Celebrating East African Writing!

A War Within by Ater Sawa

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or Visit to see more pictures of Kenya

It was a Monday afternoon in the city of Nairobi. Muthwiri was busy wracking his head trying to figure out a solution to his problem. His mind was roaming to and fro. He couldn’t think straight. No wonder Oscar Wilde said, “An improper mind is a perpetual feast.” If only he had controlled himself.

Three months ago while Muthwiri was at his duty post, a young girl, Aziza, who was barely 16 years old came passing by hawking bananas. Muthwiri called her and cracked some jokes which she laughed at. He bought a few bananas and she left, giggling.

Gradually, Muthwiri was able to lure a naïve Aziza into his room at the security post and they had sex. With Aziza, a brief moment of passion – when Muthwiri touches her breasts – makes her forget every other thing including the bananas. From then onwards, sex with Muthwiri became a routine.

Three months after they had met, Aziza came to Muthwiri, informing him that she was pregnant.

“Kwenda! Fala sana! And you want me to believe I am responsible?” Muthwiri barked.

Aziza looked at him with tears in her eyes, “Lailahaillalahu. Kwanini Muthwiri? Kwanini? You want to deny me? Subahanallahi. Subahanallahi.” She broke down weeping.

Muthwiri stood with his arms akimbo, staring at  weeping Aziza. His mind was racing. There was no need denying; the pregnancy was his. He petted her and asked her to come back the following day. If Aziza’s aunt gets to know about it, it could mean the end of his job and it could also jeopardize his marriage. Delay is dangerous, he thought. Yes! Abortion was the only solution. But he had no money and salary was still two weeks away. He called his friend Nyakeri telling him he wants to sell his Sharp television. They agreed to meet at the junction.

Muthwiri arrived at the junction with the television and all he had in his pocket was twenty bob. He bought a stick of cigarette from a nearby trader and smoked absentmindedly. The remaining fifteen bob he gave to a corn seller and requested for a piece. He was hungry.

He dialed Nyakeri’s number again, “Uko api?”

Nyakeri told him the person that wanted to buy the television said he wants LG product and not Sharp.

“It’s a good TV for God’s sake and I’m already at the junction with it!” Muthwiri complained.

“Hey, your corn is ready,” the corn seller announced.

Muthwiri turned to tell the man to give him a second. Alas! There was Aziza’s aunt standing. His heart beat skipped for a moment.

He resumed talking to Nyakeri, “Just kuja tafadali. There’s a problem… Hello? Hello?”

His credit had finished; the television had no receipt, and there was a Corp approaching. He stood completely restless and helpless, cursing.

©Ater Sawa

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.

41 comments on “A War Within by Ater Sawa

  1. kyt
    August 22, 2010

    mmmhhh no protection? 6

  2. Beatrice Wainaina
    August 23, 2010

    His credit had finished? Really? I think there is something wroing with that sentence. . . I vote 6.5

  3. RKhay
    August 23, 2010

    i think this story is boring-4

  4. Brian Kosgei
    August 23, 2010

    Superb! This is really cool. So real. I give it a 9.

  5. Denis H. Okeyo
    August 23, 2010

    A very weak story this. ‘Busy wracking his head’ is mis-placed as well as over-loaded. Did I say it’s meaningless? And we vilified (and some nay-sayers still do) Prof. Taban’s assertion that there was/is a literary desertification in the East African region.

    ‘His mind was roaming to and fro’.. really? Stop writing in vernacular when in fact you are pretending to be using the English language. Writing should not be misconstrued as a pastime, Kenyan style. To me, it’s a vocation, a calling, a God-given talent. I don’t that we must all twang and write in perfect English, but discretion is non-negotiable. My vote is a modest 1.

  6. axah mtowa
    August 23, 2010

    intriguing, it ends on a note of suspense

  7. Ruhama Wakawa
    August 24, 2010

    I like the way the story started; showing the confused state of Muthwiri. It also ends with turmoil in his mind reflecting the title of the story, ending with the reader left to imagine what happens next. This is a good work. It keeps the reader on the edge. I vote 9.

  8. Ruhama Wakawa
    August 24, 2010

    This is a good story. It started by showing the state of confusion of Muthwiri. It also ended by showing the turmoil he was going through which goes in line with the title. This story should be the story of the week coz it keeps the reader on the edge. I vote 9.

  9. Jonathan K
    August 24, 2010

    cant wait to read what happens next! its really captivating with a touch of suspense at the end

  10. Jonathan K
    August 24, 2010

    i give it a 8.5

  11. Nehemiah Obuya
    August 24, 2010

    Well thought story. Depicts a typical man who has feelings but in this case lustful. Denial is what comes first when men are confronted with such issue. Great piece of work. I vote 10.

  12. jesse Thomas
    August 24, 2010

    This story is really great it depicts the true picture of Muthwiri,the writing is very analytical and indepth in knowledge.I therefore vote with 9.

