu and some powder that will kill that rodent. Today I will make the best plate of ugali ever. The kisamvu will have peanut sauce and the dagaa will have coconut milk and nyanya chungu. Today I will catch that rodent with a plate of ugali for sure.