Category Archives: Workshop story

WS 19: Them by Gboyega Otolorin

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It’s amazing how many times I see them. I see them on the bus. I see them at school. I see them at Mr. Toni’s lesson. I see them at church, especially during Tuesday Bible Study. I see them everywhere.

What makes all of it truly remarkable is that they’re invisible. Everybody walks past them, they don’t see them; but I can. Ok, Ellie sees them too but she doesn’t count, does she? Everyone knows Ellie is ‘that mad half-caste girl who lives with Dr. Durotoye’. It’s not surprising that she sees them too.

I told Feyi about them. My Feyi, sweet Feyi. She told me they didn’t ‘really’ exist; that I always had a wild imagination, a wild brainspace. I told her about Ellie, about how Ellie sees them too, about how Ellie knew what they looked like without me telling her. Feyi was doubtful. I mean, everybody knows Ellie’s crazy, right? Right? Read the rest of this entry

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WS 18: Waiting for Independence by Wame Molefhe

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This is an excerpt from a very beautifully told story by Wame.

Look for Wame’s new book ‘Go Tell the Sun‘ on store shelves.

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Ipelegeng searched for her grandfather’s spectacles in the kitchen first, and then in the living room where next to the blue chair he used when he watched TV.  She would have put off going to her grandfather’s room longer but her grandfather called to her.

      Ipelegeng, where are you with my spectacles?”

      Ipelegeng hesitated at the bedroom door before pushing it open. There were too many reminders of how old her grandfather was getting: false teeth soaking in a glass by the side of his bed, a cup of tea, full and forgotten, the nightlight still on. Her eyes flew to the chest of drawers and the picture of her grandmother and grandfather. Her grandmother’s funeral programme was on the side table. Ipelegeng felt tears stinging her eyes.

      The room felt like a dark night brewing a thunderstorm. The scent of mothballs hung heavily in the air. There was a hint of benzene that her grandfather used to clean his suit that hung on the doorknob. She tugged on the cord that parted the heavy curtains, then she opened the windows and the scent of morula fruit floated into the room.

      Ipelegeng! What’s keeping you?” Read the rest of this entry

WS 17: Passion by ‘Pemi Aguda

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She evoked all sorts of emotions in him. Strong, potent emotions. It was why he’d married her. No woman had enveloped him in such a fervid manner. He’d wanted to possess her, body and soul. And it wasn’t just her beauty, he’d seen many beautiful women. She had fair skin with very black hair and dark, dark eyes.

And all that poise. He’d told his mother he’d never met such a lady. Her every deed was in a regal manner. Like some goddess come to inhabit a queen. Head held high on that long graceful neck. That neck he’d lately been having visions of snapping in two. She was so damn cold. She hardly ever reacted to anything these days.. Those eyes just glazed over him like she expected nothing less from an earthling such as him. Read the rest of this entry

WS 16: It by Buchi Nduka

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When you hear about “it”, it has many sides but that depends on who is doing the telling and under what circumstance. We were never allowed to watch late night movies and I was never taught nor spoken to about “it”. If it was shown on TV we were asked to get out of the living room but this scenario hardly occurred because we always hurried out of the parlor when it got to the part of holding hands or a scene leading behind close doors.

As my mother would always say in Ibo, “Nwoke na Nwanyi a na chi”! Man and woman don’t move or talk or can not be friends depending on how our naive brains translated it at the time. A word was enough for the wise!
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WS 15: Blame it on a yellow dress by Uche Okonkwo

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She knew nobody was allowed to touch her there; that secret place where even she felt ashamed to look. But Daddy wasn’t nobody. Huge, hairy Daddy, whose deep voice always surprised her when he spoke; Daddy with his preoccupied air and intimidating collection of professors’ books; Daddy who never seemed to see her.

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WS 13: A Shift in the Wind By Lauri Kubuitsile

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This is the beginning of a very interesting story by Lauri.