  13. Kurrupt
    August 24, 2010

    D story is so African and w must learn to appreciate our own… I vote 9

  14. willyce jaacko
    August 24, 2010

    this is total creativity no proper comment for you’re awondeful writer man i vote 7.5

  15. joanne Njoki
    August 24, 2010

    This is dope……..the story at first is quite promising and then it becomes scary as it ends…the most captivating part is the way me the reader is left mere suspense wow nice one.Again,its applicable;very applicable in a normal life situation.. it should be the top story of the year….i give it a 9.congrats Ater Sawa

  16. joanne Njoki
    August 24, 2010

    the story is captivating and tantalzing……..very applicable in todays life…….i giveit a 9.

  17. Naphtal Omondi
    August 24, 2010

    only if Aziza knew that it would be nine seconds of fun, nine months of blame and then a child to bomb out with no name, she could have not slept with muthwiri. i give you a nine man. its always like that.

  18. Rafael Wanjiku
    August 24, 2010

    I think this story reflects a person who is really frustrated after a wrong,bad everything that happens after adds on to the misfortunes.I vote a 9.

  19. Helen Fwa Okosun
    August 24, 2010

    Could almost picture the characters in real life,a simple story well delivered,the climaxing chaos in the mind of muthwiri felt so real,really making the reader want more.8

  20. Ishaya Luka Wayas
    August 24, 2010

    It is quite interesting and kudos to the writer Arter Sawa. Keep it up, welldone and I vote 10.

  21. Amonye Simon
    August 24, 2010

    Aaaaa… This is a great story; every day happening. Though a few weak sentence constructions, i still think this story deserves a 9.

  22. Sarah Gimba
    August 24, 2010

    Wow! Can i vote 11? Ha ha ha! Alright, Sawa ur story is sawa. 10 for u.

  23. Maria Zirra
    August 24, 2010

    Excellent! Can’t give a ten anyway. So… 9.9

  24. Obed Longs
    August 24, 2010

    Why did this story stop right there when i was just beginning to enjoy it? 8.5

  25. Asa Sawa
    August 24, 2010

    Nice story line. Wish you could explore it. It depicts the character of Africans, especially the illetrates and low in the society. 8

  26. Ode Idoko
    August 24, 2010

    A good story but efforts were not made to add style to it. This is a common story we hear everyday and a touch of style would have made alot of difference.
    Also, the the author was not consistent in the use of terms. For istance in line 7, “-when Muthwiri touches should read “touched” her breasts- made her and not makes her.
    He also wrote “If Aziza’s aunt gets (should read “got” to know”…jeopardize his marriage. Which marriage? With Aziza or another lady? Was he planning to marry? The author failed to tell his readers these details.
    Line 20 read “Nyakeri told him the person that wanted to buy the television said he wants LG product and not Sharp”.The wants LG too should read “…wanted LG product…”.
    In line 21, Muthwiri complained of what? I think appealed would be more appropriate to use there.
    I am not sure the word credit is ok but rather airtime should be used in the last line.
    I give him 5.

  27. Alvary Philip
    August 24, 2010

    I love the way the story ends with a lot of anxiety in one head. 10

  28. Akaas Nathan
    August 24, 2010

    Hmmmm. Nice one. I want this to be story of the week. I vote 10.

  29. wampana paul
    August 24, 2010

    this story is excellent because its trailing.i’ll give 10.

  30. Filibus Yusuf
    August 24, 2010

    In all fairness the story is a lesson, desperate times calls for desperate actions but Muthwiri wasnt desperate, he was frustrated.

  31. Tunji
    August 24, 2010

    Good stuff

  32. Dekmankind (Eru Emman)
    August 25, 2010

    The story’s starting paragraph was well thought of; it is worth the story of the week. This makes me proud Sawa.

  33. Eberekpe
    August 25, 2010

    …A good theme, but the delivery lacks substance. 4

  34. Sylva
    August 25, 2010

    I give the story a 7.

  35. Maina
    August 25, 2010

    Good build up spoilt by grammatical errors. That gives it a 7.3

  36. mura david
    August 25, 2010

    very original with out of the box thinking! The events leading up to the main character´s current predicament are convincing furthermore, one can relate with the story easily. kudos! a deserving winning piece! I give it an 8.5

  37. joanne Njoki
    August 25, 2010

    the starring n suspense mood from the way the story flows;interesing,i give it a 9.

  38. joanne Njoki
    August 25, 2010

    it really has to be the story of the week…… so so realistik.9

  39. Gitura Kihuria
    August 25, 2010

    I enjoyed reading this story which is believable and goes to prove Murphey’s Law that everything that can go wrong will go go wrong.

    Muthwiri got himself in s**t in such a short time, that I couldn’t help but laugh at him.

    And for his trouble( Ater Sawa), I vote 9

  40. Elijah Mark
    August 31, 2010

    This is an excellent waring knowledge only the wise can understand. Please keep it up

  41. Qada L. Ngbale
    March 3, 2014

    As much as you’d like to keep a story short and simple do allow the reader’s mind wonder because with a twist this can be elongated and given more finesse. Blogoshpere is awash with so many seeking readership and you sure do want to keep your readers. I will commend your effort and also advice you work hard at potraying your characters.

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