Celebrating East African Writing!
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
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