Celebrating East African Writing!

The Burning Bush by Eberekpe Whyte

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

It was very early in the morning. A few distances away from Mokwele’s house, fire was burning. The flame and heat were everywhere. The fire had both socio-political and economic twist to it. A burning fire Mokwele and his family had been used to for many years, which they had tried to put out themselves for many years without success. The effect of the pains caused by this fire was untold: Men were beginning to loose their sense of reasoning, they were afraid to dare as everybody wanted to just survive, and that ‘survival’ was by any means possible. Corruption of the mind and brain was one of the means to this disgraceful road to that ‘survival’.

The failure to put out this particular fire was not their making; they knew left for them, it would only have taken a reasonable time frame for that success to begin to rear up its head. They knew there were lots of factors posing as hindrance to putting out of this fire.

Prominent of these hindrances were those fuelled by those they had entrusted their fate to believing that they were all wise and possessed both the political wisdom and economic strength to define for themselves and the people the path to glory. Shame!

Mokwele got up from the large mattress on the floor-the only comfort their tiny one room apartment could boast of, which was the pleasure of the entire family. It was on this mattress the entire family of three lay when they wanted to sleep. He got the mattress from the front of a house probably from a rich owner who had left it outside to been taken away as rubbish.

He went to the window; he looked back to stare at his wife and three children who were still on the mattress. He rubbed his right hand through his face and tried to recall the promises he made to the beautiful woman on the mattress, how he was going to take care of her, buy her all the good things life could afford… He rubbed his hand through his face again and wondered if the possibility of fulfilling those promises was ever going to materialise. He did not think so from the way things were going.

He allowed his eyes to fall on the clock on the table by his side chiming away as testimony to the only thing in the room with motion and caring less of the cries outside. He shook his head; in a hour’s time all of them would be fully awake to join the bandwagon of travellers on the ‘survival’ bus where the only destination was hope. The only abstract that kept them alive.

Mokwele took his eyes off his family and allowed them to focus on the activities that were going on outside as he threw open the window.

What he saw were not different: Burning fire of hopelessness caused by wrong political decisions, economic irresponsibilities and visionless ideas.

“How long?!” Mokwele sighed.

© Eberekpe Whyte

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.

25 comments on “The Burning Bush by Eberekpe Whyte

  1. stellah
    August 9, 2010

    i love this story. It brings out the real picture just like the writer intended it to. Nice!

  2. kyt
    August 9, 2010

    indeed how long? 8

  3. Paul Ojo
    August 12, 2010

    Well told! 9

  4. Feyi
    August 13, 2010

    How long shall we suffer in pains and look towards hope as solutions instead of facing the realities of our neglects? 8

  5. Kanye
    August 14, 2010

    Inspiring! 10

  6. David
    August 14, 2010

    Total Brilliance, the imagery is just brilliant. 8

  7. sola
    August 14, 2010

    A short story with all the ingredients of a full story! 9

  8. norby
    August 14, 2010

    excellent,a pleasure to read.9

  9. rustek
    August 15, 2010

    nice. 9.5/10

  10. sarah yohanna
    August 18, 2010

    hmmmm indeed it is a tourching is indeed inspiring.
    how long?
    i like the choice of words used in passing across the message.
    the story tells the true picture of what is going on. Alot of people really have different kind of fire to deal with.
    keep it up.

  11. Hanny moses
    August 30, 2010

    how long? beautiful piece, kip it up.10

  12. uvoh onoriobe
    September 20, 2010

    Hope maketh not ashamed. We will get there. 9

  13. Adebayo Gbenga Joshua
    September 20, 2010

    Anyway it’s nice i like it

  14. Steve Edose Jnr.
    September 20, 2010

    Highly articulated piece.I’m loving it!

  15. Clarita
    September 21, 2010

    This is the kind of writing I would like to hear more of. Than you!!!

  16. Ayo Akinfe
    September 21, 2010

    Good piece Ebe. Trust you to deliver then goods as ever.

    You just keep the flag flying on behalf of all those Nigerian authors out there.


  17. Ayo Akinfe
    September 21, 2010

    I give you 9/10 Ebe

  18. Charles Uwa. Omoregha
    September 21, 2010

    Wao! 9/10

  19. Steve Edose Jnr.
    September 22, 2010

    I credit the piece 10

  20. abidemi ogunseitan
    September 22, 2010

    i rate the book 10/10

  21. emmanuel bello
    September 22, 2010

    it is a nice story, i give it 10/10

  22. nicholas ehichioyame
    September 24, 2010

    so touching and an epitome of our current national reality and shame. 9/10 jo……………

  23. nicholas ehichioyame
    September 24, 2010

    so touching and epitomosing our current reality and shame .9/10 jo………………..

    October 3, 2010


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