Family

The Dark-blue Suit

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Translated by Cliff E. Landers “The dark-blue suit, dear, the one I brought back from Indonesia some days ago.” (She had asked, “What are you wearing to the reception, André?”) There went Belita, once again silent, spending her life at the ironing board. Her eyes, inexpressive but at the same time with a serenity that […]

Before the Blackout in Tripoli

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               PRELUDE I remembered asking a parent of my year-two student, “How is Mohammed? He was absent yesterday and I was worried about him when I heard about the bombing in Bab Al Aziziya.” “They hit our neighbor’s house, Miss Noeme. It was three houses away from us. We had to run and stay with my […]

Heaving

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They slipped him in during the night. We all woke up in the morning to find him there, in a sitting position, occupying the bed beside the man who screamed God’s names each day they changed wound dressings. My first thought on seeing him sitting there, shirtless, his torso rising and falling heavily in an […]

Intimate Strangers, Farewell Amor

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The compelling  opening scene of Farewell Amor is set in one of the arrival gates of the John F. Kennedy international airport in New York. A Brooklyn taxi driver (Walter), played by Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, is clutching a bunch of flowers and a gift bag while pacing the floors nervously. He is soon joined […]

Boy in a Gèlè

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The mythology goes – my father’s unruliness earned him a place at the Ransome Kuti School: Straight into that institution, don’t pass go, don’t collect N200, he went. Abeokuta Grammar School was known for the severe corporal punishments and beatings administered to pupils. Fela Anikulapo Kuti, world-renowned Afrobeat pioneer, once wistfully reminisced on the memorable […]

Someday I’ll love Kwaku Kyereh

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Someday I’ll love Kwaku Kyereh after Claire Schwartz  / after Ocean Vuong   Kwaku, you have loved—& you have been loved, where the skin did not break is where it blackens.   Give thanks, Kwaku—give thanks, to the trees & the wind that gives them rhythm—to the   birds that learn to make a home […]