You can read her Caine Prize shortlisted story here. Keep an eye out for much more from her.

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Maybe it was the updraft that pushed empty plastic bags high into the sky to dance around in the sunlight with a never before sought for freedom (for plastic bags have few aspirations), or maybe it was the westerly direction of the wind, when everyone knew weather never snuck in from the dry and lonely Kgalagadi. No one knew exactly what had caused it all, but everyone agreed, that from the day the wind shifted, there was no way to go back to the way things had been before, because when the wind changed so did everything it touched.

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WS 12: The Firewood of this World by Morenike Singerr

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It feels like a lifetime ago when I dropped my letter. I saw my grey-green G-Wagon in which I stacked my work place “personal effects” in a dream just before I woke on resignation day. I shored up savings for six months, not with the dimmest inclination that I would be home for far longer.

I have gone from feeling a thousand emotions to being numb. I’ve screamed so loudly in my heart that I heard my Creator say to me in Yoruba, my first earthly language, “Pele, Keke”.

As a young, young girl in Primary 4, my Class teacher had me perform “Songs of Sorrow”, by Kofi Awonoor- Williams. What was he thinking when he wrote that poem?

I wore tattered looking clothes, chalk in my hair and on my face to lend credence to the lines “I have been somewhere…If I turn here the rain beats me, if I turn here the sun burns me”. My most quoted section of that unique poem is “…the firewood of this world is for only those who can take heart…” I felt back then though that the line should have said, “…the firewood of this world is for only those who can carry it…”.

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WS 11: Kidnapped by Glory Edozien

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Yeshidi, was annoyed. In fact, he had stopped being annoyed over an hour ago. He was now officially pissed off. He’d been waiting for these clowns for over three hours and they still hadn’t turned up, plus he was running out of cigarettes. He always worked alone, but there was too much riding on this. His mind drifted to the possibility that they had been caught and for some reason, he could hear the faint sound of sirens. But he smiled, his plan was fool proof, perfectly constructed. Only complete imbeciles could mess this one up. And although Douglas and his boys were no Nobel Prize winners, they had pulled some good stunts in the past. No, it had to be the mark that was wasting time. Yeshidi took the last drag from his cigarette and resumed his position at the rear end of the gun barrel. He had only have one chance and he wasn’t going to miss it.

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WP 10: Prologue by Tahirah Abdulazeez

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This is part of a much longer story being written by Tahirah Abdulazeez. Stay tuned for more from her.

 

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Julius is the man that I want to be with, in the eternal sense, but I know it is not meant to be. In my mind there have been a series of warnings and cautions, whispered then screaming, epic in the ways that the myths from antiquity will have you believe, as though I was a visitor to the temple at Delphi. And the nymphs or sylphs and other fragile spirit creatures are all singing and wailing that I am taking a trial of love, walking on gleaming hot coals with no god to protect me, because this love is not the path they would have chosen. And in giving in to my romantic rebellion I only have Aphrodite to contend with, she the magnanimous but ever so fickle goddess of love. So I am not safe, with every kiss and every stare I am digging myself deeper, twisting myself into a cavernous engulfing but oh so delicious mistake. But I have to do it.

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WS 9: an untitled piece written by Doris Ogale

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Mother died two days ago. I stood there helplessly watching her as her breathing gradually slowed down and her heart stopped beating. A strange calmness came over me, everything seemed to be in slow motion, and I took stock of the scene before me. Everything around me was chaotic; everybody was suddenly playing a role in this bizarre nightmare that had suddenly become our reality. Mother was on the hospital bed, suddenly looking like a peaceful child who had fallen asleep, her hair woven to the back in the exact same hairstyle I had on, her wrapper tied loosely around her waist, she had no blouse on. On her right side sat my sister Agnes, pulling at my mother’s hands, crying hysterically and asking her, imploring, demanding of mother, all at once to wake up so we could go home. Read the rest of this entry