The Duka

Tailor 1- Towards the end of 2023, I was the women with the bag of clothes for mending being rejected by all the village tailors. They were too busy with Christmas outfit orders. I got miffed with the last fundi. That’s the one whose shop boasted an array of the most beautifully and elaborately tailored…

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The Courier

On a normal day in Lebanon in 1967, a young Kenyan man was attending Prof. David Gordon’s History class at the American University of Beirut. You blink I blink, boom, the class came to an end with Prof. Gordon’s mouth half open on an unfinished sentence. All the students were being ushered out of the…

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The Watch

*This story was written as a personal email. The author gave permission for it to be published as a work of creative writing. The decision to maintain the email details is to have the reader contextualize the narrator’s voice. From: Preston E. Hall <p…com>To: “mkawasi” <m…com> Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2011 5:48 AMSubject: I am amazing You know, I am…

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The Girl With the Spear Pencil

There was this little girl in one of the elementary schools I taught for a semester in NY. Same place in Brooklyn I told you about last time. Tough neighborhood, didn’t know what the little capsules carpeting the streets were then, from the bus stop to the school. Crack vials, I learnt. The girl. 2nd…

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Skinny Talls

Yesterday was hair day. I opened the door to the Salon and stood there for a while drinking in the festive sight. The place was packed with black women getting doodied up for the holidays. A delightful Christmas tree stood at one corner with lights and gift-boxes at the bottom. My nose followed the welcoming…

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Diary of an Accidental Linguist

I was speaking to a fellow linguist early this week and he said- I understand you have many dialects in your country… I interrupted him before he could formulate his question- No, languages- I said. O.. is all he said after that. I caused him to swallow his question before it reached his lips. Questions…

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The Girl Who Said Today is Today

In one of the high schools I went to – those were the days one graduated from 4 years of secondary school to a 2 years of high school – we were not allowed to speak Swahili. Only English. This school was at the Coast, the land of Swahili peoples. They speak, think, dream, project,…

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El Kidnap

This boy was all of 4, maybe 5 years old at the time of the kidnap. I was there when it happened. Saw it all. Police were involved too. And a screaming mother. So on this early morning in the Bronx, I’m sitting in this little corner cafe having a cup of tea and preparing…

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